2013 Reading Challenges Update

This was a good year for reading. Final count of books read, 180. Beginning goal was 175. Thanks to Goodreads for helping me keep track. I reviewed 160 books. The books that were not reviewed were cookbooks, devotionals, or a few books that were a 1 star rating.
In 2013 the following challenges I took part in and did pretty good at completing them. The Historical Fiction reading challenge I surpassed my reading goal, but did not post any of them at the hosts link up in order for them to count.

The reading challenge I did poorly in was War Through The Generations Challenge: I only read three books and did not fulfill my beginning goal of 5.
War Through The Generations is a creation of Serena and Anna.
Serena's blog is @ http://savvyverseandwit.com/
Anna's blog is @ http://diaryofaneccentric.wordpress.com/
washington button
In 2009---This challenge was on World War II.
In 2010---This challenge was on Vietnam.
In 2011---This challenge was on The Civil War.
In 2012---This challenge was on World War I.
In 2013---This challenge is on the American Revolution.

My List of books read on the American Revolution:
1. Beyond The Valley, Book Three in Daughters of the Potomac Series by Rita Gerlach
2. Beside Two Rivers, Book Two in Daughters of the Potomac Series by Rita Gerlach
3. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States

I read the previous seventeen books in 2012. 
Books read in 2013:
18. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
19. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
20. The Odyssey by Homer
21. Beowulf
22. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
23. The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

Reading Challenges Completed

Dive Into Poetry Challenge 2013

Dive Into Poetry Challenge is a creation of Serena @ Savvy Verse and Wit.

Link for sign-up post:

Rules for the Dive Into Poetry Challenge 2013:
1. Create a post on your blog stating your intention to read poetry in 2013 and sign up in Mr. Linky. If you don’t have a blog, simply leave a comment about reading poetry in 2013.
2. Choose one of the following options to complete the challenge:

  • Read and review up to 2 books of poetry throughout 2013 and leave the full link to each review in Mr. Linky.
  • Participate in at least 3 Virtual Poetry Circles throughout the year.
  • Sign up to feature poetry on your blog for April’s National Poetry Month as part of Savvy Verse & Wit’s Blog Tour.
  • Feature one poet per month on your own blog.
  • Or some combination of the above.
3. Complete your goals between Jan. 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2013.

Thank you Serena!  

Books I read:
1. Beowulf
2. The Odyssey by Homer  
3. T.S. Eliot Poems and Prose by Everyman's Library 

I must choose from one of the following categories/reading levels for this reading challenge, and all types of historical fiction are okay.
20th century reader - 2 books
Victorian reader - 5 books
Renaissance Reader - 10 books
Medieval - 15 books
Ancient History -25+ books

The link to join in this challenge:

Their are several hosts for this challenge, this button will suffice for all of them:

My goal is the reading level of Medieval/15 books.
Books I read: 

1. Charlotte's Cases by Valerie Walland
2. Redemption On The River by Loren DeShon
3. The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
4. A Tainted Dawn by B.N. Peacock
5. The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas
6. The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
7. Lady of Ashes by Christine Trent
8. The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau
9. A Murder at Rosamund's Gate by Susanna Calkins
10. Seduction, A Novel of Suspense by M. J. Rose
11. Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani
12. Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith
13. Murder As A Fine Art by David Morrell
14. Zoo Station Book One in the John Russell Series by David Downing
15. Silesian Station Book Two in the John Russell Series by David Downing
16. Stettin Station Book Three in the John Russell Series by David Downing
17. Potsdam Station Book Four in the John Russell Series by David Downing
18. Lehrter Station Book Five in the John Russell Series by David Downing 
19. Gracianna by Trini Amador
20. Forty Years in a Day by Mona Rodriguez and Dianne Vigorito 
21. Masaryk Station by David Downing  
22. The Mountains Between by Julie McGowan
23. Spartacus, Rebellion by Ben Kane 
24. Queen's Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle
25. Lady Macbeth by Susan Fraser King
Link for sign-up post.

1. A 19th Century Classic.
2. A 20th Century Classic.
3. A pre-18th or 18th Century Classic.
4. A Classic that relates to the African American Experience.
5. A Classic Adventure.
6. A Classic that prominently features an animal.

Other options
A. Re-read a Classic.
B. A Russian Classic
C. A Classic Non-Fiction Title.
D. A Classic Children/Young Adult Title.
E. Classic Short Story.

