Reading Challenge Addicts 2016

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Last year, I participated in 5 reading challenges and completed each of them successfully. This year, I’m taking on two more challenges, totalling seven challenges. I will keep track of the challenges in the sidebar, and here.

If you want to sign up for the challenge, please go here.

Here are the seven challenges I’m participating in this year:

  1. Netgalley Reading Challenge
  2. Flights of Fantasy Challenge
  3. Cloak and Dagger Challenge
  4. Horror Reading Challenge
  5. New Release Challenge 2016
  6. TBR Pile Challenge 2016
  7. Dystopia Reading Challenge

Dystopia Reading Challenge 2016

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Another one of the new challenges I signed up for for 2016 is the Dystopia Reading Challenge. This challenge is hosted at Cornerfolds.

The goal is to read a number of dystopian books during 2016. I’m going for the top level, “Leader”, which means I’ll have to read and review 16+ dystopian books. This challenge has some cool badges too.

If you want to know more about the challenge, or you want to sign up, please go here.

I will keep track of my progress here and in the sidebar of my blog.

  1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  2. A Family War by Stewart Hotston
  3. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
  4. Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard
  5. One God – The Will to Power by Kata Mlek

TBR Pile Reading Challenges 2016

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I’m going to participate in the TBR Pile (to-be-read pile) Reading Challenge for 2016. The goal of the challenge is to read books that have been on our bookshelf for a while – either as gifts, or books we bought and never got around to reading, or anything else. The main rule is the book can’t be a book that’ll release in 2016 so no new books or ARCs.

I’ll pick the second level for this challenge, “A Friendly Hug”, which means I have to read 11-20 books from my TBR pile. I didn’t want to pick too many because with my list of ARCs for 2015 growing increasingly longer, I don’t always have time to read other books. But I want to make a genuine effort, and if I reach 20 books or more, I can always move on to the next level of the challenge.

If you’d like to participate in the challenge as well, you can sign up here.

I’ll keep track of my progress on this page, and in the sidebar.

  1. Fantastical Beasts and Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling
  2. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
  3. Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling
  4. White Bones (Katie Maguire #1) by Graham Masterton
  5. The Girl in the Red Coat by Katie Hamer
  6. The Mistletoe Bride and Other Haunting Tales by Kate Mosse
  7. Gethsemane Hall by David Annandale
  8. The Leaping by Tom Fletcher
  9. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
  10. Passing The Torch by L.L. Sanders
  11. Monsterland by Michael Phillip Cash

New Release Challenge 2016

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I decided to sign up for the New Release Challenge for 2016. For this challenge, you have to read and review books that will be released in 2016. Since most of the books I read are ARCs or new releases, this challenge should be a great fit for me.

I’m going for the highest level, New Release Enthusiast, which means I aim to review 45+ books this year that will release in 2016.

If you want to know more about the challenge, or you want to sign up, please go here.

I will keep track of my progress here and in the sidebar of my blog.

