February to me felt a little quick and not as awesome as my January was. It seemed between the back to back retreats in the beginning of the month, my new re-dedication to the gym, taking care of college son and his broken foot for a long weekend and handling all household things while Al (hubby) was gone for three weeks… took a toll on my reading.
Still… thankfully to the awesomeness of audio books, I can report something fairly decent:
That’s my month of reading. I think March will be better, it already feels like it is. Maybe it is the sunlight and melting snow that is making me optimistic.
SO how are you doing so far this year? Are you ahead of last year? Behind? Do you feel your reading style has changed over the past year?
3rd year running and OH I love this challenge! As the host of the weekly What Are you reading meme, I find it awesome that I get to host the WHERE Are You Reading Challenge each year. What is the point of this challenge? It is to try to read in each of the 50 States between January 1 2013 – December 31, 2013.
How do you decide what state a book is categorized under?
1. In a fiction read it would be the State or Country that the book spends the most time in. (Ie. If your main character is from Wisconsin but the book is all about his/her time in college in California – the books should categorize under California….)
2. Non fiction reads categorize in whatever State or Country it is about (Ie…. a book about fly fishing in Colorado is a Colorado point, and a book about women in Afghanistan is an Afghanistan point.
3. If the book goes from one state to another… go with the state that most of the time is spent.
How to get started
Set up a map under Google Maps. It is easy to do! Every time you read a book in 2012, upload a cover picture to Picasa Web Albums (there may be other sites to use, feel free to use what works best for you).
Grab the challenge button here for your posts and sidebar:
Do you have to have a blog to participate? No. You can do everything on the map above without linking the book to a review.
Do I have to have my post up by January 1st, 2012? No, but I would think you would want to get started right away at the beginning of the year. However, you will be able to sign up throughout January as well.
How will people see my map? There are a couple of possibilities. On your original challenge post you should have a link to your map. You could also put it on your side bar to draw interest to it (see mine on my left side bar) I will be linking my map to every review I will also set up a monthly link here to post updates if you wish.
I dont get it – I cant figure out how to use Google maps but I really want to participate! No worries! You are welcome to create a challenge post that lists the 50 states (as well as bonus out of USA spots) and then fill them in as you read in the areas.
Do audio books count? ABSOLUTELY!
Once you are ready and have your map set up please create a blog post (those who have blogs) using the Challenge picture of the map I provided above as well as link to this post so others may join in. Then come back and link that post here to Mr Linky (below) so I as well as other participants know that you are participating and we can pop in throughout the year to check out your map and how we are all doing. I will post a linky at the end of each month so participants can check in with their own post of how they are doing. I will offer a $10 amazon gift card to one lucky participant who does a check in post at the end of each month and links it.
This is actually a fun and easy challenge as all books you read qualify and it will be fun to see where you generally read books from as well as searching out books to fill in areas that you need.
For those who have covered the 50 states by the end of 2013, they will go into a drawing for a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble or to Amazon. ** All other areas beyond the 50 states are bonus points and we will have a drawing using random.org for those who read 10 or more books throughout 2013 in that category.
You can see my map I worked on in 2011 here to see what the map looks like and how the pictures link to the reviews. (If you zoom in you will see the individual areas I read in and clicking on the blue pins will show you what book it was and clicking on the picture will take you to the post!
That’s it! Here is a link to tips on how to do it. Any other questions – please leave them in the comments section below.
I can’t wait to see WHERE You Are Reading!
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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…
* Please enter the link to your post on your blog, not directly to your blog. Thank you
*If you do not have a blog but wish to participate by creating the map you can link to your map
Another month, another recap. In January I felt like I rocked that month would a great start to the year. In February, I mellowed a bit but believed it was going to bounce back. Now here I am with a toe into April already and looking back at March as I type this with a mild curiosity.
How did I do?
For March I added 10 new books/audio to the map… however only three new states. Seem to have repeats in New York, Illinois, and Maine. GAH! For the first three months of the year I have in 18 of the 50 states. 6 books being outside the US.
Of those ten I wrote review for…. 7 were audio. I know. I can’t believe it myself… I need to sit down and READ. I am now at 21 audio books for the year.
I made no progress on the e-books challenge. I still have a partial one to read before I can count it.
Thanks to Pandemonium, I was able to add one Dystopia read to the mix giving me three for the year, balancing me well for the 11 I hope to read in 2012.
No progress made on the 2012 Recommended Reading Challenge.
I am hopeful that April will pick up steam. I am finishing my third book for this month today, and I have finished 3 audio as well so far this month.
How is April coming together for you? Is this a good reading month?
How to Build Readers for your Blog through Commenting
Hi Bloggiesta people!!!! Lets give it up for all the hard working behind the scenes people making Bloggiesta possible this year! WOOT! WOOT!
