Friday, December 30, 2016

Read Your (Book) Shelf Challenge #ReadYourShelf

Taking the lead from the awesome book bloggers/booktubers who created the #RYBSAT (Read-your-bookshelf-a-thon), I've decided to start this new challenge starting January 1, 2017!

Note: I made some changes to the rules so be sure to read through again if you've already visited this post.

Here's what you do:
  • Go to your bookshelves. Pick out a book that you've been wanting to read on a particular shelf. 
  • Now continue down that line of books on the shelf (in order) until you have 12 books. (Here's an example image - most of my books are stacked instead of shelved traditionally because I have so many!) So, I choose Melissa Marr's Graveminder as my first choice and then I go up the stack until I have twelve total so I would end up at up at The Owl Killers).

  • You will then read your 12 books over the next twelve months, one book each month. You can read them in order (forward or reverse), or you can plug 1 - 12 into a randomizer each month to pick your title for the month. The point is that you're not specifically choosing the book each month. It's chosen for you, either by ordered reading, or random choice.
  • If you find that one of the books is part of a series and you've already read it, I will allow a substitution of another book from the series. However, if you find this happening (a whole series, several by the same author, etc) in the stack/shelf you chose, and you don't like it, I would suggest picking a different stack/shelf.
  • What an awesome way to tackle books gathering dust on your bookshelves. Right?
  • Challenge runs January through December of 2017
  • You can cross over books from your 12 books with other challenges. 
  • Just remember to stick to the guidelines above. 
  • Easy peasy!
    Sign up below and grab a button. I hope you will join me!

    Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
    This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
    If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

    grab button for Gather Together and Read
    <div class="gather-together-and-read-button" style="width: 350px; margin: 0 auto;">
    <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">
    <img src="" alt="Gather Together and Read" width="350" height="472" />

    Sunday, November 6, 2016

    The #StephenKing Challenge: Salem's Lot Read-Along - Discussion Four/Final Thoughts #TuesBookTalk

    Potential spoilers ahead if you have not read the book.

    Yes, I'm a week late with this. I apologize. My reading did not go as planned, as usual.

    What a book! I can't believe I waited so long to read this.

    I have to mention that I was listening to Bram Stoker's Dracula on audio in conjunction with reading this book (my second reading of Dracula) and I found it interesting to see where SK was inspired by Stoker's tale in his story.

    For instance, Susan is a kind of parallel with the three vampire women that live with Dracula in his castle. Wow...when Ben had to kill her...that was quite a moment.

    Barlow himself could be Dracula. The way SK describes him is fairly similar to how Stoker describes Dracula. Perhaps somehow Dracula did survive being killed. There have been many plausible reincarnations over the years. And so, Dracula takes on the alias Barlow. Outlandish? Not in my opinion.

    One of my most favorite parts was the end. I know that's kind of weird, but I liked the part where they were telling of occurrences in and around Jerusalem's Lot and then Ben and Mark go back and set fire to the town to draw the remaining vamps out of their hiding places. Do you think they were eventually able to get them all? I like to think so...and since there isn't a sequel (although you never know...look how long SK took to write a sequel to The Shining), perhaps they did.

    This really was a great book, and for being King's second published novel, I can see why his books led him to fame. He really is a genius storyteller and he knows how to deliver the scary, often in a subtle, sneaky way that you're not quite prepared for, but when it happens, it's golden.

    I'd like to thank those of you who read along with me and for hanging in there. I'll be sure to visit your posts/reply to the comments you've already left. 

    Now we can mark one more off our Stephen King Challenge lists!


    Thursday, October 27, 2016

    The #StephenKing Challenge: Salem's Lot Read-Along - Discussion Two/Three #TuesBookTalk

    Note: If you have not completely read sections 2 {pp 111 (Ch. 4, section 10 in Part one) - 218 (end of Ch. 9 in Part two)} and 3 {pp 219 (Chapter Ten - in Part two) - 328 (part three, Ch. 14, before section 4)}, please note that there are spoilers ahead.

    I fell way behind on this read-along and I apologize. I hope I'm not the only one! So, this post will cover sections 2 and 3 (see above). I will have the final discussion posted on Halloween (Oct. 31). What better day, I say!?

