Saturday, June 20, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009-23: Reading Challenges

This week's Weekly Geeks topic was suggested by Sheri of A Novel Menagerie. She writes:

"Reading Challenges: a help or a hurt? Do you find that the reading challenges keep you organized and goal-oriented? Or, do you find that as you near the end of a challenge that you've failed because you fell short of your original goals? As a result of some reading challenges, I've picked up books that I would have otherwise never heard of or picked up; that, frankly, I have loved. Have you experienced the same with challenges? If so, which ones? Do you have favorite reading challenges?"
As we pass the halfway point of 2009, how are you doing with your reading challenges? Did you participate in any challenges this year?

My answers

Do you find that the reading challenges keep you organized and goal-oriented?

Organized? Not so much. Oh, I can try. I always have good intentions for staying on top of reading challenges and lists. But end dates always tend to sneak up on me.

Goal-oriented? I'm not so sure I'm a goal-keeper. I have general goals for my reading: more, more, more. And I can do the occasional specific goal: read this book by Monday. But I'm not a good juggler. I can't have twenty goals at a time.

Or, do you find that as you near the end of a challenge that you've failed because you fell short of your original goals?

I fail at challenges all the time. The audio book challenge? The one where you're supposed to listen to twelve audio books in 2009? How many have I read? 0. The Unshelved Reading Challenge. The one I was hosting. How many books did I read? 0. Sometimes I sign up for a challenge and forget about it. But I never sit and wallow in the failure of it. Life's too short for that.

As a result of some reading challenges, I've picked up books that I would have otherwise never heard of or picked up; that, frankly, I have loved. Have you experienced the same with challenges? If so, which ones?

Yes and no. Yes in that it follows the blogging trend. I see reviews of books on blogs and when I see the book at the library, then I want to pick it up and give it a try. I don't know that it is just reading-challenge books. It's just books in general. Sometimes reading challenges have expanded my reading, increased my comfort zones. I might enter a challenge thinking that 'those kinds of books' aren't my thing. But I'll find out that 'those kinds of books' are my kind of books. So reading challenges motivate and encourage me to try new things.

Examples of this would be the Once Upon A Time challenge and the R.I.P challenge.

Do you have any favorite reading challenges?

Yes. I like many reading challenges. Love them. I don't know that I can name names.

How am I doing with my reading challenges?

Some I'm doing well in. Others not so much. I am NOT trying to compete with anyone when it comes to reading challenges. I'm not trying to match what I did in previous years. I've finished twenty-one so far this year. And two or three more will be ending in the next week or so. The Banned Books Reading Challenge. The Victorian Reading Challenge. The Second Canadian Reading Challenge.

I am keeping up with most of my challenges on my blog Behind The Scenes With Becky.

I am definitely signed up for a lot of challenges in 2009.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

Debi 7:16 PM  

I gotta admit it...I'm surprised! I would have been willing to bet you finished every challenge you joined. Not because I thought you obsessed over them or anything like that, but goodness, no one reads as much as you and I figured you would have found books that fit into all your challenge slots. Oh, and Becky, thank you for admitting that you've joined challenges and then promptly forgot all about them...it's so nice to know I'm not alone. :D

gautami tripathy 11:12 PM  

Likewise Debi, I too thought you must be able to finish almost all the challenges.

I have simply stopped joining too many!

WG: Reading Challenges

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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