Sign up! The 2012 Short Story Challenge

Want to read something outside your comfort zone?
Want to try lots of new authors without reading a mountain of books?
Want to read some of the very best literature ever written?

Yes? I thought so! Then sign up for the…

This year, I’ve decided to dedicate more time to a wonderful way of telling tales: the short story. To do this, I thought “oh, I should sign up to a challenge” but alas, the only short story challenge I’ve found counts stories by anthologies (click here to sign-up for that challenge). So, I’ve decided to run one myself!

What is a short story?
Short stories are works of fiction, often written in prose. They tend to be more pointed, focused, and contained than novels.

Why do short stories matter?
The short story is one of the most exciting and important literary forms, and that it can, and should, reach the widest possible readership.

Where can I find short stories?
Anywhere and everywhere. Anthologies, magazines, newspapers, and even on-line.

Still interested? Then take a look at the must-read details:

  • The 2012 Short Story Challenge runs January 1st, 2012 to December 31st, 2012.
  • You can sign up at any time.
  • You do NOT need a blog to sign up – just somewhere online to monitor your progress (personal blog, goodreads, facebook, twitter, etc.) But please post something that shows you are participating in the challenge – it doesn’t have to be a full post, a link/tweet/sidebar listing is enough!
  • You need to read at least 12 short stories. Ain’t that easy? Easy peasy. That’s one short story a month. Of course, you can choose to read more than 12. Why would you want to? Well, because short stories are brilliant.

Still interested? Then sign up below!

ETA: Sign ups now closed – thank you to everyone who participated!

New Author Mini-Challenge: TBR Newbies

I absolutely adore Jackie’s mini-challenges over at Literary Escapism. Last year I completed, not one, but two of them. They actually make me read new authors, as opposed to just planning on reading new authors. The latest and greatest one that Jackie is hosting is the TBR Newbies challenge, focusing on reading those novels you bought, with the intention of trying a new author, but haven’t had the chance to yet.tbr newbies

I have a ton of books like that – in fact, I think I have such a large TBR stack because I never finish a book so end up buying debut novels or first in a series because I’m afraid to buy book 2 in a series I won’t like!

This challenge is a wee-bit different to the usual mini-challenges. Instead of going over a single month, the challenge begins April 15th and ends May 31st. Not just that, the aim is to read six new authors and review them all!

Now, I have exams coming up in mid-June which will obviously have to come first. But I am really hoping that I can complete this challenge in my (limited) spare time.

2011 book haul

Here’s my planned TBR pile:
  • Wicked Game by Jeri Smith Ready
  • Moloka’i by Alan Brennert – Read and Reviewed!
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – Read and Reviewed!
  • Beauty by Robin McKinley – Read and Reviewed!
  • Siren by Tricia Rayburn (2011 Debut Author)
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis (2011 Debut Author) – DNF
Unexpected additions:
  • Temeraire by Naomi Novik – Read and Reviewed! (this one just made the cut, as I bought it the 12th!)
  • Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch – Read and Reviewed!
  • The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu – Read and Reviewed!

*stares at pile*  If you haven’t signed up for one of these min-challenges before… well, I’d highly recommend them!  It’s really great motivation to actually get some reading done!

01/06/2011 – Challenge complete!  I am rather stunned that I managed to get six new authors read for this challenge – especially considering how busy this past month has been.  My favourites of the lot: Temeraire by Naomi Novik and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

A-Z Reading Challenge

So, this is probably going to be my last 2011 challenge.  I didn’t do such a great job with my challenges last year (I did rather terribly, actually), so this year I am going for a “less is more” approach.  But I wanted to join a challenge which would actually challenge me.  The Off the Shelf and 2012 Debut Author challenges both have me reading books I probably would have read anyways – but I thought that an A-Z challenge might get me to pick up books that would have stayed on the shelf.

Not to mention Book Junky is including a bunch of giveaways along with the challenge!  Always a good incentive.  The plan is to read 26 books in 2011 with titles that go through the alphabet.  You can sign up for the challenge here!

Obviously, there are quite a few gaps in this! I especially need something to fill V, X and Z – as all I have for V right now is Vanity Fair… which is a bit too much of a challenge for me!

