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Monthly Wrap-Up: November 2017

‘Tis the end of the month. It’s been both a busy and fast November. These next couple of weeks are ridiculously busy, but I suppose that is to be expected for the end of a semester and the upcoming holidays.

Book Reviews

There’s something fun about writing mini reviews, and it might just be that I don’t have to write a lot for the review if I don’t want to. It also let’s me get reviews up for books that need to be logged for challenges.

Currently Reading

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

I’m reading A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. I devoured A Darker Shade of Magic last week, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the book. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to get very far through it.

Book Memes & An Award

Reading Challenges

Book Blog Discussion Challenge: 14/11

Using an old question from the Classic Remarks meme on Pages Unbound, I explained that I think Satan from Paradise Lost is a sympathetic character.

Goodreads Reading Challenge: 74/60

Pages Read Challenge: 15,171/17,000

I don’t see how I’m going to get to 17,000 pages. On the bright side, I’ve broken even with the level (Bonsai) that it’s in. I’m curious to see what Goodreads will say about the number of pages I’ve read, but they’re not my main measure.

Back to the Classics Reading Challenge: 5/6

No change in this one. I’m concerned that I might not finish it. I’m not in a mood to read classics outside of class right now, and the classics I will read don’t fit the categories that are left.

Banned/Challenged Books Reading Challenge: 10/13

I doubt I’ll make it to thirteen this year, but I might make it to eleven or twelve.

Graphic Novel Reading Challenge: 12/12

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. SchwabNow that I have a review up for Ouran High School Host Club, Vol. 2, I am officially at 12. I’m still holding strong at twelve, but I hope to read one more before the end of the year.

Library Love Challenge: 22/24

Number 22 is A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.

Picture Book Reading Challenge: 18/20

47. a book published in the 1980s – The Tale of the Dark Crystal by Donna Bass, illustrated by Bruce McNally

I found this book after being told to watch The Dark Crystal movie, which I never watched. The book is split into chapters, but it is still a picture book. After one race of beings on a planet were split into good and evil halves at the last Convergence of the Three Suns, only one Gelfling can save them all by replacing the shard of the Dark Crystal. Close to the next Convergence, their has been a change of power in the evil rulers and the Gelfling of prophecy has been sent on his quest. There is a plot hole, involving the shard. Worse, I found it predictable. I only recommend it to those who liked the movie.

52. a book by Dr. Seuss – Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Seuss

The king of the Land of Didd was known to be a grumpy person, but it reached new heights when he started getting angry at the sky. He hates that the same things always fall from the sky, so he orders the magicians to come with something new—oobleck. Bartholomew knows nothing good can come of this. What can he do to stop it? The illustrations are of the usual Dr. Seuss variety, but they are black-and-white with the green oobleck as the only color. The images show the havoc the oobleck wreaks very well.

56. a book by Laura Numeroff – If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond

If a traveling mouse appears at your door, giving him a cookie will only lead to more that you will do for him. It’s fun to read this again knowing that it is using slippery slope fallacy. I had never noticed before that the boy quickly grows tired from cleaning up after the mouse and fetching him whatever he needs. It strikes me, as a non-parent, as being something like parenting. It’s a fun little book to read.

57. a book by Patricia Polacco – The Lemonade Club by Patricia Polacco

Traci and Marilyn are best friends, and they have the best teacher for fifth grade, Miss Wichelman. She teaches the kids that they can do anything and be anything. After some bullying at school, Marilyn loses a lot of weight quickly and faints. I thought this book was going the way of body image issues, which it does in a way, but it took a turn on being about cancer. What follows is the kids supporting Marilyn and her battle to stay alive. I love that the pencil-and-marker illustrations show so much emotion in the characters. This is a biographical story, starring Polacco’s daughter, Traci. It’s a great story.

Read It Again, Sam, Challenge: 6/8

I reread If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I’m going to try to get to eight, but I might make up for that by rereading two picture books that I will also use for the Picture Book Reading Challenge.

The Well Read Pagan Reading Challenge: 0/2

I meant to read a couple of my Pagan books this year, and I haven’t. I don’t know that I will, and I’m disappointed in myself. I just haven’t had the interest read the books this year. Are there any challenges you haven’t started and don’t think you’ll complete?

Reading Challenge Addict: 4/11

No change, but the final total will come at the end of the year.

Interesting Finds

As we approach the end of the year and the end of a lot of reading challenges for 2017, I’ve been mourning the fact that fanfiction doesn’t count for the challenges I’ve been participating in, except for Harry Potter Month. In my failed attempts at finding a fanfiction reading challenge, I found a post by Tracy at Cornerfolds that asks, “Should fan fiction count ever towards reading goals?” She brings up a valid point that many of the more popular fanfics are twice as long as your average YA novel. Considering this information, it would be cool if there was a fanfiction reading challenge in 2018.

The Physical Landscape of Words,” by Katy Ilonka, explains some problems with ebooks based on the physical landscape of words. This article speaks to many of my problems with reading ebooks.

Speaking of ebooks, Cait at Paper Fury teaches us how to photograph them for Bookstagram. I have always wondered how people took those awesome photos, and the key seems to be Pixlr.

Kristen Burns at Metaphors and Moonlight lists ideas for characters with disabilities and medical needs in post-apocalyptic worlds. Characters have a tendency to be too perfect in fantasy, sci-fi and YA books. I like her suggestions.

Following the idea of readers asking for things in books, Olivia from Olivia’s Catastrophe discusses “Who Should Represent Minorities in Literature.” Authors are responding to the demand for more diverse books, and we should continue helping each other learn.

Jamieson at Jamishelves guides book reviewers through reviewing queer literature.

To stick with the idea of focusing on readers, Liv at Stories for Coffee has been making a photo series, called Who Tells Our Stories. It focuses on diverse readers and the books that represent them positively. The first interview I read was the one with Shauna who loves We Are Okay.

Final Thoughts

First: I would like to find a fanfiction reading challenge. If you know about any reading challenges geared for fanfiction, please let me know. Would you be interested in participating in that kind of challenge?

Finally: Your reading, liking, and commenting on my posts is encouraging. Thank you all for your support as always!

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12 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap-Up: November 2017

    1. I was over ambitious at the start of this year, but that’s why I’m a reading challenge addict. I think I’m going to try to cut down the number of challenges I do next year, or pick a few that fit my interests better.

  1. First, I second Nicole- you should do the challenge! I was coming here to say the same thing! I will definitely share it around, too (even if I don’t have a fancy master list like Nicole 😉 ) Also, your reading challenge game is on POINT, holy crap! You are doing awesome! And I hope you end up having time to read AGOS, I need to get my act together and read the last book before I end up spoiled!

    1. I’m working on it now. I’m trying to work out the logistics of keeping track of things and making rules. Then I’ll get around to making a graphic. Thank you for the encouragement!

  2. I don’t read fanfiction personally but I know it’s a big part of readers lives and it would be epic for there to be a fanfiction challenge! I haven’t read that series by V.E. Schwab myself but I hope you’re enjoying this second book as much as the first 🙂 And thanks for sharing my blog post too ❤

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