Reading Challenge #3 Complete!

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This section of my yearly reading challenge centred mainly around the works of Jodi Taylor, Terry Pratchett and Alan Dean Foster. I’m still working my way through The Chronicles of St Marys, Discworld and Alien series bit by bit.

You can see the previous sections of my reading challenge Here (Part 1) and here (part 2)

So here’s what I’ve read:

36. Pyramids – Terry Pratchett
37. Guards! Guards! – Terry Pratchett
38. A Symphony of Echoes – Jodi Taylor
39. Alien: Covenant Origins – Alan Dean Foster
40. When a Child is Born – Jodi Taylor
41. A Second Chance – Jodi Taylor
42. Star Wars: Cloak of Deception – James Luceno
43. Roman Holiday – Jodi Taylor
44. Unseen Academicals – Terry Pratchett
45. Alien: Covenant – Alan Dean Foster
46. Star Wars: Episode 1 – Terry Brooks
47. Knightmare Arcanist – Shami Stovall
48. Alien – Alan Dean Foster
49. Christmas Present – Jodi Taylor
50. My Best Friend Runs Venus – Katrina S. Forest

I think my favourite of the selection was probably Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall (you can read my very short review here.)

It didn’t take long to complete this portion, so I’ve upped the book count to 25 for the next 2 sections. So up next is:

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Mental Health

I haven’t posted anything to this site in bloomin’ ages, and the main reason for that is that so far this year I have read like, 4 books…my mental health has been up and down and I’m adjusting to a new found social life and it’s exhausting.

Anyway, I made a decision. I’m gonna start making some more personal posts on this site, most likely about mental health and trans stuff, if for no other reason than it gives me somewhere to vent and explore things. So, look forward to that.

In the spirit of that, here’s a quick list of things about me I might post about:

  • Being trans / queer
  • Being plural
  • Depression / anxiety
  • Autism

And so on and so fourth…hopefully I’ll make a post soon.

Announcement! 2019 Reading Challenge Category Reveal!!!

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That’s right you beautiful somebodies. The big day is here, the wait is finally over. The categories are being revealed so you can go out and stockpile your books ready for next year.

Before anything else, a request. Please, please, PLEASE spread this about, I’d love for people to get involved. Share it anywhere you like (as long as you link it back here, or to @RagdollReads on twitter). If you or somebody you know decides to take up the challenge, let me know. Now back to what you came here for.

The reading challenge is in three parts. Light ReadingRegular and Serious Book Dragon editions.

cooltext30352622618610012 categories – one book for each category. (Plus a special WILDCARD category for the holidays)

That’s one book per month, and one bonus book for the holiday season.

Follow this link for the full write-up: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge (Light Edition)

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Track your progress with this nifty, downloadable chart: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge – Light Chart PDF

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24 categories – one book for each category. (Plus a special WILDCARD category for the holidays)

That’s one book every two weeks. Or two books per month if you prefer. Or roughly 0.00204918 books every 45 minutes if you want to be completely absurd about it! (I think!)

Follow this link for the full write-up: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge (Regular Edition)

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Track your progress with this nifty, downloadable chart: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge Chart PDF

 

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52 basic categories

4 ‘free read’ categories

3 ‘Wildcard’ categories

That’s 59 books for those of you who can’t be bothered to work it out. 1 read a week, plus a few extras thrown in. Finish this, and you can consider yourself a Serious Book-Dragon!

Follow this link for the full write-up: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge (Serious Book-Dragon Edition)

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Track your progress with this nifty, downloadable chart: The 2019 Ragdoll Reading Challenge – Serious Book Dragon Edition PDF

Please enjoy the challenge. I hope you’ll spread it around (remember to tag me here or @RagdollReads on twitter). Enjoy your reading ❤ Much love all!!!

 

 

Announcement: 2019 Reading Challenge!!

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That’s right you beautiful somebodies (especially the beautiful somebody who has been checking back pretty much every day for this news, I super love you), in 5 sweet, sweet days, I will be revealing the categories for the official Ragdoll Reads 2019 Reading Challenge!!

In case you don’t know about the challenge, here are some deets!

There are three levels;

  • Lite Reading
  • Regular
  • Serious Book Dragon

The level you choose will depend on how many books you think you can manage.

The Lite Reading edition contains 12 categories plus a special bonus category. That’s a book a month, and one for luck!

