The First Sentence Challenge! | Video

Soooooooooo last August my bestie came to visit me and I told her about this tag going around book vloggers on Youtube.  She liked the idea and agreed to do it with me.  No bells and whistles, just two best friends shooting a video about books for my book blog.  As YouTube standards go, the video has much to be desired but whatever! It was fun!

Why has it taken me forever to post it?

I mean, come on, it is February, Elyssa. 

Yeah well, life happens, school assignments, holidays and whatnot and yeah, there were tweaks I had to deal with even after my brother edited it.

(Btw, try saying edited it. Yeah, uh huh. The struggle is real)

So!  Without further ado, here is my first Just-For-Fun-Book-Tag-With-The-Bestie video – The First Sentence Challenge!!!

Oh yeah, and I know it’s real long so don’t at all feel bad if you don’t want to watch the whole thing! This was mostly for our enjoyment :)

Happy Friday, Y’all!

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Operation Deepen Faith

I’ve been trying to make a habit of taking my goals in strides–one at a time, here and there–rather than all at once, thus overwhelming myself.  My final and the most important reading challenge is Operation Deepen Faith.

OperationDeepen

This is something I did not keep up with last year but I’ve already started this year.  Here’s how it works:

There are multiple sections and as the host says, participants don’t have to sign up for each one but picking multiple sections is encouraged!

  1. Wonderful Words of Life: Goal–Read the Bible
  2. How Firm a Foundation: Goal–Study 1 book of the Bible throughout the year
  3. Deep & Wide: Goal–Read multiple books in multiple translations
  4. Meditate or Memorize: Goal–Choose about a verse a week to reflect and meditate on
  5. Christian Nonfiction: Goal–Read different Christian nonfiction

Click HERE for full details.

I’m going to commit to

  • Wonderful Words of Life: Goal–Read the Bible
  • How Firm a Foundation: Goal–Study 1 book of the Bible throughout the year
  • Meditate or Memorize: Goal–Choose about a verse a week to reflect and meditate on 
  • Christian Nonfiction: Goal–Read different Christian nonfiction

I’ve already begun reading the One Year Bible and picking my verses and other titles.  My goal is to post monthly on my progress and maybe break down goals into quarterly tasks.

Now, I’m officially set with all my reading goals for 2015!

Happy reading, y’all!

2015 TBR List

I’m almost done with one of the titles off of my TBR list and I just realized I never posted my list!

Here’s what I’m hoping to complete this year:

  1. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  3. Stop Dating the Church by Joshua Harris
  4. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  5. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
  6. Happier at Home Gretchen Rubin
  7. Everyday Matters by Danny Gregory
  8. Shadow of the Almighty by Elizabeth Elliot
  9. What is He Thinking? by Rebecca St. James
  10. Defiant Daughters: Christian Women of Conscience by Marcy Heidish
  11. When Dreams Come True by Eric & Leslie Ludy
  12. Here I Stand by Roland H. Bainton

TBR 2015

Alternates:

  1. Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters by Jon Acuff
  2. Paper Towns by John Green

I’m suuuuuper excited!!

Happy reading y’all :)

Book Challenges for 2015

Another year has gone by!  It’s time for a new set of book challenges for 2015!!  Here’s my master post for signing up and linking up with the events I’ve chosen for next year!

2015 Audiobook Challenge

Hosted by The Book Nymph Hot Listens

I didn’t quite make my 2014 goal but I’m going give it another go in 2015!

Here are the levels:

  • Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
  • Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  • Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
  • Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30-50
  • Marathoner (Look Ma no hands) 50+

I’m going to try for Stenographer.

Click HERE for full details!

2015 Authors A to Z Reading Challenge

2015-authors-bannerHosted by Samanatha Lin

The goal is to read a book by authors with last names from A to Z by December 31, 2015.

Click HERE for full details!