  1. The Incurables by Jon Bassoff
  2. The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth
  3. The Secrets of Lizzie Borden by Brandy Purdy
  4. Beside Myself by Ann Morgan
  5. The Woman in Blue (Ruth Galloway #8) by Elly Griffiths
  6. After The Woods by Kim Savage
  7. Trapped by Alison Aimes
  8. The Silent Twin by Caroline Mitchell
  9. Tales of the Possessed by C. Torrington
  10. Capturing the Captain by C.K. Brooke
  11. True Crime Addict by James Renner
  12. Raven’s Peak by Lincoln Cole
  13. St. Matthew’s House by C.P. Murphy
  14. Something Wicked by Debi Chestnut
  15. A Knight with Grace by Laurel O’Donnell
  16. The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi
  17. Little Killers A to Z by Howard Odentz
  18. Dark Spirits by Stephen Lancaster
  19. Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard
  20. Vile by Benjamin S. Jeffries
  21. Running to Stand Still by Lauren Rosolino
  22. Revenge of the Wolf Two by Skyler Patterson
  23. Cinnamon Tea by Charles Campbell
  24. Building Your Author Platform by Tiffany Shand
  25. The Cabin by Natasha Preston
  26. Haunted Bridges by Rich Newman
  27. Nessie by Nick Redfern
  28. The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards
  29. Rimrider by L.A. Kelley
  30. Destination Mexico City by Lori Osterberg
  31. The Color of Love by Ty Mitchell
  32. Murder in the Generative Kitchen by Meg Pontecorvo
  33. Pretty Wicked by Kelly Charron
  34. One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards
  35. On The Run by Izai Amorim
  36. Girl Within Girl by S.P. Aruna
  37. Fractal by Rachel J. Mannino
  38. Song of the Oceanides by J.G. Zymbalist
  39. On Top of the World by David Lamb
  40. Deliverance by Kristy Centeno
  41. Mirror, Mirror by Tami Lund
  42. Where Doubt Remains by Sharon Johnson
  43. The Blue Witch by Joni Parker
  44. The Resistance: Duchess by Kristyn Stone
  45. The Mystery of Spring-Heeled Jack by John Matthews
  46. Far And Yet So Near by Al E. Boy
  47. Keys to the Sun by Marcel Feldmar
  48. The Sailweaver’s Son by Jeff Minerd
  49. The Failure of University Education for Development & What To Teach Instead by Samuel A. Odunsi, Sr
  50. Occult Paris by Tobias Churton
  51. The Moreva of Astoreth by Roxanne Bland
  52. I Won’t Say (I’m in Love) by Evee Lamb
  53. The Solitary Bee by Hannah Holborn
  54. The Power of Mortals (Spirit Vision 3) by Morgan Straughan Comnick
  55. Life as a Teenage Vampire by Amanda Meuwissen
  56. The Fool’s Apprentice by Kelly Hess
  57. Girl Number One by Jane Holland
  58. Of Life, Death, Aliens and Zombies by Dario Cannizzarro
  59. S.H.A.Y. by Christina Leigh Pritchard
  60. Lizard Queen (Volume One) by H.L. Cherryholmes
  61. The Scholl Case by Anja Reich-Osang
  62. The Twilight Tsunami by Shelby Londyn-Heath
  63. The Protector Bug: The Tryouts by Jason Reid
  64. War Town by Mitch Goth
  65. Lizard Queen (Volume Two) by H.L. Cherryholmes
  66. In The Snows of Haz by Maxine Janerka
  67. Beyond the Spotlight by Alan Murphy
  68. Crave Her Touch by A.K. Leigh
  69. Enlightenment by Liz Keel
  70. Living in the Shallows by Tani Hanes
  71. The Travelers by K.L Kranes
  72. The Whizbang Machine by Danielle A. Vann
  73. In The Line of Duty by Carolyn Arnold
  74. Lizard Queen (Volume Three) by H.L. Cherryholmes
  75. The Missing by Monty Marsden
  76. Vittoria by Dafna Vitale Ben Bassat
  77. Futuring the Future by Michael F. Kaufmann
  78. A Simple Life by Giora Amir
  79. Dystortions: 100 Hues of Purple by Lisa Pell
  80. Optimal Exposure by Dan Rogel
  81. One God – The Will To Power by Kata Mlek
  82. Passion of a Witch by K.D. Friedrich
  83. The Great Connection: Worlds in Waiting by Garry Abbott
  84. The Operator by Kim Harrison

Horror Reading Challenge 2016

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I participated in the horror reading challenge last year, and ended up reading way more horror books than I had to for the challenge. But I love horror, so I want to participate in the challenge again. Like last year, I’m aiming for the highest level, “Horror Hounds”, which means, reading 16+ horror books.

The challenge is now hosted by Cornerfolds and Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My!. If you want to sign up for it, please go here. And don’t forget to tell me you signed up so I can follow your progress.

By the way, this challenge has some gorgeous banners this year. I hope to earn them all!

I will keep this page updated with all the horror books I read for this challenge.

