Tag Archives: Read Harder Challenge 2016

Wrap Up: 2016 Goodreads, Reader Harder, Panels, and Surprise Me Challenges

Yet another reflection on my reading challenges of the past year. Looking back, I feel pretty satisfied with my reading accomplishments in 2016.


2016challengeGoodreads Challenge
This year, I upped my goal to 130 from 125 (my goal for 2014 and 15). I was able to surpass it, with a total of 137 books, just a few less than last year. I think I am going to stick with 130 again for 2017. If you want to see everything I read, here’s a link to My Year in Books, courtesy of Goodreads.


dnfRead Harder Challenge and Panels Challenge
I set out with good intentions to use these challenges to diversify my reading, and I lasted until about the summer before I stopped finding books to fit categories. I read 13 for Read Harder and seven for Panels. I guess these sorts of challenges are just not for me, so  doubt I will try participating in 2017.

 

1294462_610283705699430_153240590_oSurprise Me Challenge
This is a challenge just for me, to replace the Random Reads Challenge I did in 2015 that was not continued by the blogger who hosted it. I read 11 of the 12 books randomly chosen from my TBR list, and I only missed reading all 12 because one of the books is lost in the house somewhere, I can’t find it in a local library, and I’m not going to buy another copy. This challenge gave me the variety I was looking for, without having to follow someone else’s plan, so I will do it again for 2017.

How did you do in meeting your reading goals and challenges this year?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/8/16

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers have given it a children’s/YA spin. I thought it would be a fun way to recap last week’s reading and give a sneak peek of my TBR pile.

Last Week’s Books:

So droves of other people and I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child this week. I have not spent an abundance of time reading other people’s review/opinions of this play; however, from what I have read, it seems that readers either love it or hate it. I am planted firmly in the “love it” camp. I picked up the book and after a few minutes of acclimating to the play format, I found myself completely immersed in Harry’s world once again. I found the plot and the characters engaging, and there were just the right amount of dashes of peril and fun. An, most importantly, I know that when school starts I will have many junior high readers eager to talk to me about it or to get their hands on a library copy. This book counts for my Read Harder Challenge 2016 (category 23 – a play).


The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko is an informational picture book about a lesser known area in the struggle for civil rights. In 1958, Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter wanted to marry, but their home state of Virginia did not allow interracial marriage. So they crossed into Washington, D.C. for their ceremony and went back home to live. Not long after, police broke into their home and jailed them for “unlawfully cohabitating.” The couple were forced to leave Virginia, but in 1966 they missed their families and hometown and hired lawyers to fight against the unfair law. Their case went all the way to the Supreme Court and won! This book is a great way to introduce this civil rights achievement and the idea of marriage equality for all to readers at a variety of age levels. The text is simple enough for elementary students, but the topic will provoke discussion among middle and high school students who experience it as a mentor text or read it on their own . Alko and her husband, Sean Qualls, collaborated on the illustrations, which are a mixture of painting, collage, and colored pencil and are a great accompaniment to the narrative. The author’s note, list of sources, and suggestions for further reading will inspire interested students to continue to learn more.


I read Drones in Education to review it for School Library Connection. I cannot provide my full review here, but I will say that it is a comprehensive guide for educators interested in exploring the use of drones in the classroom, written with the newbie in mind.

Currently Reading/Listening To:

On Deck:

Surprise Me Challenge August ’16

In 2016, I am continuing to let random.org choose a book from my TBR list, to be read sometime during the month. My randomly generated number for August is 319 (out of 430 in my TBR list). SURPRISE!, I will be reading The Chair, Vol. 1 by Peter Simeti, an adult horror graphic novel. A graphic novel is a lucky choice for August, as school is starting and I have some other books on desk that I must read soon.

 Here is the Goodreads summary:

Richard Sullivan has spent the past ten years as an innocent man on death row. Witnessing savage killings at the hands of the prison’s sadistic and psychotic Warden, Sullivan decides that in order to survive he must match the brutality occurring in the prison. But as he fights to escape his fate, Sullivan is forced to question his sanity and confront his own horrific past.