    I'm just going to start off by saying...Wow! That part when Matt and Susan are talking in his kitchen and he says, "There's someone upstairs" and then "I know my house...someone is in the guest bedroom..." Well, I started getting this funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. Then, when he goes upstairs and discovers Mike. Egads! That was probably the scariest part of the book for me so far. Whew! My skin was crawling with fear.

    I've mentioned that I've seen both television mini-series based on this book. The 1979 version which starred David Soul, and the 2004 version starring Rob Lowe. Previously, these were the only point of reference I had for this story...and I thought them pretty scary, especially the 1979 version. Not anymore. These two TV films do not hold a candle to this book. So, again, the book is better. As if we didn't know!

    Things really escalated in these two sections. People are dropping like flies, And Kurt Barlow. Did anyone else envision him as a Dracula-like figure? Totally! I just think the name "Kurt Barlow" is so weird. And I guess Straker is a kind of Renfield character, but a more tough, less sniveling one. Thank you for that, SK. I never could stand the Renfield character, to be honest. (I'm listening to Dracula on audio right now).

    The facepalm moment for me was when Susan decides to go to the Marsten House...alone. What a dummy. She is so set on proving her independence (my opinion) that she takes it to the ultimate limit, and it costs her life. But I guess it's kind of the theme of vampire novels (or at least Dracula-esque stories). There has to be a woman who is tragically lost to the vampire.

    So, those are my thoughts this week? What did you think? Are you enjoying the book as much as I am?

    I'm also sharing this discussion in the TuesBookTalk group on Goodreads.


    Friday, October 7, 2016

    The #StephenKing Challenge: Salem's Lot Read-Along - Discussion One #TuesBookTalk

    Note: If you have not completely read section one through subchapter 10 in Chapter 4 of Part One, please not that there are spoilers ahead.

    Subtlety. That's how I would describe how King sets up a story. He goes about showing us how normal a town is, throwing in bits of alarming details, like the savage hanging of the dog on the cemetery gate, slowly building us toward the horror to come. It's masterful.

    It's at that point, when we feel nice and settled in, perhaps part of the town now, that he throws us the scene with the Glick boys in the woods. Now we really get the master of horror. Yikes. The growing terror is palpable and the hairs are standing up on the back of my neck. The scene in the cellar, when Hank Peters has to go back down to leave the keys...and sees a shirt, jeans, a sneaker, and then one of the aluminum bands comes loose on the big box. Egads!

    I have been a fan of Stephen King since I was about ten years old. Oddly, I read a lot of his books as they were released, like Pet Sematary, Cujo, Christine, etc., and did not read these older books until I was well past my thirties. I read The Shining a few years back. Excellent. The Stand, also excellent. Now this one. And I can tell already...excellent.

    This is the perfect read for this time of year. I can't wait to keep going. I know I've seen both editions of the made for TV movies, but these often do not compare to the book (although the 1979 version was quite creepy. My parents wouldn't even let me watch it when it was first aired. I saw it years later).

    From the 1979 movie - Delivering crate to the cellar

    So, what are your thoughts so far?

    I'm also sharing this discussion in the TuesBookTalk group on Goodreads.


    Tuesday, September 27, 2016

    Salem's Lot Read-Along - The #StephenKing Challenge

    In my TuesBookTalk book group on Goodreads, we always read a scary book in October. I decided that this year we would read a Stephen King novel and Salem's Lot was unanimously voted for. So I decided to host this read-along for The Stephen King Challenge (hosted here on this blog) in conjunction with TuesBookTalk.

    You can join the discussion here at Gather Together and Read, in the TuesBookTalk Goodreads group, and/or on Twitter every Tuesday in October at 8:30pm CDT/9:30pm EDT (Hashtag #TuesBookTalk).

    Here is the reading/discussion schedule:

    Oct. 4: pp 1 - 111 (stop before section 10)
    Oct. 11: pp 111 - 218
    Oct. 18: pp 219 (Chapter Ten) - 328
    Oct. 25: pp 329 - 439 (end)

    The edition I'm reading from is the Doubleday edition, 1975 (original publishing date). Hardcover, 439 pages.

    I hope you will join me! Just leave me a comment if you plan to join in.

    Salem's Lot is reported to be one of King's most scary books. Delicious!


    Saturday, September 17, 2016

    13 Ways of Looking at The Lifetime Reading Plan #13WLRP

    (Challenge is no longer public. You can still participate if you like, 
    or if you are already, if you want to make it a personal challenge, as I did.)