My mini challenge here is about building a reader base and seriously, don’t we all want that? I mean there is one thing I see book bloggers say all the time, they do like comments. It has even been said that comments are the heart of book blogging…
we do like to discuss books don’t we?
So while my mini challenge is not going to be technical about CSS, or about repairing broken links, or anything awesome like that… you need to realize established blogger or just starting out… comments are the heartbeat of the blogger, and sitting around waiting for them is not that way to build up your readers.
When I started blogging in June of 2009, I seriously did not have a clue as to what I was doing. I knew I liked to write, and I knew I got excited when someone commented on something I wrote (shoot, I still get excited when people comment!) I felt I could write a good review, I just had to figure out how to get people to find me and read them. I was confident enough to believe if I could get people to come and check out my blog, they may find something they like and come back again… and maybe… again.
To make this happen I started making it a point to go out and visit and comment on blogs. I set a goal of at least twenty a day. I found them through links provided by blogs I was already reading, and by people who commented on my blog. I discovered quickly that when I went out and provided a real comment on a blog (Not a “I’m just hopping through”, “Nice post!”, or a “come and visit me too!”) often, these bloggers would come and check out my blog in return.
My commenting on other blogs provided a way for me to build my own reader base. It’s true.
So here are a few do’s and dont’s I would ask you to consider for commenting:
Leave a genuine comment that shows you actually read what the post was about, this along with questions to the blogger can create people clicking back to your blog
Share if you have read the book as well, or one similar, or plan to read it… it builds a common interest
End posts with a question to your readers, it encourages conversation
Respond to comments on your blog, it creates conversations and your readers may stop back again to see what you have said in response to their comment.
Leave comments with a link back to your blog, your name is already a link to your blog (*unless you have multiple blogs and need to link so people an find your posts)
Say you are “hopping through” unless you truly are on a blog hop and so is the blog you are visiting.
AND… post well. When your readers arrive on your blog have something interesting for them to read about. If you are new to blogging, check out closely the blogs you enjoy reading. Why do you enjoy reading them? Do they have interesting posts? What about their writing appeals to you? Do they have a lot of comments and conversations stemming from their posts?
Growing my readership was and still is a constant work in progress. I love to comment, and yes, I know between reading, and writing posts, commenting is just one more thing…. but I know it works, and I know it is appreciated by all the hard-working bloggers just like you who are writing and reviewing and posting and building their own readership as well.
My mini challenge for you (if you choose to accept it) is…
1. Go and comment on at least 20 blog during Bloggiesta and then come back here and let me know in a comment that you did AND
2. in the same comment let me know one thing that you are hoping to learn or accomplish during Bloggiesta
The winners of my mini challenge will receive (using random.org) a $20 gift card to Amazon (available to anyone who can use an Amazon gift card (this will be delivered to the winner at close of Bloggiesta through email).
AND one runner up will receive a $10 gift card to Amazon.
This is a sticky post and will remain at the top of the blog until closing on Bloggiesta. All new posts will be below. Watch for additional giveaways below during Bloggeista weekend!
My third check in for my reading project of Jane Eyre. Now three weeks in, my goal being 70 pages a week, I have just crossed over the 210 page line. This report was due on the blog this past Sunday and I don’t know how I forgot… but yeah. I forgot.
Pages 141 – 210 reveals Jane and Rochester staring to get to know one another. There is the fire in his bedroom (I am still confused about that one) and Jane rushes in and saves his life which he is overly grateful…. and then the next day…
gone. (Please don’t let him be bipolar….. I dealt with that in Wuthering Heights with Kathryn and I was about to kill her myself in the end of that one!)
Then we move on to the fact that Rochester likes to party PARTY and he is gone for what is it, like two three weeks, hanging with friends about ten miles away which in this time, is like being in another country! When he does return, he brings the party with him and then all those people proceed to stay at his house for the next two weeks… (so odd… I would go nuts having company that long!)
Of course, now enters Miss Ingram. Some hot mama from another family who despite her loveliness, her lovely singing voice,tallness, gorgeous hair, AND her talent at a piano… still remains single.
I instantly do not like her.
Next to Imgram (I can not recall her first name right now… Jane looks plain. Plain Jane. I mean, seriously, Jane’s hair will never do what Imgram’s does….
To conclude my recap here – I am now beyond an odd fortune teller part where if I am getting that right… is Mt Rochester (and what sort of insecurity is that???? Spying on his guests!) and if it wasn’t him.. then I misunderstood that whole part.
I leave you with this…. I am into the book. I have another recap due on Sunday – pager 210 – 280. I did not have time today to put up a rating but know I would not put it down now…. I am invested and now I have to know what will happen with the snarly lipped Imgram and the shy plain Jane.
February sailed by didn’t it? With the nice numbers I put up in my January recap, I have to admit I was curious to see where I would land for February. February just felt off…. I felt too busy to read much and too tired to read in the free time I did have. Then I gave up and returned quite a few audio books that I didn’t get into…. total DNF.