2015 Bookish Resolutions

Hosted by Laura & Michelle

I’m reeeeeeally loving the concept of this challenge.  I’ve been scouring Pinterest for the past few weeks looking for all kinds of different resolutions and challenges so this looks super fun!  The goal is to create 1-5 resolutions related to book/blogging.  At the end of every month, blog your progress and link up with the hosts.  There is a giveaway at the end of the year and a list of example goals to choose from at the sign-up post.

Click HERE for full details!

 

Back to the Classics Challenge 2015

backtotheclassics2015BUTTONHosted by Books and Chocolate

2014 was a complete fail as I did not keep up with this one at all!!  For some reason my fiction focus fell more on historical fiction than classics so I didn’t finish any title on my Classics Club list. AAAGHHH!! Sooooo, I’m going to try again!  Here are the categories to choose from:

  1. A 19th Century Classic — any book published between 1800 and 1899.
  2. A 20th Century Classic — any book published between 1900 and 1965.  Just like last year, all books must have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify as a classic.  The only exception is books that were published posthumously but written at least 50 years ago.)
  3. A Classic by a Woman Author.
  4. A Classic in Translation. As in last year’s category, this can be any classic book originally written or a published in a language that is not your first language.  Feel free to read it in its original form if you are comfortable reading in another language.  
  5. A Very Long Classic Novel — a single work of 500 pages or longer.  This does not include omnibus editions combined into one book, or short story collections.  
  6. A Classic Novella — any work shorter than 250 pages.  For a list of suggestions, check out this list of World’s Greatest Novellas from Goodreads.
  7. A Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title.  First name, last name, or both, it doesn’t matter, but it must have the name of a character.  David Copperfield, The Brothers Karamazov, Don Quixote — something like that. It’s amazing how many books are named after people!
  8. A Humorous or Satirical Classic.  Humor is very subjective, so this one is open to interpretation.  Just tell us in the review why you think it’s funny or satirical.   For example, if you think that Crime and Punishment and funny, go ahead and use it, but please justify your choice in your post. 
  9. A Forgotten Classic.  This could be a lesser-known work by a famous author, or a classic that nobody reads any more.  If you look on Goodreads, this book will most likely have less than 1000 ratings.  This is your chance to read one of those obscure books from the Modern Library 100 Best Novels or 1001 Books to Read Before You Die.  Books published by Virago Modern Classics,Persephone, and NYRB Classics often fall into this category.  
  10. A Nonfiction Classic.  A memoir, biography, essays, travel, this can be any nonfiction work that’s considered a classic, or a nonfiction work by a classic author.  You’d be surprised how many classic authors dabbled in nonfiction writing — I have nonfiction books by Dickens, Trollope, Twain, and Steinbeck on my shelves. 
  11. A Classic Children’s Book.  A book for your inner child!  Pick a children’s classic that you never got around to reading.  
  12. A Classic Play.  Your choice, any classic play, as long as it was published or performed before 1965.  Plays are only eligible for this specific category.

There are no required categories and there is a drawing for a giveaway at the end.

Click HERE for full details!

 

Full House Reading Challenge 2015

Hosted by Book Date

The goal is to complete the card below by December 2015.

Full House Challenge final A

There is a giveaway at the end!

Click HERE for full details!

 

2015 Library Challenge

PrintHosted by Geeky Bloggers Book Blog & The Book Nympho

The goal is to read at least 12 books from the library.  They can be in any format and can be from any genre.  Here are the levels:

Dewey Decimal: read 12 books
Thrifty Reader: read 24 books
Overdrive Junkie: read 36 books
Library Card on Fire: read 50+ books

Click HERE for full details!

 

2015 Monthly Key Word Challenge

15854036895_c3087978fb_zHosted by Bookmark to Blog

 

Each month as a list of keywords. At leas one of those words must be in the title of the book you read that month.  How fun!!

Click HERE for more details!

The host suggests the extra challenge of pairing this event with this next one she is also hosting.

 

2015 Monthly Motif Challenge

15852031811_8813f0bf11Hosted by Bookmark to Blog

Each month has an assigned motif and the task is to read a book within that theme.  The rules are not strict so no worries if you skip a month or read out of order.