The Regular edition contains 24 categories plus a special bonus category.

The Serious Book Dragon edition contains a whopping 52 categories, 4 ‘free reads’ and a super special bonus category.

The editions build on each other, so if you completed the Lite Reading challenge, you would have completed half the categories from the Regular edition. You see? Fun!

I would loooove it if people got on board with this, and if you do plan on doing the challenge, please let me know in the comments or hit me up on twitter (@RagdollReads)!

Unboxing: Books That Matter (Image Heavy)

Guess what just came in the mail! That’s right, somebodies, it’s the 100% Official Books That Matter box!

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Check out Books That Matter at https://www.booksthatmatter.org.uk/

So let’s dive in!

This months content

So as you can see, we’ve got a sweet, sweet book, a stick, a badge, a key-ring and little leaflet / poster about “Key Moments in Black British History”.

So first up, we have the main event, our book for the month. This months selection is Washington Black by Esi Edugyan.

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The little guide-to-the-box sheet has this to say about Washington Black: Described as “nothing short of a masterpiece”, Washington Black is the perfect choice to celebrate Black History Month. (…) Edugyan takers her reader from the Caribbean to the Arctic, to Nova Scotia, London, Amsterdam and even Morocco (…) analysings the human condition as she explores love, friendship and history throughout Wash’s extraordinary journey.

And did I mention that it’s super pretty?

Now let’s have a better look at this months goodies!

So first up, we have a little pin-badge by Nyanza D, whose work you can find at https://nyanzad.com/ which you should totally check out. Some really cool artwork on there, including some really excellent body-positive pieces I really love!

Next up, we have a beautiful sticker (about the size of my palm) and key-ring from Red Bear Universe. The sticker is going straight on my laptop ’cause it’s awesome! Also, here’s an up-close and personal look at the key-ring:

Is that not the cutest little key-ring you ever saw?! Don’t bother answering, ’cause I know it is!

So there we have it, another months worth of super special, super lovely books and gifts. If you’re not already supporting Books That Matter and the authors and creators they are working with, you should be!

Here’s your link collection for you to check out:

Books That Matter:

Website: www.booksthatmatter.org.uk

Twitter: @booksthatmatter

Instagram: @booksthatmatteruk

Nyanza D:

Website: https://nyanzad.com/

Twitter: @nyanzad_

Instagram: @nyanzad_

Etsy: Monchi by Nyanza D

RedBearUniverse:

Twitter: @redbearuniverse

Instagram: @redbearuniverse_

Etsy: Redbearuniverse

Black History Month UK:

Website: https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/

Twitter: @BhmUK

Unboxing: Books That Matter (Image Heavy)

Time for a special treat – for me, anyway. This morning my Books That Matter subscription box came in the post, which is obviously super exciting. If you don’t know what Books That Matter is, here’s the skinny:

1Books That Matter is a monthly subscription service delivering important pieces of literature and feminist trinkets to your door. Each month you will receive at least one piece of literature which enlightens your mind on themes of gender, race, culture, class, ethnicity, ability, sexuality, politics, or history, as well as at least two gifts by independent female-identifying or non-binary artists.

Our woman-run team have created this beautiful box to promote the reading of truly important world literature, and we aim to collaborate with female identifying artists and writers to bring you titles by not only women writers, but underrepresented voices too, such as those of women of colour, transgender authors, less able women, and queer writers. Every trinket you receive alongside your books will be hand crafted by an independent female artist and will be in support of her trade.” ~from https://www.booksthatmatter.org.uk/

As you can see, this book box was a super idea, and I was never going to not support something like this. I pre-ordered my box pretty much as soon as the option was available since I happened to have some money left over from my birthday!

Keep in mind, this box was £12. TWELVE QUID. You wait until you see what’s in this box and you tell me if you think it was a bargain. (Spoiler alert: It was)

Nice box design 🙂
Contents wrapped in pretty paper. So cute!
What surprises lie in store?
The content. We’ve got a book and 4 sweet, sweet bookish gifts ❤

Let’s take a closer look at the contents!