  1. The Incurables by Jon Bassoff
  2. The Torment of Rachel Ames by Jeff Gunhus
  3. Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics
  4. Asylum by Madeleine Roux
  5. The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco
  6. Sanctum (Asylum #2) by Madeleine Roux
  7. Catacombs (Asylum #3) by Madeleine Roux
  8. Elysium Dreams by Hadena James
  9. The Silent Twin by Caroline Mitchell
  10. White Bones (Katie Maguire #1) by Graham Masterton
  11. Tales of the Possessed by C. Torrington
  12. The Fall by Bethany Griffin
  13. Grimalkin Manor by Sherry Roit
  14. The Mistletoe Bride and Other Haunting Tales by Kate Mosse
  15. Gethsemane Hall by David Annandale
  16. The Leaping by Tom Fletcher
  17. Black Water Tales: The Unwanted by Jean Nicole Rivers
  18. Darkview: Psychosis by R.J. Bathgate & M.J. Hall
  19. Raven’s Peak by Lincoln Cole
  20. Something Wicked by Debi Chestnut
  21. The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi
  22. Passing The Torch by L.L. Sanders
  23. Little Killers A to Z by Howard Odentz
  24. Pay The Ghost by Tim Lebbon
  25. Revenge of the Wolf Two by Skyler Patterson
  26. Cinnamon Tea by Charles Campbell
  27. The Cabin by Natasha Preston
  28. Monsterland by Michael Phillip Cash
  29. Pretty Wicked by Kelly Charron

 

Cloak and Dagger Challenge 2016

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I signed up for some new challenges in 2016 that I haven’t signed up for in 2015. One of these is the Cloak and Dagger challenge. For this challenge, you have to read a mystery / suspense or thriller book.
I’m going for the highest level, Special Agent, which means I have to read 31+ crime / thriller / suspense books. Considering this is one of my favorites genres, I doubt that will be a problem.
If you want to know more about the challenge, or you want to sign up, please go here.
I will keep track of my progress here and in the sidebar of my blog.

  1. Beside Myself by Ann Morgan
  2. Blood Gold Revenge by Dave Wright
  3. The Woman in Blue (Ruth Galloway #8) by Elly Griffiths
  4. After The Woods by Kim Savage
  5. Counterfeit Conspiracies by Ritter Ames
  6. Cold Blooded by Lisa Regan
  7. The Silent Twin by Caroline Mitchel
  8. White Bones (Katie Maguire #1) by Graham Masterton
  9. Genesis by Matt K. Turner
  10. A Slaughter of Angels by Matthew Angelo
  11. Mercy Row Retribution by Harry Hallman
  12. The Girl in the Red Coat by Katie Hamer
  13. All That Remains (A Missing and Exploited #1) by Hannah Holborn
  14. Strange Lineup (A Missing and Exploited #2) by Hannah Holborn
  15. Abduction by Nicole Hatfield
  16. The Cabin by Natasha Preston
  17. The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards
  18. Murder in the Generative Kitchen by Meg Pontecorvo
  19. Pretty Wicked by Kelly Charron
  20. One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards
  21. Girl Within Girl by S.P. Aruna
  22. Girl Number One by Jane Holland
  23. In The Line of Duty by Carolyn Arnold
  24. The Killing Game by The Black Rose
  25. The Missing by Monty Marsden
  26. Dystortions: 100 Hues of Purple by Lisa Pell
  27. Optimal Exposure by Dan Rogel
  28. The Operator by Kim Harrison

Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2016

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I wanted to try a few new challenges this year, so I signed up for the Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge. I fell in love with reading by reading fantasy books, so I’ve always had a soft spot for the genre, which means the Flights of Fantasy challenge is perfect for me.

According to the challenge guidelines, participants can set their own goals. I don’t want to overdo it though, so I’m aiming for 20 fantasy books in 2016. I can still upgrade that goal if I reach it early on.

If you want to know more about the challenge, or you want to sign up, please go here.

I will keep track of my progress here and in the sidebar of my blog.