Click HERE for more details!

New Authors Challenge 2015

NAC.2015Hosted by Literary Escapism

The challenge is to read books by 15, 25, or 50 new authors by the end of the year.  Yeeeeeeah, I’m shooting for 15….lol.

Click HERE for full details!

New to You 2015 Reading Challenge

Hosted by Herding Cats and Burning Soup

Lovely flexible rules.  Whatever is ‘new to you’ counts in this one.

Hosts suggest:

This can be a debut author.
A brand new to you author.
And old favorites “debut” book.
A new series.
A first time reading a new genre (ex if you read your first New Adult book)
or any other new that crosses your path

Annnd here are the levels:

Level 1: 6 “new to you”s

Level 2: 12 “new to you”s

Level 3: 24 “new to you”s

Level 4: 36 “new to you”s

Level 5: 48 “new to you”s

Level 6: 72 “new to you”s

Level 7: 100+ “new to you”s

Click HERE for full details!

2015 Nonfiction Reading Challenge

Hosted by The Introverted Reader

 

Out of the titles I read this year, a good number of them were non-fiction so I’m looking forward to knocking out more titles.  Anything non-fiction counts on this one. Pretty straight forward!

Here are the levels:

Dilettante–Read 1-5 non-fiction books

Explorer–Read 6-10

Seeker–Read 11-15

Master–Read 16-20

I have chosen to try for Seeker.

Click HERE for full details!

 

2015 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

OY2015_bannerHosted by The Book Vixen

The title says it all, yeah?  This was my goal anyway but why not get some real blogger credit while I’m at it? Here are the levels:

  • Getting My Heart Rate Up: read 1–5 more books (or 250–1,499 more pages)
  • Out of Breath: read 6–10 more books (or 1,500–2,749 more pages)
  • Breaking a Sweat: read 11–15 more books (or 2,750–3,999 more pages)
  • I’m on Fire!: read 16+ more books (or 4,000+ more pages)

Click HERE for full details.

 

 The Official 2015 TBR Pile Challenge

2015tbrbuttonHosted by Adam @ RoofBeam Reader

Once again, it’s time to select 12 titles from that TBR pile and tackle them through a new year.  I have yet to accomplish this, but here I go again!  I haven’t put my 2015 list together but I will post it as soon as I have chosen my 12.

Click HERE for full details.

Whew!!  Here’s to another year of great reads!

What are you reading this year?

15 Book Blogger Challenge | Days 12, 13, 14, & 15

Here we go! I’m going to knock out the rest in one final post!

15-Day-Challenge

[12] How do you fight off blogger fatigue?

I’m not the best person to ask this question because I’m not great in this area.  However, I will say that I’ve become more aware of one fact lately – I write pretty decently under pressure.  School papers with looming due dates have forced me to squeeze out ANYTHING related to the essay prompt and then somehow mold it into a readable paper for submission to my professors.  So far, not bad!  I think that’s one very great way to fight blogger fatigue – you just have to take it seriously and do it.  Answer a prompt, write a list or how-to, ramble about your day.  It’s not getting graded so don’t worry about it being fabulous! And sometimes you have to crank out a few mediocre posts before you come out with something you really like.

Writing posts in bulk also helps a lot! That’s what I’ve been doing with these challenge posts.  I wrote them ahead of time and scheduled their posting.  This way I can write when I have time and/or when I’m in the mood and have material for the next few days!

But there is something to say about stepping away and taking a break. Take a walk, a nap, a snack break, a sabbatical, or whatever you need to clear your mind and refocus on what your priorities are!  You come back to your blog refreshed!

[13] Describe one under appreciated book EVERYONE should read.

bible3All I know is that I don’t appreciate the importance of the Word and too often shove it in the corner to read at a ‘later time’ that never comes.  Everyone should read this book be it for religious or literary purposes – there is no way your life won’t be affected by the wonderful words contained inside!

[14] Tell us your deal breakers.

