Sunday, June 22, 2014

Six Month Challenge Check In

Six months into the year and I already have a few contenders for my top ten favorite books of the year, although no books have yet earned my coveted 5 paw rating.  It is hard to believe half the year is already gone.  So, how am I doing with those reading challenges I said I would not sign up for but did anyway?  Let's take a look:

I admit to always playing the What's In A Name Challenge hosted by Charlie from The Worm Hole by the ear. I have not intentionally read a book for this challenge in a couple years and somehow manage to complete it (even if by the skin of my teeth).  So far this year, I have read books that meet two of the six categories. Not the best start, but I still have another six months to work on it.

A reference to time in the title ~ Labor Day by Joyce Maynard 
A position of royalty in the title ~ Duke City Split  by Max Austin (the book has nothing to do with royalty, but the title has the word "Duke in it", so I'm counting it.)
A number written in letters in the title (I've read a couple of books with numeric descriptive words in the title ("once" and "millionaire" for example), but no specific number written in letters.  Yet.)
A forename or names in the title (I was going to fit A Prayer for Owen Meany in this category, but who would have guessed "Owen" isn't the character's first name?  It's his middle name.  Oh well.  I have lots of other choices to choose from.)
A type or element of weather in the title
A book with a school subject in the title

I challenged myself to read at least 5 historical fiction novels this year for Historical Tapestry's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge, and I have done just that.   Both Irving and Atwood's books take the reader into the past as the characters remember in their present times.  There is enough history included for the books to count towards this challenge, fortunately.

1. Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson
2. The Final Solution: A Story of Detection  by Michael Chabon
3. Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
4. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving ~ review pending
5. Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood ~ review pending

The Book to Movie Challenge hosted by Katie of Doing Dewey and Sergio of Tipping my Fedora has been a lot of fun so far this year.  Reading and watching movies are both passions of mine and this challenge combines both.  I committed to read/watch six for the challenge. Even though I have met my challenge goal, I imagine there will be more before the year is out.

1.  Beautiful Creatures  by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl 
2. Labor Day by Joyce Maynard  
3. Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
4. Divergent  by Veronica Roth
5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
6. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (the movie title is Simon Birch) review pending

I was hesitant to join Chunkster Challenge hosted by Vasilly of 1330V this year, but I could not resist.  Chunksters are defined as being 450 pages or more.  I agreed to read 5 chunksters this year. Admittedly, some were fairly quick books to read given the type of book and subject matter (the challenge allows YA books this year).  A few others took me a while to work my way through.  I would say eight out of five isn't bad though, wouldn't you say? 

Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin - 768 pgs
A Prayer for Own Meany by John Irving - 640 pgs ~ review pending
Beautiful Creatures  by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - 577 pgs
Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood - 521 pgs ~ review pending
Insurgent by Veronica Roth - 544 pgs
Allegiant  by Veronica Roth - 544 pgs
Fast Women by Jennifer Crusie - 496 pgs 
Divergent  by Veronica Roth - 487 pgs

This year I am also participating in Carrie of Books and Movies' "I've Always Meant to Read That Book!" Challenge, at least occasionally.  In March, I read State of Wonder by Ann Patchett as planned; and in April I began reading Margaret Atwood's Blind Assassin. I wasn't able to finish Blind Assassin until June.  Better late than never, right?  On a positive note, I did finish June's A Prayer for Owen Meany as planned.  As much as I hoped to join Carrie in reading The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins for May, I decided to set that aside to read at a later time.  The next book I am hoping to read alongside Carrie is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.  But that's not until October.

Over all, I think I am doing very good!  Technically, I have completed the Chunkster Challenge, the Books to Movie Challenge, and the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge.  And I am only at the six month mark! Go me!  I am not ready to wrap up the challenges just yet, however. I want to leave them open to see what other titles I can add to my lists.

Are you participating in any challenges this year?  How are you progressing?

© 2014, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. The only challenge so far this year that I've participated in is Carl's Once Upon a Time challenge.

    Just a note--It seems funny that the Divergent trilogy books were chunksters! They read so fast, I never thought of them as long!

    1. Jenclair - I figure all three books together count as a chunkster. :-) Beautiful Creatures and Fast Women can equal one too. So, ultimately, I've read five.

  2. Way to go, Wendy! Seems like you'd read lots of good books through those challenges. I'd decided not to participate in any reading challenges (at least currently) as I know I may not be reading too many books as compared to other readers. Still, it's fun and I'm glad you're enjoying them. :)

    1. Melody - I wasn't going to participate for the same reasons. I kept my goals very manageable and, for me, the best part is taking part in a community activity alongside other book bloggers.

  3. Fun challenges and you've done great! I'm really looking forward to your reviews on Blind Assassin and Owen Meaney as they're both books I've been thinking about reading but keep putting off.

    1. Katherine - Thank you! I hope to post my Owen Meany review on Monday to coincide with Carrie's. I'm sure the Blind Assassin review will follow at some point.

  4. Great job! These challenges always look like so much fun.

    1. A.M.B. - I enjoy them. I think trying to find books for each category is one of the best parts. :-)

  5. I love the What's In A Name challenge. Having worked my way through five of the categories I only have a type or element of weather left to do but other than Wind in The Willows am feeling uninspired.

    The Historical Fiction challenge also sounds good but then given historical fiction is my favourite genre I don't suppose it would prove too much of a challenge.

    Good luck and happy reading.

    1. Tracy - It's a great challenge. You're doing really well! You're almost done. :-)

      If you did the historical fiction challenge you'd have to read at one of the higher levels to make it challenging. ;-)


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