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text 2016-09-28 06:30
2016 Reading Assignment Challenge -- Third Quarterly Report Card


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July ramblings:  There's really not much to say about July.  It was a semi-good reading month and I kept up with my Reading Assignment books.  That's all, really.

August ramblings:  A lot of the same stuff from previous months.  Though I DID sort of make myself finish reading a book I had very little motivation to read.  But we made it and that's all that matters to me.  At least now I can focus on books that I'm more interested in reading.

September ramblings:  To be totally honest, I had a slightly flustered time of trying to figure out which books to read this month.  With Halloween Bingo looming on the horizon pre-September, I needed to figure out the best reading strategy to both satisfy my Reading Assignment necessities as well as maybe get a bingo.  But in the end, I couldn't quite make both work, so I settled with finishing my Reading Assignment books first, then working on Bingo obligations--after all, I have more chances for Bingo drawings in the future, and my library books were due.  And ultimately, I enjoyed myself, because all the books I read this month for Reading Assignment were enjoyable ones.  That's always a plus.



Third Quarter:  COMPLETED -- 9/10/2016
My Grade: I Made an A!


Third Quarterly Report Card link upBecause Reading


  • In July:


See Also:  My TBR List for July 2016 Voting // Winning Book



  • In August:


See Also:  My TBR List for August 2016 Voting // Winning Book
See Also:  Can You Read a Series in a Month? Challenge



  • In September:


See Also:  Booklikes Halloween Bingo 2016



A Summary


As I stated in the September Ramblings above, I had a hard time trying to figure out which books to read for the months of September and October that could also crossover as Halloween Bingo books.  After all, twenty-five books in two months (average 12.5 books per month) doesn't feel like a lot (not considering my normal average), but I didn't want to push my luck.  So I tried to see what I could insert from my Reading Assignment list that could also double as a Halloween Bingo book.

I came up with five books, slightly taking liberties with the Bingo Free Space and inserting a mystery for good measure.  In fact, probably only one or two of the books I picked for Bingo were actually Halloween-themed or horror-types, so I kind of took liberties with about all of my books.

This third quarter was a good one for Reading Assignment, to be honest.  And it was made possible thanks to the mid-year book swap-out that we were allowed.  I already read two of the books I swapped-in, as you can see (Chill Factor and Sleep with the Lights On).  I also managed to get myself to finish the Lotus War trilogy, thus successfully putting THAT series behind me and fulfilling one more book in my Reading Assignment list.



A Forecast


Last quarter ahead with no more books to choose from... well, except for each month.  I've tentatively allocated the rest of my Reading Assignment book list into the last three months.  'Tentative' being the keyword--although I cannot swap out anymore books, I can rearrange the reading order however it is needed.  But to be honest, I doubt that will happen.

(Book covers link to GR book page.)


Beg for Mercy by Jami Alden
Voodoo or Die by Stephanie Bond
Far Gone by Laura Griffin
Un Lun Dun by China Mieville


All Fall Down by Julie Bellon Coulter
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
Whirlpool by Elizabeth Lowell


My Lady, My Lord by Katharine Ashe
Confessions by Cynthia Eden
The Witness by Nora Roberts
Delicious by Sherry Thomas

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/09/2016-reading-assignment-challenge-third.html
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text 2016-07-03 13:29
2016 Reading Assignment Challenge -- Second Quarterly Report Card



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April ramblings:  April was a pretty good reading month for my Reading Challenge.  Of course, I had to make a few changes.  And due to these changes, I already started formulating which books I might have to swap out at mid-year.  I'm a little saddened by it, but I've been having a rather rough reading year so far and have decided that I'm not quite feeling the YA reads.  In that case, I'm going to specifically remove a few of them from my 2016 Assignment list and maybe swap them out for books in another genre I might be more inclined to read.

May ramblings:  With May came a readathon that was crucial in my reading progress.  I'm not sure if I would have spent as much time on reading books if I didn't have a clear goal... but then again, I DID have a couple of extra PTO days and chose to use them wisely.  The books I chose to read for this month's Reading Assignment weren't the best of the bunch--I'm a little disappointed by that.  Aside from Written In Red, I had some trouble with the other three books even if I DID manage to finish them in the end.  Again, I'm sorely contemplating swapping some books out at midyear.

