Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2017 Book Challenge!

Here's my list of books which I want to read in 2017. As I mentioned last week, I plan on reading a book a week for a total of 52 books, but right now I only have 42. I'll add other books that I hear about that I find interesting, if the length of the books I've chosen allows for reading more than my current list. Some of them, like the Chronicles of Narnia series, are very short, and since I'm a fast reader I may be able to read two or more a week. But others, like A Girl of the Limberlost are longer, so it may take me more than a week to read them. Also, I don't want to just rush through them. I want to enjoy and learn from them all. Maybe someday I'll be able to read a book each week, but I'm not sure if my time constraints will allow for it.

Any way, here's my 2017 list.

Nonfiction: I wanted to include several of these because I enjoy reading them as well. They cover topics that I’m currently interested in. I hope to read one a month, as kind of a balance for my fiction frenzy.

1. Do Over*, by Jon Acuff

2. Outwitting The Devil*, by Napoleon Hill

3. The Millionaire Next Door*, by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

4. Overdressed*, by Elizabeth L. Cline

5. Worn Stories, by Emily Spivack

6. No More Dirty Looks*, by Siobhan O'Connor and Alexandra Spunt

7. Spark Joy*, by Marie Kondō

8. Women In Clothes, by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton

9. The Curated Closet*, by Anuschka Rees

10. How to Get Dressed*, by Alison Freer

11. Wear No Evil*, by Greta Eagan

12. Deluxe*, by Dana Thomas

13. The Joy Of Less*, by Francine Jay

Horror: As I mentioned in the past, I used to dislike Horror. But books by authors such as Madeleine Roux and Ransom Riggs have started to thaw my resistance to it. I don’t think I’ll be picking up a Stephen King book any time soon though.

14. Sanctum, by Madeleine Roux

15. Catacomb*, by Madeleine Roux

16. Escape From Asylum, by Madeleine Roux

Historical Fiction: Although I don’t think A Girl of the Limberlost technically falls under this genre, I included it here because it is set back in a earlier time from us.

17. A Girl of the Limberlost, by Gene Stratton-Porter

18. Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo

19. Sultana*, by Lisa J. Yarde

20. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

21. Love Then Begins, by Gail McEwen and Tina Moncton

22. I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith

Fantasy: One of my favorite genres (honestly, probably my favorite). I have a wide selection here.

23. Aurora Abroad by Karen Kiefer

24. Into the Trees, by J. Alastair Nash

25. Wish*, by C. H. Aalberry

26. Read No Evil, by Steven W. White

27. The Princess, the Knight, and the Knave, by R. D. Ferguson

28. Darkshore, by Megan Jendrick and Nathan Jendrick

29. The Dragonfly Prophecy, by Jacquelyn Castle

30. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

31. Phantastes, by George MacDonald

32. Lilith*, by George MacDonald

33. The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald

34. The Princess and Curdie, by George MacDonald

35. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C. S. Lewis

36. Prince Caspian, by C. S. Lewis

37. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, by C. S. Lewis

38. The Silver Chair, by C. S. Lewis

39. The Magician's Nephew, by C. S. Lewis

40. The Horse and His Boy, by C. S. Lewis

41. The Last Battle, by C. S. Lewis

42. Thorn Changer, by Christy Reed

Yes, I know, I feel like a jerk for including my own book, but as the sequel will hopefully be coming out later this year, I want to reread it as part of the process of keeping consistency/editing the sequel.

Most of these links are not for the exact format, edition, or version of the books I'll be reading, but I wanted to provide them so you could check out the books and see whether you wanted to read them yourself. I'll probably read and listen to a combination of formats such as paperback, audio book, etc.

That’s my list so far. Hopefully I’ll find I’m able to read another ten books this year, but I will be quite happy reading 42. I will say that I may be replacing some books on this list with others, if I find I don't want to finish them for some reason. Any other books you recommend? Have you read any of the above, and what were your thoughts on them? Let me know in the comments below.

Next week, I'll tell you some things I plan on doing to help me read so many books.

*For the sake of brevity, I have not included the subtitles of these books.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I Wrote a Book! and Other Updates

Hey everyone, it's been a while since I've been on here. Health issues and personal reasons have kept me from posting, but now I hope to get back into being on here once a week.

So let me give you some updates as to what's been going on in my life.

First, I wrote a book! It was a long process, and kept me busy for most of the past year, but it's on Kindle now so I hope you'll check it out and see what you think. I hope to be posting some sample chapters on here and on my severely neglected YouTube channel soon, but if you don't want to wait Amazon also has a feature where you can read the first five chapters of Thorn Changer either online or as a downloaded sample. Right now, it's only available as a Kindle book, but I hope to have it available in other formats eventually. Fortunately, if you don't have a Kindle, you can get the app for free to read Kindle books on your computer, iPhone, iPad, etc.

Thorn Changer from the description on Amazon:

After escaping from prison, Skey leaves her homeland in order to leave her past behind her. But if breaking out of the Tower was hard, she finds out that keeping her past and her form changing a secret is even harder. Arriving in Beolki during a war, she is employed as a minstrel by Lady Sieku of Sumika. But while the lady trusts her, gaining the trust of the king is another story. As is eluding Sodoma and his army of Iezomen, the servants of Foaie.

But when her secret comes out, she has to choose between losing her own freedom, or keeping it by taking away that of others.

Second, my 2015 Book Challenge was kind of a failure. With everything going on, I was not able to finish it. I didn't even bother with one for 2016, and that's probably why I've read less books this year than I would guess any year since I first started to be able to read as a little kid. So I'm bringing it back for 2017, I want to try to read a book every week, for a total of 52 books, but right now my list (which I'll post soon) only has around 40 books. I have a tendency to set too lofty of goals, so I decided to read those 40, and then if there's new books that come out during 2017 which look interesting to me (or if I hear about older books that sound interesting), I'll add those to the list.

Third, I did complete Nanowrimo last year and this year, making my total wins three. I also completed Camp Nanowrimo Summer 2015 and this past summer, but my word count goals were only 10,000 so it was a lot easier to complete. I love both, and I highly recommend participating if you love to write and want to challenge yourself to write more faster. Of course, if you have a good writing routine already which keeps you regularly writing, this probably won't be as challenging (and if you write more than 50,000 words a month, that's totally amazing!). If you're still working on trying to get into a nice writing flow, I recommend Camp Nanowrimo. The next session starts in April, and it's less strenuous than Nano in that you get to choose your word count, so if you have a busy month, you can set your goal lower and still accomplish it. Either one is amazing, and I'm hoping to participate in both next year.

Fourth, over the next few weeks to months I'm planning on renovating this blog, my Christian Devotional blog, my Twitter, and my YouTube channel, so expect to see some changes there. I also plan on adding a Pinterest account (which I have, but still need to figure out how to work) and a Facebook page, so I'll keep you posted about what I decide with those. I don't like having too many social media accounts (I feel like I get sucked into scrolling through them instead of writing), but I thought Pinterest would be nice to share my interests as well as what inspires me for books, and that a Facebook page would help me keep in touch with those of you who don't use Twitter. I also want to use my Goodreads account more actively to connect with readers who like the same types of books that I do.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a wonderful holiday season all around. And thanks for taking the time to read all of this. Let me know what you think of Thorn Changer!