The little guide-to-the-box sheet has this to say about Purple Hibiscus: Purple Hibiscus was this month’s books of choice for so many reasons, but it;s extremely fleshed out and multi-dimensional characters of Kambili and Jaja, and it’s covering of topics such as race, colonialism, religion, politics and family tensions propelled it to become our first book to feature in the Books That Matter boxes.
My motto is: If all else fails, give me a bookmark! I looooove bookmarks ❤
This is a bookish mirror, and it’s awesome. I’d take a picture to show it’s shininess but you don’t need a picture of my phone! This was made by Rose Cast, whose work you can find at www.arosecast.com – check it our, there’s some really super pretty stuff on there.
A swanky tote bag, which is just what I need for swanning about after a bookshop visit! This was designed by Bad Vibe Art whose work you can find on instagram – @badvibeart

 

Also included are “access to interactive blog posts that will guide you through Purple Hibiscus, and exclusive podcasts” but those are harder to photograph! Pretty sweet, eh?

As you can see, this book box is just stuffed full of glorious bookish, feminist treasure! I’ll be reading Purple Hibiscus as soon as I’m finished with Conversations With Friends (Sally Rooney). Can’t wait for the next box (if I can get one!).

A couple of final things before you go.

 

First off, check out this section of the guide-to-the-box sheet:

That’s right. Ideas for reuse and recycling. Can this box get any better!? Love it.

Finally, some links for all of you (some I’ve posted already). Go check ’em out.

Books That Matter:

Website: www.booksthatmatter.org.uk

Twitter: @booksthatmatter

Instagram: @booksthatmatteruk

Bad Vibe Art:

Instagram: @badvibeart

Rose Cast:

Website: https://www.arosecast.com/

Twitter: @arosecast

Instagram: @arosecast

 

New Feature: Professional’s Choice

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I’m quite enjoying reading outside my comfort zone, so I try something wild and crazy (and definitely unoriginal).

Every so often I’m going to be asking some sort of bookish profession to recommend me a book. Could be a librarian, a bookseller, and author, a book blogger – anybody who works with books!

I’m gonna ask them what books they love and why they love them. Then I’m gonna read it, and see what I think to it. Then I’ll cobble together some sort of blog post about the whole thing.

So you’ve all got that to look forward to.

I wonder who I’ll ask first…

Reading Challenge Complete (#3)

OK, so far this year I’ve actually completed FIVE reading challenges:

  • 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge by MeHawkins.com (#1) – see the write up here: Reading Challenge Complete (#1)
  • 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge by MeHawkins.com (#2) – see the write up here: Reading Challenge Complete (#2)
  • 52 books read in total
  • 80 books read in total, and finally
  • 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge by MeHawkins.com (#3) which you are now reading about!

The 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge was from a book blog I found – mehawkins.com18 unique categories. Doing this challenge actually inspired my to write my own challenges for next year (and the Around the World 2018 Reading Challenge you can try out already!!)

So here is the rundown of my progress through the challenge. (Please note: I read these in no particular order)

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Graphic and content from mehawkins.com

The 2018 Badass Books Reading Challenge (Run #3)

A book published in 2018.

ButtonAn Argumentation of Historians by Jodi Taylor (2018)

Think ‘Female Indiana Jones’ + Time Travel and you’re pretty close to the premise of this book. A real fun read.

See the full review here: Book Review: An Argumentation of Historians (Jodi Taylor)

Rating: 4/5 Buttons

 

A book published the year you were born.

ButtonMattimeo by Brian Jacques (1990)

Book 3 in the Redwall series. The young mouse, Mattimeo and his friends are captured by an evil fox, and must be rescued. Exciting fantasy for young and old.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A classic book or a book published over 100 years ago.

ButtonThe Mysterious Island by Jules Verne (1874)

Four men and a dog find themselves stranded on a deserted island after a mishap with a hot air balloon. This is the story of how they survived.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A book that you’ve started before and never finished.

ButtonRing for Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (1953)

The continuing hilarious adventures of everybody’s favourite valet, Jeeves..

Rating: 4/5 Buttons

 

A book you should have read in school, but didn’t.

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (1892)

Another short story collection, featuring the worlds most famous detective duo.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A Book you’ve already read – time for a re-read!

ButtonStonehenge by Bernard Cornwell (1999)

A tale of war, betrayal, murder and temples. An epic novel worked around the building of stonehenge.

Rating: 5/5

 

A book that you’ve put off reading.

ButtonThe Stonehenge Legacy by Sam Christer (2010)

An ancient cult, and a murderous conspiracy. Can Gideon expose the cult that murdered his father, or will they get to him too!?

Rating: 4/5 Buttons

 

A banned book.