June ramblings:  June felt like a hard month, if only because there might have been too many things going on in RL.  Mainly, I caught a cold and didn't feel like doing a lot of things, sometimes even reading--I was more interested in sleeping.  I also had to make some rearrangements in my reading list that I wasn't happy about.  These changes are explained in the summary below and also affected which books I finally decided to swap out for new ones at midyear.



Second Quarter:  COMPLETED -- 6/27/2016
My Grade:  I Made an A!


Second Quarterly Report Card link upFantasy is more fun

  • In April:


  • In May:


  • In June:

See Also: My TBR List for June 2016 Voting // Winning Book



A Summary


I thought I'd be able to power through all the books I had chosen this year without utilizing the mid-year swap, but to be honest, I'm glad that it exists in this year's reading assignment.  As my reading life moves on, I've found that I'm not very prone to pick up young adult books very much anymore, and actually find them quite tedious.

With busy days and lots of work, I find that I want to read more of what I want to read.  And what I want to read doesn't seem to involve a lot of the same things I used to want to read... if that makes any sense.  My reading tastes have, indeed, changed over time, and as you can see, even though I had a wide variety of books on my initial Reading Assignment list, only two of the books I read in the past three months were from the young adult target.

I'm not saying that I won't read any more young adult books--there are several on my TBR for this year that I'm dying to get my hands on (Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, Heartless by Marissa Meyer, Juliet Marillier's Blackthorn & Grim trilogy, anything written by Maggie Stiefvater, and so on).  But there are just some times when reading young adult will have to be a mood read.  If I don't swap out some of the young adult books from my list, I'm a little concerned that the rest of my Reading Assignment year will be kind of rocky.

I initially wanted to go ahead and swap out Endsinger by Jay Kristoff since Kinslayer didn't quite work for me.  But being a bit stubborn, I know that if I put that book on hold, I will probably never finish reading the trilogy.  Instead, Endsinger will be shuffled into a later month so that I can have some distance between the two books before finishing it.

But as you all can see, all the books I'm swapping out will be young adult books.  The books I'm swapping in, of course, will be more in the crime thriller and romantic suspense area... except for one.



The Mid-Year Swap


The following are the four books (Reading Level 4) I would like to swap out for the last half of this year.

Mindwalker by A.J. Steiger

Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Ensnared by A.G. Howard

Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen

The following are the four books I'd like to replace my swap-out selections with:

My Lady, My Lord by Katharine Ashe
Chill Factor by Sandra Brown
Confessions by Cynthia Eden
Sleep With the Lights On by Maggie Shayne

Two books on this list have been on my TBR for a long time already.  The other two books were recent additions, but equally as enticing.  I've always wanted to read a book by Sandra Brown since she's sort of touted as a "Must Read" in romantic suspense.  And since I have read many other "Queen of Romantic Suspense" authors, I don't see why I haven't read anything by Sandra Brown yet.  Sleep With the Lights On sounds like The Eye and so I'm quite curious about it.

At some point in the future, I might get back to picking up the four young adult books I've chosen to swap out.  For now, I'm not so sure when I'll read them, or if I'll just read them as leisurely non-challenge books this year.



A Forecast


Two more quarters to go and another jumble of books sort of chosen for the Third Quarter.  There is a possibility some things may change though, so I'm only listing a few books--specifically the ones I wanted to swap in.


Kalahari by Jessica Khoury
Veil of Night by Linda Howard
Far Gone by Laura Griffin
Sleep with the Lights On by Maggie Shayne
Chill Factor by Sandra Brown

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/07/2016-reading-assignment-challenge.html
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text 2016-05-09 03:20
Bout of Books 16 - Starter Post
Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team




Happy Mothers Day!  Hope everyone had a good Sunday!

In a few hours, we will be starting the week long Bout of Books 16 read-a-thon.  Like previous thons, I will only be reading and will not be participating in any of the challenges or anything.

And of course, like previous thons, my reading list decided to go for a change.  Of course.  What I had planned on reading prior to the Bout of Books week ended up changing; what I decided to start reading during the Bout of Books week also changed.  So I won't be surprised if I end up changing my list of Read-a-thon Hopefuls below either.  At this point, anything could happen.