 

2016 Challenges: July Progress

  • Goodreads goal of 130 books: 13 this month, 94 total
  • 2016 Horror Reading Challenge  goal of 16+ books: One this month, 15 total
  • Book Riot’s 2016 Read Harder Challenge (24 specific categories of books): One this month– category 3, 13 total
  • Panels’ 2016 Read Harder Challenge (26 specific categories of books): One this month-category 14, seven total–still gotta get going on this one.
  • Surprise Me goal of one book per month: One this month, seven total

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 7/18/16

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers have given it a children’s/YA spin. I thought it would be a fun way to recap last week’s reading and give a sneak peek of my TBR pile.

Last Week’s Books:

I said that I would savor Neil Gaiman’s latest and savor it I did. The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction is a whopping 500+ pages of articles, speeches, introductions to books, etc. Loosely divided into themed sections, these selections give readers a look into Gaiman’s views on comics, fantasy, music, film, the arts, and more. As an avid fan, I will always be fascinated by how Gaiman says what he says as well as what he is saying. As an avid reader, I found myself adding book upon book to my to-read list. Not only do I want to read many works he described, but I also want to go back and re-read the essays about them afterwards. This book counts for my Read Harder Challenge 2016 (category 3–a collection of essays).


In October, I will be moderating a panel at the Illinois Reading Council Annual Conference. The panel will be comprised of authors of Illinois Reads 2016 selections for grades 9-12. One of the authors/books is Tempest by Julie Cross. This first book in a series is about 19-year-old Jackson Meyer, who has recently learned he has the ability to travel back in time. He and good friend Adam devise a series of experiments to test how and whether he can control this power. Then one day, Jackson and his girlfriend Holly are attacked by a group of official-looking men and women. As Holly is shot, probably fatally, Jackson panics and feels himself “jumping” away. He then finds himself stuck in 2007, his only aim being to try to get back to Holly and prevent her death. When I first saw the cover of this book, I suspected it would be more romance novel than science fiction, but I was very pleased that that was not the case. I found it interesting that Cross chose for Jackson not to be able to change the future when he jumped to the past and that those he encountered would not remember any interaction with him. Of course, this is true to only to a point, and it will be interesting to see in following books how he will be able to save Holly from certain death.  I could see my 8th graders, as well as high school students, finding a lot to like about this book.

Currently Reading/Listening To:

On Deck:

Surprise Me Challenge July ’16

In 2016, I am continuing to let random.org choose a book from my TBR list, to be read sometime during the month. My randomly generated number for July is 342 (out of 412 in my TBR list). SURPRISE!, I will be reading The Good Braider by Terry Farish. I’m looking forward to reading this book that I have already added to both my school library collections.

Here is the Goodreads description:

In spare free verse laced with unforgettable images, Viola’s strikingly original voice sings out the story of her family s journey from war-torn Sudan, to Cairo, and finally to Portland, Maine. Here, in the sometimes too close embrace of the local Southern Sudanese Community, she dreams of South Sudan while she tries to navigate the strange world of America a world where a girl can wear a short skirt, get a tattoo or even date a boy; a world that puts her into sharp conflict with her traditional mother who, like Viola, is struggling to braid together the strands of a displaced life.

Terry Farish’s haunting novel is not only a riveting story of escape and survival, but the universal tale of a young immigrant’s struggle to build a life on the cusp of two cultures.

2016 Challenges: June Progress

  • Goodreads goal of 130 books: 17 this month, 81 total
  • 2016 Horror Reading Challenge  goal of 16+ books: Five this month, 14 total
  • Book Riot’s 2016 Read Harder Challenge (24 specific categories of books): Two this month– category 7 and 12, 12 total–halfway there!
  • Panels’ 2016 Read Harder Challenge (26 specific categories of books): One this month-category 26, six total–gotta get going on this one.
  • Surprise Me goal of one book per month: One this month, six total