Sunday, December 31, 2023

2024 Read Your Shelf Challenge

As you know (hopefully), Read Your Shelf had an overhaul in 2023. Previous incarnations weren't working for me and then I found this article on Book Riot...

Basically, the premise is to take one shelf on your bookshelf (or some other designated place where you can place books for this challenge) and think of it as your "holds shelf." If you buy or receive a book you haven’t read, it automatically goes onto that shelf. 

As you can see from the image below, my holds shelf has grown exponentially. I did manage to read some of the books I placed there that I received in 2022, and I've added books acquired in 2023, including those I received for Christmas. When I did read a book from my holds shelf, I shelved it on my main shelves and chose a book from my main shelves to replace it. So, out of the original 25 books I placed on my holds shelf in 2023, I managed to read six. Not great, but I'll take it.

Further challenge details

For this challenge, you will only read the books on your holds shelf. When you have read one of the books, you put it back on one of your other shelves (think of it as "main circulation"). By design, there is no room in main circulation for this new book (probably not the case in some instances) so you must take a book from main circulation and place it on your holds shelf.

If you want, you can leave some space on your holds shelf for any new books you might receive or buy, just be sure to set a number of spaces available so you don't go over. Remember, the ultimate goal is to read books you already own. Not only are you reading newer books you were excited about when you bought them, but you're knocking out books that have been languishing on your shelves for years. 

From the original Book Riot post (linked above): "This revolving door system has turned my bookshelves into my own mini library. Each time I finish a book I own, I return it to main circulation, and then I get to spend a few minutes browsing the stacks. I pick out a new book I’m excited about reading, and get the satisfaction of putting that book on hold (i.e. on my TBR shelf).

The best part: eventually all the unread books in my house will either get cycled onto the holds shelf, or I’ll realize there aren’t any unread books left in main circulation that I still want to read, in which case, I’ll donate them."

The goal of this yearly challenge is to see how many books you can get through on your holds shelf, and your "main circulation," by keeping track of how many you read from each. You can set a personal goal of a set number, or just see how far you get. There's no winning or losing here. It's all in fun.
  • Challenge runs January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2024
  • You can use books from your holds shelf for other challenges (this will give you even more incentive to get them read!)
  • Hashtag for social media #ReadYourShelf
  • Any questions? Leave me a comment below, or contact me via the button in the sidebar.
Sign up in the linky below, and grab the button at the top of the post. Sharing is appreciated. Happy Reading in 2024!
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Saturday, December 30, 2023

1000 Books Project 2024 - Collins/Dickens

Challenge Backstory:
I picked up a copy of James Mustich's amazing 1000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life Changing List and upon looking through it, I realized it really is a well-rounded reading recommendation book. I was pleased to discover I have read quite a few of the books he lists, and that many of them are on my personal reading lists (and they are books I own). So, to ever expand my reading horizons, and include others in the journey, I decided to create a read-along challenge, or project, if you will.

Very proud of myself because this year I managed to read and post discussions for all four 2023 1000 Books selections! You can take a look at discussions for all four books under the 1000 Books Project label here.

One thing I did realize is that it's not a good idea to schedule these read-alongs during the holidays so in 2024, I will avoid that. This year we will only be reading two books with the first read-along January to April, a month break between, and then the second in June to September.

So, what are we reading? Well, in honor of Wilkie Collins' birthday on January 8, 2024, we will be reading The Moonstone. Now you're probably wondering where Dickens comes in. Well, since Collins and Dickens were good friends (until a late-life falling-out), we will be reading a Dickens book for our second selection which is The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.

You can reference The Moonstone in the 1000 Books to Read Before you Die book on pages 168 - 169. To sum up Mustich's summary of the book, it is considered Collins' masterpiece, and "Psychological acuity, formal virtuosity, the social and human amplitude of a Victorian novel, and the narrative pulse of a thriller add up to make The Moonstone the prototype of (as T.S. Eliot said) 'the book you can't put down.'"
Since we are starting The Moonstone on January 1st, I'm posting the reading schedule for it now. 

My edition: Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller (April 22, 2014) - Kindle edition, 384 pages.

Discussions will be posted here on the blog on the dates indicated in the schedule. Feel free to stop by the discussions any time. Post your thoughts in the comments, or share a link to a blog post.

Note: Because of the way the chapters and sections in this book are arranged, the reading may be heavier some months. Since this Kindle edition does not give page numbers, it's very difficult to determine the number of pages. Hence, the lack of page numbers in the schedule.

Reading Schedule
  • January: Prologue - First Period Ch XXIII (Ch 23)
    Discussion post: January 31
  • February: Second Period, First Narrative, Ch I - Ch VIII (Ch 8)
    Discussion post: February 29
  • March: Second Narrative, Ch I - Third Narrative, Ch X (Ch 10)
    Discussion post: March 31
  • April: Fourth Narrative - Epilogue, Ch III 
    Discussion post: April 30
I hope the schedule isn't too confusing. Strange arrangement of sections and chapters!

Our second selection for this year's project is The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens. Because he is Dickens after all, Mustich does not focus on just one book by the prolific author. His write up about Dickens in 1000 Books can be found on pages 215 - 222, with commentary on Nicholas Nickleby on page 218. He refers to the book as "Pure Storytelling Bliss."

This read-along, as stated above, will run from June to September. I will post the reading schedule in May.

If you would like to join us, sign up by leaving a comment below (and a link, if you post about it on your blog or social media).