I am currently starting Suzanne Brockmann's Prince Joe, but haven't gotten far into it yet, but I suspect I'll have it finished within the next couple of days.


Happy reading to everyone!



Main Goals


Main Goal:  Read 4 books
Bonus Goal:  Read for at least 4 to 8 hours daily



Books I'm Currently Reading


Secondhand Spirits | 100 of 313 pages read
Prince Joe by Suzanne Brockmann | 5 of 298 pages read

Read-a-thon Hopefuls


After Dark by Jayne CastleAfter Glow by Jayne CastleThese Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan SpoonerSleep With the Lights On by Maggie Shayne

Previous Update Posts and Other Links


Bout of Books 16 Participation Announcement


I'm going to try to have as much fun as I can.  If anyone else is interested in joining the read-a-thon, the badge at the top of this post will take you to the Bout of Books official website.  The link under the picture takes you directly to the sign-up post. Let's all have some fun for this week of a read-a-thon!



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/05/bout-of-books-16-starter-post.html
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text 2016-05-07 08:00
My TBR List -- May 2016 Voting

My TBR List is a monthly meme hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading.

The basic gist of this activity is to have others help decide on which book out of three I'm selecting from my TBR pile I should read for the month via votes.  Posts for voting, the winning book, and the final book review will go up on Saturdays.

Click on the above links for more information.

Join This Month's My TBR List -- May 2016



In a similar theme to last month, I would like to continue working on series I've started reading over the past couple of years and this year.  This is the Let's Work On That Series edition #1, and it is basically a choice from three books in ongoing series that I'm still in the process of reading.  In an ideal world, I would sit and keep reading these series, book after book, until I reach the very last one available.  Then I would sit in anticipation until the next book in said ongoing series gets published.


These are also all books that I currently own on my shelf, so it's another win-win situation wherein I will be able to continue whittling down the books I own on my shelves.




Thanks to everyone for stopping by and voting!



The Books

(Book covers link to their Goodreads book page.)


Fire and Ice by Julie Garwood

-- Book 7 of Buchanan-Renard-MacKenna series


Sophie Rose is a crime reporter at a major Chicago newspaper and the daughter of Bobby Rose, a charming gentleman and big-time thief.  When asked to write an exposé about her notorious father, Sophie quits and goes to work at a small newspaper, covering local personalities such as William Harrington, the 5K runner whose trademark is red socks.  Those socks--with Sophie's business card tucked inside--are practically all that's found after Harrington is killed near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, seemingly in a brutal polar bear attack.


Sophie heads north to investigate, but danger follows in her wake.  After one attempt on her life, she's assigned brash but sexy Jack MacAlister as a bodyguard.  But Sophie and Jack will soon be fighting more than their growing passion for each other.  Powerful forces will stop at nothing to prevent the exposure of the sinister conspiracy Sophie and Jack are about to uncover.



The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin

-- Book 2 of Tang Dynasty series


Former Emperor's consort Ling Suyin is renowned for her beauty; the ultimate seductress. Now she lives quietly alone--until the most ruthless warlord in the region comes and steals her away....

Li Tao lives life by the sword, and is trapped in the treacherous, lethal world of politics. The alluring Ling Suyin is at the center of the web. He must uncover her mystery without falling under her spell--yet her innocence calls out to him. How cruel if she, of all women, can entrance the man behind the legend....



Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis

-- Book 4 of Lucky Harbor series


Mallory Quinn has had enough of playing it safe. As a nurse and devoted daughter, she takes care of everyone but herself.  And as the local good girl, she's expected to date Mr. Right.  But for once she'd like to take a risk on Mr. Wrong.  And who would be more wrong than Ty Garrison?  The mysterious new guy in town has made it clear that he's only passing through, which suits Mallory just fine.  Besides, his lean, hard body and sexy smile will give her plenty to remember once he's gone...


For the first time in his life, Ty can't bear to leave.  Helping this sexy seductress-in-training walk on the wild side is making him desire things he shouldn't--including leaving the military for good.  As their just-for-fun fling becomes something more, Mallory and Ty wonder if they could really be this lucky in love.  After all... anything can happen in a town called Lucky Harbor.



Let's Vote!

**For BookLikes members reading this in the BookLikes dashboard view:  Click here to generate the voting box on another page if you would like to vote.  I don't know why the voting box doesn't show, though it appears in blog view just fine.

