Sign Up For: Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2020 #MountTBR2020

If you asked me last year to sign up for a reading challenge, I probably would have laughed since 2019 was NOT my reading year, with me reading only 38 books. This year I’m full of determination to read more, to get my reading mojo back, AND to read my shelves. Yes, I do have some books preordered for the year, but I don’t want to buy very many books outside of that. My goal is to read what is on my shelves!

So what better way than to sign up for a reading challenge! Mount TBR is a reading challenge that gets readers to read the books from their shelves that have been there prior to January 1st, 2020. There are SEVERAL levels to this challenge and just to keep this super challenging for myself, I’m going to sign up for the Mt. Kilimanjaro level, which is reading 60 books from my TBR. Personally, I think that is completely do-able!

This challenge is hosted by Bev over at My Readers Block. If you want to sign up for the challenge, just follow the link.

This challenge runs all year and I’ll list my books here as I get them read:

1. Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
2. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes (currently reading)
3. Lord Edware Dies (Hercule Poirot, #9) by Agatha Christie (currently reading)
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Sign Up For: Year of International Literature 2020 #ReadIntl2020

A few years back, reading internationally was a big goal for me. I really wanted to pay more attention to who was writing my books and where they were from. I actually really loved that year of reading because it was fun to look back at my book stats for the year to see how many authors came not only from outside of my home country of Canada, but outside of North America in general.

So this year, when I saw that the bloggers over at Gathering Books were doing a year of international literature, I thought it would be fun to join!

My goal for this challenge is to read books that have been translated into English from the author’s original language. I think I will aim for 15, but if I get more that would be great!

I’ll keep my list here:

1. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (Japanese)
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It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (#4)

This weekly meme is hosted over on The Book Date. It’s a chance to share what we’ve read over the last week, what we’re reading currently, and what we plan on reading next.

It’s Monday! Actually, it’s Saturday as I write this, but I always seem to forget to post what I’m reading on Mondays that I thought I’d take some time to get some posts written. 🙂 As I write this, my husband and son are watching Captain Underpants (this is my kid’s favourite book! he was so excited to see the books he likes to read on the TV.) and my youngest is in the other room playing with her Frozen lego and singing at the top of her lungs. Outside, it’s snowing and really, really cold, but I have my family, my dogs, a sweater, some tea, and a lot of peace & joy.

In other life news, my husband and I have been doing Keto since the beginning of the month and I currently have some Keto buns baking and they smell PHENOMENAL. I’m so excited for supper. I’ve also been trying to get my life in order, or my home at least. I’ve been making lists and cleaning plans, we’ve been purging and donating, and it feels really good. Does anyone else feel the need for order once the kids go back to school in January?

On to the books!

I was participating in Bout of Books this week and actually did some good reading, though I haven’t finished anything. Naturally, I was reading two books and had to pick up another, but I kind of have an excuse? I started watching some Poirot episodes on TV and love them so I felt that I should continue my Agatha Christie reading so I can watch MORE Poirot.

I’ve read:

Two weeks have passed since I last shared what I was reading and I’ve finished quite a few books!

  • Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins
  • Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
  • Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
  • I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of The Reading Life by Anne Bogel (Audiobook)

I’m happy to have listened to an audiobook, though I will admit it was only a couple of hours long! I’ve been trying to get back into my reading mojo this year and the audiobook definitely helped. It was full of so much bookishness that it really made me remember what I love about books and reading. So I’ve been making sure to make time in the evenings to read before bed, once I’m done getting all my cleaning done, the kids are in bed, and the husband is watching his sports (seriously, hockey and football season is FOREVER).

I think out of all the books I read over the past two weeks, the Kristan Higgins one is my favourite, but I did love the Anne Bogel. Convenience Store Woman was different and quirky and such a great read, too. And do I really need to say anything about Daphne du Maurier? She’s amazing.

I’m currently reading:

I have three books on the go right now, though I do still have North and South on my nightstand, despite not picking it up for a while so I don’t really count that as a current read.