Button1984 by George Orwell (1949)

“Orwell’s nightmare vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff’s attempt to find individuality.” (Goodreads)

Rating: 4/5 Buttons

 

A book by an author you’ve never read.

ButtonFoundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett (2018)

Sancia is offered the job of a lifetime – steal one item for more money than she could ever hope to see in her lifetime. She takes the chance, and then her world falls apart.

See the full review here: Book Review: Foundryside (Robert Jackson Bennett)

Rating: Exceptional (Book of the Month August 2018)

 

A popular author’s first book.

ButtonThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1900)

“Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.” (Newspaper clipping…do I really need to tell you what this is about?)

Rating: 4/5 Buttons

 

A book turned movie you’ve seen but haven’t read.

ButtonThe Maze Runner by James Dashner (2009)

A group of boys are trapped in a colossal maze, filled with murderous machines. One day, a girl is dumped in their midst and then everything goes wrong, fast!

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A book turned TV show you’ve seen but haven’t read.

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Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie (2012)

 If you like the whole “Sleepy little town has more murders than small countries” genre, and you like priests you’ll probably like this book.

See the full review here: Book Review: The Grantchester Mysteries – Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death (James Runcie)

Rating: 5/5 Buttons (Book of the Month May 2018)

 

A funny book.

ButtonThe Pirates! In an Adventure with Romantics by Gideon Defoe (2012)

The Pirates head off on a quest to find a lost manuscript on how to woo the ladies, with Lord Byron, Percy and Mary Shelly in toe. Hilarity ensues.

See the full review here: Series Review: The Pirates! In an Adventure with… (Gideon Defoe)

Rating: Exceptional (Series)

 

A book that will make you smarter.

ButtonMindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana (1992)

A useful guide to the practice of Vipassana (insight) meditation.

See the full review here: Book Review: Mindfulness in Plain English (Bhante Henepola Gunaratana)

Rating: 4/5 buttons

 

An award-winning book.

ButtonAmerican Gods by Neil Gaiman (2001)

A book about Gods, their dwindling power and the coming war. This book is cleverly crafted, brilliantly written and endlessly entertaining. Once again Gaiman delivers a cracking read! A must have for fans of fantasy and myths.

See the full review here: Book Review: American Gods (Neil Gaiman)

Rating: Exceptional

 

A book based on a true story.

ButtonDragon Teeth by Michael Crichton (2017)

A team of pioneering paleontologists set out to discover new and interesting fossils. But William Johnson gets separated from the group and is left to fend for himself in the wilds of the west.

Rating: 5/5 Buttons

 

A book chosen for you by a friend.

ButtonBuddhist Meditation by Kamalashila (2013)

This book is a great guide for any meditation practitioner – from the absolute beginner to the more advanced users

See the full review here: Book Review: Buddhist Meditation: Tranquility, Imagination and Insight (Kamalashila)

Rating: 4.5/5 Buttons

 

A book set during Christmas.

ButtonThe Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder (1992)

A sort of backwards look at the history of Christianity…also a kidnapping…this book made me insanely irritated.

See the full review here: Kwik Review: The Christmas Mystery (Jostein Gaarder)

Rating: 1/5 Buttons

 

So there we have it. Badass Books Reading Challenge #3 is complete. I’m only 8 books away from completing  Reading Challenge: Around the World 2018, and 16 books away from 100 books total, which I reckon I should manage by the end of the month.

Last thing before I go:

Top 3 of the Challenge:

You gotta pick a top three, so here are mine (Drum roll please):

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You should go out and read these books immediately!!

Finally, a big thank you to mehawkins.com for writing the reading challenge in the first place.

#ArtsAndCrafts – Kindle Covers

One obvious downside to reading e-books is that you don’t get to take the sweet, sweet pictures you need to share your reviews on Instagram! I didn’t think anything of it, until I did – then I got bored and went a little overboard. I spent all evening redrawing the covers of almost all the e-books I have reviewed recently, ready for my to post them over the rest of the week!

But here is a sneak preview anyways!

Wasn’t that fun! Gave me something to do at any rate!

New Feature: NetGalley Reviews

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Exciting things are happening. I signed up to NetGalley, expecting absolutely nothing to happen – then this morning I had 4 people providing me books for reviews! This, is super exciting for me. My ultimate goal (if I needed a goal) for writing this blog would be for somebody to seek me out and ask me to review something, so even though I have to request books it’s still a huge step in the right direction. YAAAAY!