**For everyone else voting via BookLikes blog view or at the Book Abyss's Blogspot home:  You may ignore the above tangent.  The voting box shows just fine.

Again, thank you for stopping by and voting!



Previous My TBR List months at Ani's Book Abyss can be found at the Bookish Memes page.

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/05/my-tbr-list-may-2016-voting.html
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text 2016-04-30 11:30
2016 Bookish Resolutions -- April Progress Report

2016 Bookish Resolutions Sign Up Post

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Because Reading and trips down imagination road


My 2016 Bookish Resolutions Summary post



So April was a good month for reading... maybe not so much for a lot of other stuff.



Blogging Goals

 - 1 - Participate in at least 50% of the Top Ten Tuesday meme (@ The Broke and the Bookish) topics for 2016--that's 26 of the TTT topics.  


Running Total:  7 Top Ten Tuesday posts written

  • January:  3 Top Ten Tuesday posts written
  • February:  2 Top Ten Tuesday posts written
  • March:  1 TTT posts written
  • April:  1 TTT posts written


4/12/2016:  Ten Books For Romance Lovers



 - 2 - Continue to post Monthly Reading Wrap-ups... with a slightly less overwhelmingly bulky form.




 - 3 - Create and try to maintain a blogging schedule.


  • January:  Lots of out-of-control, lots of colors.  See January update for more info.
  • February:  No pictures this time.  Just know that things are continuing to get more chaotic. 
  • March:  Still keeping up.  See March update for more info... though not much more info.
  • April:  I've been slacking.  That's all I can say really.  I'm scheduling stuff, but I lost track of some of my schedule.  Hopefully I'll pick back up next month.



 - Bonus Goal - Attempt participating in at least two other monthly/weekly bookish memes.   


-- Review of Size 14 Is Not Fat Either by Meg Cabot


  • Cover Crush on Thursdays:

4/7/2016:  The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

4/21/2016:  RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

4/28/2016:  Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson



Reading Goals

See Also: 2016 Bookish Resolutions shelf


 - 1 - Finish reading 10 completed series that I have already started reading.


When I was counting series for this reading goal I completely forgot that I would be finishing The Raven Cycle.  I don't know if that would some sort of denial complex, because, to be honest, I still can't believe that the series is over and done with.  I might start feeling that emptiness pretty soon, I think.  But yes, I started reading The Raven Cycle in 2013, and then promptly picked up each and every book as soon as it was published following that very first in the series.

Secondly, another series that would count for this reading goal is the Heather Wells series. But being that I haven't been able to finish said series yet, I can't really count it for this month. Now, I DO plan on devouring the rest of the series next month since I found the second book much more enjoyable than the first. So I'll at least have something listed for the month of May.


Running Total:  4 completed series finished reading

  • January:  1 series finished
  • February:  1 series finished
  • March: 1 series finished
  • April:  1 series finished


(1) The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater -- 4/28/2016

Already Read:  The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves, Blue Lily Lily Blue

#4:  The Raven King -- 4/28/2016 -- review to come


Heather Wells by Meg Cabot -- In Progress

Already Read:  Size 12 Is Not Fat

#2:  Size 14 Is Not Fat Either -- 4/19/2016

#3:  Big Boned -- 4/23/2016 -- review to come

#4:  Size 12 and Ready to Rock -- To Read

#5:  The Bride Wore Size 12 -- To Read



 - 2 - Catch up with 5 ongoing series that I have already started reading.


Due to being a slacker, I didn't exactly get into any of these ongoing series I've already started reading.  I have a few in mind for completing this goal, but this goal will definitely take some time.


Running Total:  1 ongoing series caught up with

  • January:  0 series finished
  • February:  0 series finished
  • March: 1 series caught up
  • April:  0 series caught up



 - 3 - Read 5 completed series that are new to me.


It is only April, but this is my best month so far in completing series.  In the month of April I have managed to finish TWO completed series that are new to me.  HOWEVER, it is also entirely possible that one of these series is still ongoing... so I'm going to temporarily include it into this goal until I find out otherwise.


The Mann Family series is likely still ongoing, but as I have been unable to find any inkling of a third book aside from a short snippet at the end of the second book's paperback version, I'm not entirely sure I know what's going on.