Thursday, December 28, 2023

2024 Book to Movie (and TV) Reading Challenge

Welcome to year eight of the Book to Movie (and TV) Challenge

Let's see what books are coming to the screen in 2024. As usual, these releases are subject to change.

The info below comes from Booklist Queen and Screen Rant.

Legend: Movies = M, Streaming series = S, Streaming movie = SM (these will only be indicated if I know for sure which format the adaptation is.)

S: The Tiger’s Apprentice, Lauren Yep (Jan 19)
M: Argylle, Elly Conway (Feb 2)
M: Force of Nature, Jane Harper (The Dry 2 - Feb 8)
M: It Ends with Us, Colleen Hoover (Feb 9)
M: Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (Lisa Frankenstein - Feb 9)
M: Dune, Frank Herbert (Dune: Part 2 - March 15)
M: Mickey 7, Edward Ashton (Mickey 17 - March 29)
M: The Watchers, A.M. Shine (June 7)
S: It's Not Summer Without You, Jenny Han (The Summer I Turned Pretty: Season 2 - July 14)
M: Harold and the Purple Crayon, Crockett Johnson (Aug 2)
S: Heartstopper: Volume 2, Alice Oseman (Season 2 - Aug 3)
M: The Amateur, Robert Littell (Amateur - Nov 8)
M: Wicked, Gregory Maguire (Part One - Nov 27)
M: LOTR: The Two Towers, J.R.R. Tolkien (The War of Rohirrim - Dec 13)
S: Fool Me Once, Harlan Coben (Jan 1)
S: The Expatriates, Janice Y.K. Lee (Expats - Jan 26)
SM: Orion and the Dark, Emma Yarlett (Feb 2)
SM: Spaceman of Bohemia, Jaroslav Kalfar (March 1)
SM: The Three-Body Problem, Liu Cixin (3 Body Problem - March 21)
S: Romancing Mister Bridgerton, Julia Quinn (Bridgerton Season 3 - May 16)
M: Cold Storage, David Koepp (June 20)
M: Landing on My Feet: A Diary of Dreams, Kerri Strug & John P. Lopez (Perfect - Sept 9)
M: The Legacy of Mark Rothko, Lee Seldes (Oct 25)
S: Lady in the Lake, Laura Lippman (TBD)
S: A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles (TBD)
S: The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen (TBD)
SM: Turtles All the Way Down, John Green (TBD)
S: The Sandman, Neil Gaiman (Season 2 - TBD)
SM: The Electric State, Simon Stalenhag (TBD)
S: Trust, Hernan Diaz (TBD)
S: The Spiderwick Chronicles, Tony DiTerlizzi & Holly Black (TBD)
SM: The Shrinking of Treehorn, Florence Parry Heide (TBD)
SM: Uglies, Scott Westerfeld (TBD)
S: Shogun, James Clavell (Feb 27)

This list is by no means exhaustive. If you find out about any I haven't mentioned, leave me a comment and I'll add to the list.

Main Levels

The Enthusiast: read 1-3 books
First One to the Theater: read 4+ books

Read only books being made into movies for release in 2024 (you are not required to only read from the list above. As I stated, if you find another movie or TV series/mini-series, based on a book, coming out in 2024, feel free to read it).

Additional Levels

Not Ready to Let Go: read at least one (1) book made into a movie or series in 2023

Here's a list of 2023 movies adapted from books. (Note: Some of the movies listed may have been moved to 2024).

Living in the Past: read at least one (1) book made into a movie in previous years

You can Google for previous years, or check Goodreads lists.

The Movie Was Better (What?!): watch the movie(s) for the book(s) you read.

*the additional levels are optional, you still must complete one of the main reading levels above

Additional Guidelines
  • The books you read can count for other challenges. Ebooks, audiobooks, and traditional formats all count.
  • The start date is January 1, 2024. End date is December 31, 2024.
  • Remember, TV series/mini-series count too.
  • Pick your level (and additional levels, if you like)
  • Sign up below and grab the button (top of post). I hope you will join me!
  • If you have any questions, click the contact me button in the sidebar, or leave a comment.

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1000 Books Project - Beloved Discussion

Yes, I missed the first discussion (doing this during the holidays is not a great year's challenge will avoid that), and I finished the book early. Just getting around to posting this. I won't say much because I have tons of stuff to get done before New Year's (our family Christmas is on New Year's Day). Also, to those who celebrate, I hope you had a great Christmas!

Books about slavery are always a hard read for me. Ever since I was a child, when my parents let me watch Roots, it is a subject that has affected me deeply. No matter how long I live in this world, I still cannot wrap my head around the horrific treatment of fellow human beings. 

What Sethe feels she must do to keep her children from being taken back to slavery is both horrifying and understandable at the same time. Imagine thinking death would be better for them than living as slaves. I imagine many former slaves had post-traumatic stress disorder, something I think Sethe suffers from. 

The supernatural aspect of the book...Beloved. She is so disturbing. When Sethe finally comes to the realization of who she really is, the story becomes even more disquieting. My theory is that Beloved is the physical incarnation of Sethe's guilt, and it almost ends up killing her. It's a statement on what a person's guilt can do to them. In those days, there was little to no help for the mentally ill, and probably highly doubtful for former slaves. As shown at the end of the book, it's community that these people relied on to get them through tough times. That was a truly heartening aspect of the book. 

Despite the difficult subject matter, I thought this book was excellent. Yet another testament to Toni Morrison's brilliance.

If you joined me for the read-along, I'd like to thank you. Please share any final thoughts you had on the book in the comments.

I'll be announcing the 2024 1000 Books Project this week so stay tuned!