  • The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
  • The Wives by Tarynn Fisher
  • Lord Edgware Dies (Hercule Poirot, #9) by Agatha Christie

I’m really enjoying all three of these which is hard because it’s impossible to read three books at once! After my bookish nonfiction, it’s fun to be reading the latest Jojo Moyes since it’s about librarians in the 1930s delivering books via horseback. I love her writing and I’m glad I started this one.

Next up, I’m going to read:

I don’t really know! I really want to stay on top of reading the books I buy this year (which I hope will be minimal) so I have a couple that I should get to:

  • The Marriage Break by Claudia Carroll
  • The End of the Ocean by Maja Lunde

I also want to start another Agatha Christie and tackle another one of the books I bought last year, though I’m not sure which one.

What have you read this week? Anything good?

Sign Up Post: Book’d Out’s 2020 NonFiction Reader Challenge

Last year I read only 3 nonfiction books, but I have a pile of them on my shelves to be read, not to mention all the ones I don’t own and want to read! This year I would like to at least read a nonfiction book a month, so I’m going to sign up to read 12 nonfiction books for this challenge!

This challenge is hosted by Shelleyrae over at Book’d Out. The point of this challenge is simple: “The aim of the Nonfiction Reader Challenge is to encourage you to make nonfiction part of your reading experience during the year.” If you want to sign up for this challenge, just click on the above link.

There are three different challenges, to read 3 books, to read 6 books, OR to read 12 books – also known as The Non-Fiction Know-It-All – which is what I’m doing!

Here are the categories. My plan so far is to read a book from each category and I’ll update this page as they are read.

  1. Memoir
  2. Disaster Event
  3. Social Science
  4. Related to an Occupation
  5. History
  6. Feminism
  7. Psychology
  8. Medical Issue
  9. Nature
  10. True Crime
  11. Science
  12. Published in 2020

Other non-fiction books read:

  • I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life by Anne Bogel

My 2020 Reading & Bookish Goals

2019 was a horrible year of reading for me. Normally I’d be happy to just be reading, but it was so sporadic and all over the place, not to mention it sometimes took me FOREVER to read a short book, that I knew I had to make a change for 2020. Now that we’re in the last few days of the year, as I write this, I feel like I’ve found my reading mojo again and I really want to become a part of the community again.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my bookish goals for the year as I’ve revisited my reading over the year, looked through my bookshelves, and been a bit more active in the community.

  1. Buy less books. This is easier said than done. I’ve actually spent less on books this past year than any other year, but I have nearly 400 books on my shelves to read and I’d like to get that number down. There are a couple books coming out this year I’d like to get but haven’t pre-ordered anything yet.
  2. Read my shelves. This year I actually went through my books and alphabetized everything but haven’t gone through them since. I purged quite a bit and I think I’ve kept what I want to read and now it’s time to get to those books!
  3. Continue to read the classics. I’d like to try and have one classic on the go at all times and have so many great ones on my shelves to choose from! I think I might pick the top ones I want to read this year and go from there.
  4. Read more non-fiction. I don’t have a ton of non-fiction on my shelves, but I have enough that I need to start reading more of it. I’d love to actually get all my non-fiction read before buying any more.
  5. Tweet more, blog more, and get back into the community! I really miss interacting with people about books, especially since I don’t know a lot of readers in my real life. I want to join more memes, more read-a-thons and read-alongs, and just interact with people more. And I want to try and post at least once a week on the blog.

Ultimately, I’d like to just make more time for reading since a lot of my 2019 reading happened in bed, when I’m super tired, but the light of my Himalayan salt lamp – usually 1-5 pages read before I passed out for the night. My goal is at LEAST an hour a day spent reading, if not more.

So, happy new year to you and here’s to a wonderful year of reading!

Recapping 2019 & Sharing My Favourite Books of 2019

This year has been a HORRID year for reading for me. Usually I’d say that it’s good I was reading at least, but I was quite scatterbrained with it and reading a page here, a page there, and just seemed to lose all focus when it came to reading, that I had to find a way to get back to my bookish self and get back into reading.