So here’s my planned A-Z list:

  • A –  Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund
  • B – Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin Mckinley
  • C – Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • D – Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  • E – Enclave by Ann Aguirre
  • F – Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife by Sam Savage
  • G – Green-Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells
  • H – The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • IImmortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
  • J – 
  • K –
  • LLover Revealed by J.R. Ward
  • M – Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
  • N – Night Shift by Lilith Saintcrow
  • O – Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
  • P – Pride by Rachel Vincent
  • Q –
  • R – Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • S Sea Change by Aimee Friedman
  • T – Temeraire by Naomi Novik
  • U –
  • V –
  • W – Wake by Lisa McMann
  • X – 13 to Life by Shannon Delany (Ok, so X is 10 in roman numerals… plus 3 is 13. It counts, dammit.)
  • Y –
  • Z –

19/26 books read!

2011 Off the Shelf Challenge!

Off The Shelf!Ok, it has been said that I have a bit of a book-buying issue.  I buy lots and lots (although lately I have been a very good girl) and I don’t read nearly enough!  So, the Off the Shelf challenge seems the perfect one for me!

This challenge is to read those books you own copies of, but have never got around to reading. I signed up for the On A Roll challenge level – which I have to read 50 books for!  Since I am hoping to read at least 75 this year, I feel like I should actually manage to meet this challenge… right?

The challenge lasts all of 2011, and you can sign up for it here!

  1. Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott
  2. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
  3. Mercy by Rebecca Lim
  4. Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
  5. Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill
  6. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  7. Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife by Sam Savage
  8. Night Shift by Lilith Saintcrow
  9. Sea Change by Aimee Friedman
  10. Wake by Lisa McMann
  11. Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
  12. Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward
  13. Beauty by Robin Mckinley
  14. Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
  15. The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu
  16. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  17. Night Life by Caitlin Kittredge
  18. Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
  19. Pride by Rachel Vincent
  20. The Touch of Twilight by Vicki Pettersson
  21. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
  22. The Glass Demon by Helen Grant
  23. Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
  24. The Society of S by Susan Hubbard
  25. Heat Stroke by Rachel Caine
  26. Beastly by Alex Flinn
  27. 13 to Life by Shannon Delany
  28. The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
  29. Dark Goddess by Sarwat Chadda
  30. Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris
  31. Succubus Dreams by Richelle Mead

31/50 books read!

2011 Debut Author Challenge

Another year, another YA Debut Author Challenge. I didn’t manage to complete the challenge last year, but really loved participating. I’m hoping that this year I will be more successful!

If you haven’t heard of the Debut Author Challenge (??), it is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. The objective is to read at least 12 YA books from debut authors published in 2011. You can sign up for the challenge here, but make sure to read through the guidelines before you do!

So, let’s see my (very) tentative list of my 2011 debut reads. First off, there are the books by the YA Rebels. I have been watching their channel on youtube for aaaages now and feel like I know them. So, these authors are getting top billing on my TBR list for 2011.

  1. Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton – April 26th 2011 (US) – Read!
  2. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff – January 6th (UK)Read!
  3. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa – January 21st (UK)
  4. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand – May 2nd 2011 (UK)
  5. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini – June 3rd 2011 (UK)
  6. Die for Me by Amy Plum – May 5th 2011 (UK)
  7. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton – June 9th 2011 (UK) – Read!
  8. Divergent by Veronica Roth – May 3rd (UK)
  9. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – June 7th 2011 – Read!
  10. Enclave by Ann Aguirre – April 12th 2011 (US) – Read and Reviewed!
  11. My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent – January 6th 2011 (UK) – Read and Reviewed!
  12. Siren by Tricia Rayburn – January 20th (UK) – Read and Reviewed!
  13. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney – January 20th (UK) – Read and Reviewed!
  14. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – September 29th 2011 (UK) – Read and Reviewed!
  15. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab – August 2nd 2011 (US)
  16. Witch Eyes by Scott Tracey – September 2011 (US)
  17. A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford – February 22nd 2011 (US)
  18. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White – January 6th 2011 (UK)
  19. Possess by Gretchen McNeil – August 23rd 2011 (US)
  20. The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton – September 27th 2011 (US)
  21. Future Imperfect by K. Ryer Breese – April 26th 2011 (US)
  22. The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills by Joanna Pearson – July 1st 2011 (US)
  23. The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher – January 1st 2011 (US)
  24. Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey – December 8th 2011 (US)
  25. The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge – February 22nd 2011

9/12 books read!