  1. The Son of Light Book One: Rebirth by Chris Parker
  2. Calasade: Sanguinem Isle by Mark Stone
  3. Dora’s Jinx by Boom Baumgartner
  4. The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth
  5. Fantastical Beasts and Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling
  6. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
  7. The Demon’s Grave by E.M. MacCallum
  8. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  9. The Child of War – A God is Born by Lisa Beth Darling
  10. Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1) by Sarah J. Maas
  11. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  12. Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling
  13. Beastly Manor by Alex Hall
  14. Koolura and the Mayans by Michael Thal
  15. The Resistance: Leprechaun by Kristyn Stone
  16. The Guicai Talisman by A.M. Griffin
  17. Aveena: The City of Gold by Destiny Hawkins
  18. Path Unchosen (Daughter of Ravenswood Book 1) by Kim Cleary
  19. Enchanted (The Summer Solstice #1) by K.K. Allen
  20. Truth Unveiled (Daugther of Ravenswood Book 2) by Kim Cleary
  21. Bright’s Passion by E.B. Black
  22. The Boy Who Spoke To Stars by Reuben Miles
  23. Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions Book 2: Wizardry Goes Wild by Sunayna Prasad
  24. Trapped on Draconica by Dan Wright
  25. Kaitin’s Tale by Christine Amsden
  26. The Fierce Fellowship Games by Chris Parker
  27. Micah by Lee DuCote
  28. The Girl with Red Hair by Michael J. Sanford
  29. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
  30. Raising Sleeping Stones by P.H.T Bennett
  31. Dragon Called by Melissa Christopherson
  32. Children of Swan by Coral Walker
  33. Chaos Rising by Perry Morris
  34. Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard
  35. Rimrider by L.A. Kelley
  36. Song of the Oceanides by J.G. Zymbalist
  37. ‘Til The Last Snowflake Falls by Al E. Boy
  38. The Ona Pendulum by Al E. Boy
  39. Deliverance by Kristy Centeno
  40. Mirror, Mirror by Tami Lund
  41. The Blue Witch by Joni Parker
  42. The Resistance: Duchess by Kristyn Stone
  43. Far And Yet So Near by Al E. Boy
  44. Keys to the Sun by Marcel Feldmar
  45. The Sailweaver’s Son by Jeff Minerd
  46. The Moreva of Astoreth by Roxanne Bland
  47. The Power of Mortals (Spirit Vision 3) by Morgan Straughan Comnick
  48. Life as a Teenage Vampire by Amanda Meuwissen
  49. The Fool’s Apprentice by Kelly Hess
  50. Lizard Queen (Volume One) by H.L. Cherryholmes
  51. Lizard Queen (Volume Two) by H.L. Cherryholmes
  52. In The Snows of Haz by Maxine Janerka
  53. Enlightenment by Liz Keel
  54. The Travelers by K.L Kranes
  55. Lizard Queen (Volume Three) by H.L. Cherryholmes

Netgalley Reading Challenge 2016

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Last year, I participated in the Netgalley challenge and successfully reached my goals. This year, I’m signing up for it again. My netgalley ratio is currently 90% and I’m very proud of that, so this year it won’t be about upping the ratio, but about keeping it above 90% (and as close to 100% as it gets).

I’m going for the “hardcore” level, which means reading 41+ books from Netgalley. I’ll track my progress each month, and add the books that count for this challenge to this page. I will also keep track of my progress in the sidebars.

If you want to participate in this challenge, you can sign up here.

Here’s a list of the books I’ve read for this challenge so far. Links point back to the review.

  1. The Incurables by Jon Bassoff
  2. The Killing Jar by Jennifer Bosworth
  3. The Secrets of Lizzie Borden by Brandy Purdy
  4. Beside Myself by Ann Morgan
  5. The Woman in Blue (Ruth Galloway #8) by Elly Griffiths
  6. After The Woods by Kim Savage
  7. The Silent Twin by Caroline Mitchell
  8. Tales of the Possessed by C. Torrington
  9. True Crime Addict by James Renner
  10. Something Wicked by Debi Chestnut
  11. The Boston Strangler by Gerold Frank
  12. The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi
  13. Passing The Torch by L.L. Sanders
  14. Little Killers A to Z by Howard Odentz
  15. Pay The Ghost by Tim Lebbon
  16. Dark Spirits by Stephen Lancaster
  17. Vile by Benjamin S. Jeffries
  18. The Cabin by Natasha Preston
  19. Haunted Bridges by Rich Newman
  20. Nessie by Nick Redfern
  21. The Devil’s Work by Mark Edwards
  22. Pretty Wicked by Kelly Charron
  23. One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards
  24. On The Run by Izai Amorim
  25. On Top of the World by David Lamb
  26. The Mystery of Spring-Heeled Jack by John Matthews
  27. Occult Paris by Tobias Churton
  28. Girl Number One by Jane Holland
  29. The Scholl Case by Anja Reich-Osang
  30. In The Line of Duty by Carolyn Arnold
  31. The Killing Game by The Black Rose
  32. The Missing by Monty Marsden
  33. The Operator by Kim Harrison