More on my 2020 reading goals in a bit, but let’s look at some book stats, shall we?

So. To put this in perspective, in previous years I’ve read at LEAST 100 books, usually upwards of 200 or MORE. Basically, me from a few years ago who read about 250 books in a year is now passed out from shock.

37 books doesn’t seem horrible, but when I look at the page count, if we say a typical book has around 400 pages, that evens out to about 25 books, so I read a lot of shorter books (my longest book was only just over 400 pages), and didn’t feel like I challenged myself at all.

Out of 37 books:

15 were classics
7 were new releases
4 were rereads
3 were non-fiction

I’m actually pretty pleased with the number of classics I read when compared to the total number of books read. I wish I had read more non-fiction and more backlist books, but all in all, it’s not terrible. 7 of the books I read were super short, but that’s okay. I did read lots of Agatha Christie (9 books) and Stephen King (4 books), who are two authors I want to read more of and I probably own the most books for both of them, too.

My Favourite Books of 2019

I thought I would make a top ten list, but out of 37 books I don’t think I could pick ten, then I thought a top five list, but then I realized that while I remember liking a lot of the books I read, none were really stand out books that I could remember completely, so here are my TOP TWO books of the year, non-fiction and fiction:

I hadn’t planned on reading this until I fell in love with watching The Daily Show and saw how great Trevor Noah was. I’m so glad I listened to this on audiobook!
A reread for me and it was just as good the second time as it was the first. When it comes to mysteries, this is probably the best.

What were your favourites of the year? How did your reading year go?

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (#3)

This weekly meme is hosted over on The Book Date. It’s a chance to share what we’ve read over the last week, what we’re reading currently, and what we plan on reading next.

It’s been nearly TWO MONTHS since I posted last on my blog and I think I might finally be at the point where I want to try and make sure I post more. I’ll be doing a year in reading post, but let’s just say this year has been super disappointing with reading and I’m finally getting back to where I just want to make time for reading and get back into the community.

Over the past two months, there has been my son’s 6th birthday celebration (super fun – we hired a reptile guy to come and show us snakes and spiders and lizards), Christmas decorating, tons of hygge, and Christmas itself. If you don’t know me, I absolutely LOVE decorating for Christmas, listening to the music, and getting into the festive spirit. I felt so off this year over the month of December but still tried my best. Then, come December 26th, I was ready to de-Christmas and get the house back to normal. I saw this meme on Facebook about how the house feels after all the Christmas decorations come down and it showed Will Smith as the Fresh Prince in the empty Bel Air house, and yeah … it totally feels like that, BUT I love the cleanliness and the space after Christmas. And you just had to look at our Christmas tree for pine needles to fall off of it – not to mention the three dogs and cat who tracked needles everywhere – so it was time to get that sucker down and vacuum (and vacuum and vacuum and vacuum ….).

On to the books!

I’ve been working so hard at finishing my current reads before the end of the year and finished a few in the past week. Since my last update nearly two months ago I finished SIX books, but don’t be too impressed because three of them were super short!

I’ve Read

  • The Governess Game (Girl Meets Duke, #2) by Tessa Dare
  • Hallowe’en Party (Hercule Poirot, #39) by Agatha Christie
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
  • A Merry Christmas and Other Stories by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Apple Tree by Daphne du Maurier

My favourites of these ones are definitely The Apple Tree and A Christmas Carol. I’m fairly certain I’ve read The Apple Tree before but it was a fun Christmasy reread.

Currently I’m Reading

I have THREE books on the go right now and it’s two days until the new year so chances are I’ll only finish one of these by then, but I’m hoping maybe to finish two.

  • Life And Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins
  • Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

I’ve been reading North And South for two months now and had put it down, then never picked it back up. I think that will be the last one I work one, probably my first January read.

Next I plan to read:

I’m honestly not sure! I bought a few books on the weekend and might start one of them, and I also bought a few books over the year. I had planned to keep up with the books I was buying but failed miserably, so those are definitely priority books.