    This list is not a “Hundred Greatest,” Jane Smiley is quick to stipulate, “only a list of individual novels that would illuminate the whole concept of the novel.” 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel

    The New Lifetime Reading Plan: The Classic Guide to World Literature 
    Clifton Fadiman and John S. Major
    "An Invitation to the Greatest Writers of World Literature"

    I have always been interested in expanding my horizons as a reader. I'm not the only one. With challenges like Read the Nobels and The Classics Club, many of us who are passionate about reading seek to read the greats, and sometimes to read above and beyond our comfort level.

    I had recently been reading from two books: 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley and The New Lifetime Reading Plan by Clifton Fadiman and John S. Major. As I was looking at the lists in both books, I thought that these lists would make for an awesome reading challenge to do just what I described above...broaden our reading horizons. And so, 13 Ways of Looking at The Lifetime Reading Plan was born!

    This is a perpetual challenge, meaning there is no set ending or goal. You read at your own pace. It's really about challenging ourselves to read perhaps beyond our comfort zone, and to read books that are considered "great" or, as Jane Smiley said, books "that would illuminate the whole concept of the novel." Also, many of the titles on the lists will easily crossover with other reading challenges!

    To make things a bit more challenging (just so the challenge doesn't languish, as many perpetual challenges do), I'm going to follow the lead of Read the Nobels and host a yearly challenge inside this challenge where you commit to reading a set amount of books from the lists in a year. That will kick off on January 1, 2017.

    In addition, I will host read-alongs of books from the list periodically. I want to make this site about community and I think read-alongs are an excellent way to foster community.

    The full lists are located in the sidebar menu - 13 Ways Challenge - List 1 and List 2. I've included links to Google docs where you can download the lists or print out, whichever is easiest. There will also be a page with a review linky where you can share your reviews, if you choose to.

    Our social media hashtag is #13WLRP

    I hope I've covered everything. Leave me a comment or click the contact me button in the sidebar if you have any questions. Stay tuned for the official announcement of the tie-in yearly challenge.

    I'm excited! I hope you will join me. Sign up below (please link to an actual post about the challenge, not just your main blog url...if you don't mind helping me spread the word. Thanks!).

    Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Easy-Linky widget will appear right here!
    This preview will disappear when the widget is displayed on your site.
    If this widget does not appear, click here to display it.

    Kicking off a new site and a new reading challenge! #Gather2Read

    Anyone who knows me knows that I am very active in the book blogging community. I have been book blogging for seven years (now 14!) at True Book Addict. Since then I've added a sister blog, Castle Macabre, a year round Christmas blog, Yuletide Spirit. I host four seasonal read-a-thons and two special read-a-thons yearly at Seasons of Reading (and a companion Facebook group), I have a read-along group on Goodreads TuesBookTalk, AND I host several perpetual/long-term reading challenges (and a yearly Christmas reading challenge). Whew!

    I've been thinking for a while now about starting a new site that would gather together all of my perpetual/long-term challenges in one place, to make things easier on me, and on participants. At the same time, I had been reading some from two books: 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley and The New Lifetime Reading Plan by Clifton Fadiman and John S. Major. As I was looking at the lists in both books, I thought that these lists would make for an awesome reading challenge. And so, 13 Ways of Looking at the Lifetime Reading Plan was born! You can get full details on the challenge at this post.
    (Challenge is no longer public. You can still participate if you like, or if you are already, if you want to make it a personal challenge, as I did.)

    I'm also going to be kicking off a new yearly challenge. I was inspired to create it by a readathon someone told me about. Stay tuned for the official post. It will kick off on January 1, 2017.

    So, this community will (hopefully) bring together everyone who is participating in my various challenges, and newcomers with the new 13 Ways and the to-be-announced yearly reading challenge. To keep things going as a community, I will host read-alongs periodically to coincide with one of the challenges. For instance, I'll be hosting a read-along right here in October of Stephen King's Salem's Lot, which will go along with my Stephen King challenge.

    I'd like to officially welcome you to our new community! Take a look around and see what's what. All challenge details are in the sidebar menu. If you haven't already, I hope you will consider joining me for one (or more) of my challenges, and, of course, for the one I'm most excited about at the moment...the 13 Ways challenge!

    Our site hashtag #Gather2Read

    If you ever have any questions, leave me a comment or click the contact me button in the sidebar.

    I'm so excited about this! How about you?