My List of Reads for 2013:
Books I read:
1. A 19th Century Classic---Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
2. A 20th Century Classic---East of Eden by John Steinbeck
3. A pre-18th or 18th Century Classic---The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
4. A Classic that relates to the African American Experience---The Known World by Edward P. Jones
5. A Classic Adventure---The Odyssey by Homer
6. A Classic that prominently features an animal---The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame  

Also from the Other Options:
A. Re-read a Classic---Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and Beowulf
D. A Classic Children/Young Adult Title---The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder  

The Tudor Book Blog Reading Challenge 2013

The Tudor Book Blog Reading Challenge

My goal is the Squire level at 4-6 books.
Books I read:
1. Richard III by David Baldwin
2. Roses Have Thorns, A Novel of Elizabeth 1 by Sandra Byrd
3. Queen of Scots, The True Life of Mary Stuart by John Guy
4. Elizabeth Woodville, A Life, The Real Story of The White Queen by David MacGibbon
5. Queen's Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle
6. Royal Sex: The Scandalous Love Lives of the British Royal Family by Roger Powell
7. Bessie Blount: Mistress to Henry VIII by Elizabeth Norton 
8. The Anne Boleyn Papers by Elizabeth Norton 
9. The Boleyn Women by Elizabeth Norton 
10. The Blood Sisters by Sarah Gristwood
11. Royal Exiles by Iain Soden
12. Royal Babies by Amy Licence
13. The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer
I'm committing to reading a total of 6 chunkster books for 2013.
"Do These Books Make My Butt Look Big?" ( yes this is the name of this particular goal)
The goal is 2 books that have 450-550 words, 2 books that have 551-750 words, and 2 books that have greater than 750 words.
These books I will not choose ahead of time but will decide on as time goes by in 2013.
I read many books with greater than 450 words, so this will not be difficult. Greater than 750 words will require more planning.
These books maybe fiction or non-fiction, but will be adult books.

Link for the sign-up and for more information:

Link to post reviews on chunkster books:
Books I read:
1. The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley---544 pages---Historical Fiction
2. Great Tales From English History by Robert Lacey---544 pages---History, Non-fiction.
3. The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau---512 pages---Historical Fiction
4. The Odyssey by Homer---560 pages---Fiction
5. Parisians, An Adventure History of Paris by Graham Robb---476---Biography, Non-fiction. 
6. The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin---496---Fiction.
7. East of Eden by John Steinbeck---602---Fiction.
8. Spartacus, Rebellion by Ben Kane---464 pages---Fiction, Historical.
9. Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart by John Guy---608---Non-fiction, history.
10. Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith---512---Fiction, historical.
11. Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani---464 pages---Fiction.
12. In The Garden of Beasts, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson---480 pages---Non-fiction, history.
13. A History of the Scottish People 1560-1830 by T. C. Smout---540 pages---Non-fiction, history.

The European Reading Challenge is the creation of Rose City Reader.
The link for sign-up is @:
This challenge runs from January 1, 2013 through January 31, 2014.
The challenge is to read books from this list of countries:
Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.
Each book I choose to read must be from a different author and a different country. Emphasis on touring through Europe.
Book genres can be anything, both fiction and non-fiction.
My personal goal is the Five Star, Deluxe Entourage.
Meaning I must read 5 books each from a different country and by a different author.  

Books I read:
1. Wales, United Kingdom---Non-Fiction---The Welsh, The Biography by Terry Breverton
2. Persia (includes Iran, Armenia, Georgia, Afghanistan---Historical Fiction---Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani
3. The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands---Fiction---France
4. Forty Years in a Day by Mona Rodriguez and Dianne Vigorito---Fiction---Italy
5. The Odyssey by Homer---Fiction---Turkey (ancient)
6. Degrees of Courage by Shari Vester---Historical Fiction---Hungary 


  1. You had a great year in reading challenges! Don't feel bad about not finishing the Revolution challenge. I didn't even finish it; missed by one book. (Hanging my head in shame, lol!)

    We hope you'll join us for next year's challenge. We're doing things a little differently by covering 6 wars for 2 months at a time (though you can post reviews anytime throughout the year to have them count, and you can commit to reading only 1 book for any one war or even 1 book per war...we're trying to make it as stress-free as possible).

    Here's the link if you're interested: http://warthroughthegenerations.wordpress.com/2014-war-challenge-with-a-twist/

  2. Thank you Anna for stopping by and leaving a comment. I decided to join the War Through The Generations Challenge, but committed to Dip Your Toes. Some of the wars I don't want to read, some I may read more than one book.
    Thanks so much!

  3. Great, thanks for joining us again! I'm not sure I want to read some of the wars myself, so that's why we decided to revisit the ones we were most interested in and cover a few that people have asked us about previously.

    And keep in mind that even though we're posting a linky every other month for a particular war, you don't have to read the books during that month. Just read throughout the year, and feel free to go back and link up later on to whatever wars you read.

  4. Wow you did great. Thanks for participating in the poetry challenge. I hope you'll sign up for this year's challenge too! I have the post up today if you are interested: http://savvyverseandwit.com/2014/01/dive-into-poetry-challenge-2014.html

    I hope that you sign up for our "twisted" War Through the Generations challenge...


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