Saturday, October 22, 2016

Semi-Charmed Winter Book Challenge 2016

To continue feeding my obsession with book challenges, I am once again participating in Megan's Semi-Charmed Winter Book Challenge.

Here's my preliminary list:

Challenge Categories:
5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 150 pages long.
 My choice:  Dying Light by Stuart MacBride - I started this series earlier in the year, and I want to continue it.
10 points: Read a 2016 finalist (longlist or shortlist) for one of the following literary prizes: National Book Award, Man Booker or Man Booker International.
My choice:  Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo  - This sounds adorable and a little bit like Dumplin', maybe, which I adored.
10 points: Read a brand-new release (something published between November 1, 2016, and January 31, 2017).
My choice:  Cross the Line by James Patterson (expected release date: November 3, 2016) -  The Alex Cross series is the only James Patterson books that I loyally keep up with when one is released. 
15 points: Read a book by an author of a different race or religion than you.
My choice:  We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo -  I picked up this book last week for $5 without knowing it would be a perfect choice for this challenge.
15 points: Read a book featuring a main character who is of a different race or religion than you.
My choice:  When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi -  I loved Hashimi's The Pearl That Broke Its Shell, so I've been wanting to read more of her work.
20 points: Read a modern retelling of a classic (e.g. an Austen Project novel, Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler, etc.) — Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Kaity.
My choice:  The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (retelling of Hamlet) -  Jana rated this book 4*, and Jana and I have similar tastes in books.
25 points: Read a book with an alcoholic beverage (neat or cocktail) in the title. — Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Kerry. (And she was nice enough to come up with a long list of suggestions for you!)
My choice:  Tequila Sunset by Sam Hawken - I've read two books by this author previously, they've been decent, and it fits the category.  Why not?
30 points: Read a book with a character that shares your first or last name. (Alternate spellings are okay, e.g. Megan and Meghan or Smith and Smyth.) — Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Ericka.
My choice:  Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks -  This was tough.  I had difficulty finding books to fit the category (besides 50 Shades of Grey and The Picture of Dorian Gray and I Let You Go, books I've read or not interested in reading.)  My sister-in-law recommended this one, and I'll give it a go.
30 points: Read two books: a nonfiction book and a fiction book with which it connects. For example: A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie and one of Christie's mystery novels that features poison, or The Monuments Men and All the Light We Cannot See. The possibilities are endless, so have fun with this one! — Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Bev. (And remember you must finish both books to get the 30 points! No partial points will be awarded.)
My choices (both books about someone wrongly imprisoned):  Getting Life by Michael Morton and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein -   CNV is sitting on my floor, already checked out from the library based on Megan's recommendation that I need to read this, and GL is sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read from purchasing it over a year ago.
40 points: Read two books: one by an author whose first name is the same as the last name of the author of the other book. For example: You may read a book by Martin Cruz Smith and a book by George R.R. Martin, or a book by James Joyce and a book by Joyce Carol Oates. The shared name must be spelled exactly the same, no variations. — Submitted by SCSBC16 winner Jamie. (And remember you must finish both books to get the 40 points! No partial points will be awarded.)
My choices:  In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, and Duran Duran by Nigel John TAYLOR and The Informationist by TAYLOR Stevens.  Y'all know me, I love a rock bio...and the other book was already on my tbr, so this worked.

First up on November 1st:  Code Name Verity - (edited from first publication: this will NOT be my first book read because it is due the 28th of October, and I can't renew it because another reader has it reserved, so I need to return it, let that reader have it, then check it out again.  Dang it!)

Any opinions what should be my second read?


  1. The name category really was a tough one, but I'm glad that you found one that sounds like a good book to you! And hooray for being able to use books that have been on your TBR list for a while! I specifically chose The Pearl that Broke Its Shell for this challenge because you had talked about how good it was! It might actually win for book club this month too which would be a win win!

  2. I was worried the name category was going to be tough for me (it'll be easy in fifteen years when all the Hermiones and Katnisses are grown up), but I already had one on my TBR that qualified, luckily.

  3. I love your list. I found it so hard to find a book with my name in. There are plenty of authors called Beverly, but characters not so much. I don't want to reveal my last name but I have never seen a book character with it (although a few famous people have my surname - none are any relation).

  4. I'm doing this, too! I need to get my act together and make/post my choices this week! (I also did the best I ever have with your challenge!! I didn't finish, but that's my goal for the 2017 one!!)

  5. I am planning to do this challenge too when I'm done with yours (I still have one book left - my 100 year old book category is really tough. I'm just not in a classic state of mind)
    Anyway, I am struggling to choose this TBR too. Some of these categories are hard. How did you pick em so fast?

    1. I update my Blogger profile so it shouldn't happen again but THANK YOU so much for replying to my comment on Facebook. Great recommendation about Sula. I've updated my TBR to reflect that addition.
      Erin, you rock.

  6. Edgar Sawtelle is one of my very favorites!!

  7. boo to having to return code name verity. it's the only one on this list i've read and i really, really, really, really hope you like it. i loved it. i listened to the audiobook for the first half and then got the paperback for the second half. loved it.

  8. I've had Code Name Verity on my shelf for ages and have yet to read it. I'm looking forward to your review!

  9. I'm interested to hear what you think about We Need New Names! There were some really discussion-worthy gems in that book. Also, when you said Megan recommended CNV, I thought maybe you meant me, because I LOVE that book haha. So I second Megan's recommendation!

  10. At last, All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel Audio Book is available on AudioBooksNow.


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