  1. Unsatisfactory endings.  Have you ever seen Hitchcock’s Vertigo? Yeah, I hate endings like that.  Or Steinbeck’s East of Eden.  I don’t remember the ending…but I remember I wasn’t satisfied. Everyone has their version of  what ‘unsatisfactory’ is. I don’t necessarily need happy, but I need closure or resolution or something!! Gone with the Wind didn’t end with any closure but I was so done with O’Hara that I was like, “Whatever, good riddance!!” I was satisfied with Rhett’s decision.
  2. Bad Grammar. No explanation needed.
  3. Rambling. Even if it’s a great story, if there’s too much description and rambling, chances are I’m going to start skimming until someones starts dialoging!
  4. Boring.  You’ve got to grip me or I’m not interested!

 

[15] Who are your book blogging mentors?

Ummmm…I don’t really have any :P.  I kind of just flounder and figure things out in bits and pieces!

FINISHED!

Well that was fun!

I’m still behind on many book reviews and some housekeep-y things but I’ll get to it slowly but surely!  For now, I’ve got school assignments beckoning me!

Have a beautiful day!

 

 

15 Book Blogger Challenge | Days 9, 10, & 11

I thought I’d knock out a few in one post this time :)

15-Day-Challenge

[9] Why do you blog about books?

A blogger blogs about what interests her, what excites her, what she loves.  I’m a book nerd, how can I not blog about books?  ‘Nuff said. ;)

[10] How do you choose what book to read next?

I’m currently reading through a series so that’s a no brainer – I read the next installment. Other than that, it really just depends on my mood.  Some books will grip me right away, others take a couple tries before it hooks me at just the right time.

[11] Show off! 5 of your best blog posts!

Oooh! Okay! Here are 5 of my favorite bookish posts:

There you go! 3-in-1 :).

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge | Day 8

15-Day-Challenge

 

[8] Quick! Write 15 bullet points of things that appeal to you on blogs!

  • White space
  • Lists
  • Tutorials
  • Blog Challenges
  • Informative ‘About Me’ pages
  • Great photos
  • Easy-to-navigate menus
  • Link-Up Parties
  • Punchy, quirky writing
  • Personality
  • Inspirational posts
  • Catchy Post Titles
  • Creative minimalism
  • Modern design
  • Posting regularity

What attracts you to a blog?

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge | Day 7

 

15-Day-Challenge

Trying to get back into my blogging groove! Here’s the next prompt.

[7] Talk about your blogging quirks

Considering the fact that it’s been a good long time since I’ve blogged on a regular basis, I had to think about this for a bit… Here’s what I cam up with:

1. I’m a blog surfer.

I love discovering a great blog and getting ideas and then going to Pinterest and figuring out how to implement technique.  Sometimes I spend too much time surfing and not enough time coming up with my own original ideas :P.

2. The desire comes in waves.

I know I’m not the only blogger who deals with this. Like anything, the desire to create comes in waves.  Some days I’m brimming full of ideas and can’t wait to write and other days stare at a blank post and have no idea what to write and no desire to figure it out.

3. I tend to obsess about the wrong thing.

Things like themes and widgets and color and type take my attention away from actually writing blog posts. This happens especially when my brain is fried and I can’t come up with decent copy.

4. I re-read old favorite posts.

Sometimes it’s just what I need to give me a jump start to write!

What blogging quirks do you possess?

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge | Days 6

I was going through some old blog posts and realized I never finished this challenge! How negligent of me!

(Actually, truth be told, I just got super busy :P).

But how’s about picking it up again even though it’s several months removed?

15-Day-Challenge

[6] Describe how you shop for books.

So I have these wish lists on Amazon, see, and I have my books organized in several lists by genre or author.  On payday, I peruse through my lists and select a title or two or three…or four and purchase!  I also shop at Thriftbooks.com and sometimes find better prices on books I don’t mind buying used. I also love, love, love shopping at physical book stores. I could spend hours browsing the stacks.

How do you buy books?

You can check out my other posts for this challenge here:

Day 1

Day 2

Days 3, 4, & 5