Book Review: Full Circle for Mick

9781742845623_Cover_11072015Title: Full Circle for Mick
Author: Michael Kramer
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

                In 2013, Carolyn and Michael Georg Kaspar Friedrich Lampman applied for passports at the Albury Post Office and while hers went through immediately, (she is Australian born), his application resulted in a phone call being made to Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and that department refusing him a passport on the grounds that his Australian Naturalisation Certificate “Did not say if his gender was male or female.” It did however; state that “Michael Georg Kaspar Friedrich Lampman presented himself before me at the Millicent Council Chambers on …. To swear allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors. This makes one wonder if the clerks at DIAC are conversant enough in the English language to know that “Himself” can only mean a male.

                Michael’s reason for wanting his passport was to return to Vietnam and to fulfil his promise to a Buddhist Monk to return as a qualified engineer to help to rebuild the country that he had helped to destroy as a young Australian soldier in the Vietnam War during 1968 and 1969.

                At a later date, DIAC cancelled his citizenship and papers, (he was a naturalised Australian Citizen, originating from Germany) even threatening to send him to jail for two years, for “Falsifying an Official Document,” resulting in him then using “Engineering Problem Solving Techniques” to rectify the situation as he was now also driving illegally on the grounds that in NSW it is not legal for someone to hold a driver’s licence unless that person has either “Approved Residency Status” or Australian Citizenship.

                This is the story of a man’s battle and final victory against rampant bureaucracy, racism and PTSD. It deals with the first symptoms of PTSD, its diagnosis and its treatment and self-help strategies.

Good grief. Full Circle for Mick is the story of bureaucracy gone totally overboard, of one man’s fight against the system, while dealing with PTSD at the same time. On the one hand, it dealt a lot with what he went through after returning from the Vietnam war, and how this affected him and his day to day life.

And as if that’s not enough, on top of that he gets denied a passport for what can only be called racist reasons, and gets stuck in a bureaucratic nightmare of epic proportions.

The book did have a lot of descriptions of things that didn’t matter that much for the plot, but that didn’t take away from this inspiring story about an underdog who didn’t stop fighting. An enjoyable story but at times frustrating because I could relate to the protagonist and his struggles, and frustrations over that. I practically felt that frustration along with the main character.

Book Review: The Samsaric by G.W. Lwin

Book Cover copyTitle: The Samsaric

Author: G.W. Lwin

Genre: Fantasy Horror

Age Group: Adult (18+)

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

The plague of 1918 A.D:
The mortal world is in a state of devastation.
A woman wakes up in an abandoned temple of Kali, the goddess of darkness, in an ancient city of Gaya.
She does not know where she is.
She does not remember the events leading to this.
She only hears a familiar voice of a tormented man who has haunted her dreams.
He tells her a story – of a time of souls and suffering, of immortality and gods, of life and death.
This, he says, is Mesopotamia.
THE SAMSARIC is a fantasy-horror novel based on ancient vampirism, history and mythology. Set in an era widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, it is a story of once-powerful mortal races and ancient gods and goddesses to excite and inspire.

 The Samsaric is an unique, well-crafted tale combining vampirism and horror along with history and mythology. It’s set in Mesopotamia, which is the number one reason why I wanted to read it. I love historical fiction, but all too often authors decide to write about Rome or Greece, and Mesopotamia hardly gets the attention it deserves.  Samsarics are immortal beings, vampires if you may although not entirely similar, and their goal is to make Inanna, now a mortal, immortal again.

I liked the characters. Druaga and Shuri often make some questionable decisions, but I felt like they really grew as the book progressed, and started making smarter decisions. It took a while for me to connect with Shuri, although I’m not sure why. The secondary characters were interesting too, and they all brought something unique to the table.

The plot was the best part of the book for me. Rich in details and with lots of history woven in, I devoured the book in one sitting. The world-building was excellent and at times, I actually felt like I was in Mesopotamia.