Running Total:  1 new to me completed series read

  • January:  1 series finished
  • February:  0 series read
  • March: 0 series read
  • April:  2 series read


Mann Family by Kate Brady -- 4/17/2016

#1:  Where Angels Rest -- 4/6/2016

#2:  Where Evil Waits -- 4/17/2016


Lady Julia Grey by Deanna Raybourn -- 4/25/2016

#1:  Silent in the Grave -- 4/4/2016

#2:  Silent in the Sanctuary -- 4/11/2016

#3:  Silent on the Moor -- 4/16/2016

#4:  Dark Road to Darjeeling -- 4/21/2016

#5:  The Dark Enquiry -- 4/25/2016



 - 4 - Participate in at least one Read-a-thon in 2016 (Bout of Books, Dewey's 24 Hour, any personal or community improv/unofficial read-a-thon, etc.)


-- GOAL COMPLETED -- 1/10/2016 -- 


Running Total = 2

  • January:  Participated in Bout of Books Read-a-thon
  • February:  Did not Read-a-thon this month.
  • March:  Participated in 24 Hour Take Control TBR Pile
  • April:  I thought about participating in the Dewey's 24 Hour this month on 4/23, but seeing how badly I managed the last 24 hour thon in March, I decided not to press my luck.  It was a working weekend and I wasn't entirely sure I'd be able to get anything read outside of a few minutes here and there. 



 - 5 - Pick up at least 10 new to me authors (books not pre-listed for my 2016 Reading Assignment Challenge).


Running Total:  10 new-to-me authors read  -- GOAL COMPLETED 4/29/2016

  • January:  3 new-to-me authors read
  • February:  3 new-to-me authors read
  • March:  3 new-to-me authors read
  • April:  1 new-to-me authors read


Author name // Book(s) Read

1.  Jayne Castle // Bridal Jitters -- 4/29/2016



 - 6 - Accomplish my 2016 Mount TBR Reading Challenge goals.  Tackle those books already on my shelves pre-2016!


Running Total:  18 Mt. TBR books read

  • January:  6 books read
  • February:  5 books read
  • March:  4 books read
  • April:  3 books read


1.  Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn -- 4/4/2016

2.  Where Angels Rest by Kate Brady -- 4/6/2016

3.  Where Evil Waits by Kate Brady -- 4/17/2016


See also My 2016 Mount TBR Challenge summary post for complete listing.



Personal Goals


 - 1 - Clock at least 2 hours of cardio workout each month.


Running Total:  2.42 hours cardio

  • January:  0 hours cardio clocked
  • February:  2.42 hours cardio clocked
  • March:  0 hours cardio
  • April:  0 hours cardio


I had hoped that I would start doing SOME form of cardio. But every morning I tell myself I will go to the gym... and every morning I go straight home after my shift at work and then I crash or I piddle around.


I'm still crossing my fingers and still going to hold myself accountable for this goal. I'm just hoping I can do better soon.



 - 2 - Attempt to work out at least twice a week.  Failing that, attempt to work out at least 8 times a month (which will be met if I can get my lazy ass to work out at least twice a week).


Running Total:  3.5 times worked out

  • January:  0 times worked out
  • February:  1 time worked out
  • March:  2.5 times worked out
  • April:  2 times worked out


While I haven't been going to the gym, I HAVE been trying to make up for it with a little bit of Yoga and stretching and strength training in the mornings. I know that what I do right before going to sleep probably might not amount to too much, but it IS still something. And so I will count all the little semi-work outs that I do as 2 full work outs. Just because.



 - 3 - Learn 12 new recipes.  Actually make said recipes.  And take pictures.  For evidence. 


Yearly Total: 1 new recipe

  • January:  1 new recipe learned // Tomato Basil Soup
  • February: 0  new recipes
  • March:  0 new recipes
  • April:  0 new recipes


I have about three different recipes I want to try... but no motivation and also I need to get off my lazy ass.



 - Bonus Goal -  Be better at being sociable, in general.  






Previous Update Posts

2016 Bookish Resolutions -- January Progress Report

2016 Bookish Resolutions -- February Progress Report

2016 Bookish Resolutions -- March Progress Report




Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/04/2016-bookish-resolutions-april-progress.html
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