So…. how did it line up?
I added 12 books to my 16 in January (Thank God for audio…. seriously!) but added only three new states to the Where Are You Reading Challenge… ugh… already duplicating states! I added no reads outside of the United States.
Of those 12, 6 were audio books. Busy lives people – I am telling you, audio is the fix you need!
2 books into the ebook challenge, sticking with my goal of reading all book club books this year on my Nook… 2 for 2
No progress made on the Dystopia challenge but I am craving the genre…. luckily Pandemonium sits on my kitchen table right now… hopefully being picked up this week.
No progress here either… and looking at this list again, I need to get a move on it as there are some great reads on here that have been on my shelf too long!
For the year I am at 4,587 pages and audio equals 5 days and 38 minutes which sounds scary…. like book coma scary, but remember that is mostly active audio time as in house cleaning, getting ready in the morning, cooking, and drive time.
While February this year was down from last February by 4 books.
SO how did your February come out?
Week two of my heir to the Eyre challenge (I am really tired today – please just ignore the ramblings… ). My goal was to average 10 pages a day and today, 14 days in I have just closed the book at page 140. AND in all honesty, I read the majority of my commitment for this week this afternoon.
So where am I?
Jane is now in Thornfield Hall and in these last 70 pages has met her charge, explored the lands, met Mr. Rochester, and now I have just finished several pages of his (Rochester’s) interrogation of Jane…ie. where do you come from? How did you get this job? Where is your family? Do you find me handsome?(yeah… I thought that was random and awkward too).
Yet Jane is…. growing on me. Yes it is too early to say yet if we will be BFF’s…. but I am finding it a bit ironic that I have recently praised Harlan Coben this week for creating witty characters that I love… and now here is Charlotte Bronte bringing to life this witty 18-year-old Jane who is quick to respond and not afraid to add some zip to her responses, even in the presence of her employer. And I am sorry to say Harlan Coben but I have to give extra snaps to Charlotte Bronte for being witty and brilliant about a hundred plus years before you were born.
So here we are… I am not really sure what Mr. Rochester is getting at by being mostly closed off and grumpy and then occasionally chatty (is booze involved? I don’t know..) but currently he reminds me a bit of Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights) dark and broody and I did not like Heathcliff EVER so am wondering if I will ever like Rochester… and then because I am tired and rambling I wonder why the brilliant Bronte sisters write of such dark unpleasant men, and I wonder where they found such a man appealing and I wonder what their dad was like?
As of now… here is my current rating:
This concludes this weeks Eyre report. To see back reports of how each week is going – they are linked below:
Anyone else reading along? What are your thoughts at this point?
It has been a week since I have
forced challenged myself to read Jane Eyre. On the original post you will see I clearly called out my past grievances attempts to read this and my fail after fail… due to:
2. the language (not bad language) but old school language… which I guess really… is bad language.
3. Something shiny distracted me
4. I dont want to!
My self challenge was to read 10 pages a day average, and then weekly report back as to how it is going.
Currently on page 70, I am now seeing Jane at school after her harsh treatment of her so-called Aunt. Just a few pages ago she had dropped the slate in front of Mr. Brucklehurst and been punished by standing on top of a stool in front of the whole class. Now she has been swept away along with her one friend (?) Helen Burns to Miss Temple’s chambers where they are currently sharing tea and cake.
At this point the story has my interest and I have no idea why it does this time when at no other time have I made it this far. I am curious about the cruel and strict head master Mr. Brucklehurst. I am also curious about Jane’s large language for a ten-year old girl. To me she speaks as some one much older.
I confess that I know nothing of where this story is going as I have not watched a movie about this either. I am guessing we are going to watch Jane grow up into if not a beautiful woman on the outside, perhaps on the inside.
I probably would have read more this past week but honestly have been wiped out every night and fell asleep after reading only a few pages nightly.
My rating at this point in the book:
I know a couple of my readers mentioned reading this along with me. I would love to hear how you are doing on this.
Ok…. it is time. I am going to tackle Jane Eyre. Well… the book that is…. not really Jane, or at least not yet… it may come to that later, but for now… I want to start the book and hopefully this 4th time of trying to read this book that this time… THIS TIME I will be able to actually finish it.
SO what am I doing differently?
- baby steps, I am going to challenge myself to read 10 pages of Jane a day starting today. My book here is 462 pages (
UGH….) so my goal is 46 days from today at the latest. I can read more pages per day but not less.
- Keep it fun. I will give weekly updates of the progress. I also mean to record my book mood during this read as well. If I am bitter, bored, amused, defiant, annoyed, interested…. you will know.
The goal – is to finish if not as myself and Jane Eyre being friends, then at least we will be acquaintances.