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2014 Individual Challenges > Rumpelteazer's 2014 Challenge Thread

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message 1: by Bianca (last edited Dec 28, 2013 12:25AM) (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments Challenges for 2014:

* Keeping track of books
* Culling number of ongoing series
* Age challenge (2013/2014)
* Read some of the longer books I've left unread for ages


message 2: by Bianca (last edited Dec 31, 2014 12:26AM) (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments Summary:

Books read: 112
Pages read: 43981
Book abandoned: 1


message 3: by Bianca (last edited Dec 31, 2014 12:26AM) (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments Ongoing Series

* Commissario Brunetti (10/23)
* Vera Stanhope (4/6)
* Outlander (1/10)
* The Legends of Muirwood (2/3)
* Odd Thomas (1/10)
* Witching Savannah (1/3)
Finished/up-to-date/abandoned series
* Sigma Force (up-to-date)
* Order of the Sanguines (up-to-date)
* A Song of Ice and Fire (up-to-date)
* Mortal Instruments (abandoned)
* Ruth Galloway (up-to-date)
* The Strain Trilogy (finished)
* All Souls Trilogy (finished)
* Yesterday's Gone (abandoned?)
* Lewis Trilogy (finished)
* Merlin Trilogy (finished)
* Simon Serrailler (up-to-date)
* Georgia (up-to-date)


message 4: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments reserved


message 5: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments reserved


message 6: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments reserved


message 7: by HomeInMyShoes (new)

HomeInMyShoes | 2619 comments First!

2008: Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger was quite enjoyable.

I didn't find A Visit from the Goon Squad overly absorbing when I read it.


message 8: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments After reading a lot of shorter books/stories (mostly a serialized series where each "episode" was around a 100 pages each) I've decided that an unofficial challenge for my next year is to read some of the longer books that have been lingering in Calibre unread.


message 9: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments I've changed a couple of books for my Age Challenge. I cheated a bit for 1992, I couldn't find a book that I would like to read, however, Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon was published that year. I read it last year, when I was already working on my Age Challenge, so I added it to my list (and crossed it out as read).

I might change some other books during the year (or maybe even cheat again).


message 10: by HomeInMyShoes (new)

HomeInMyShoes | 2619 comments The only cheating is not reading.


message 11: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments Yay!
I finished the first book of the year! It took me a week to read, longer than normal, due to a busy store and lack of sleep.

It was The Man in the Moss by Phil Rickman. I loved it, I love his "is it paranormal or not" approach in most of his books. Without it being gory it's a nice and scary read.

Now onwards with a book from my Age Challenge list, or I will never finish it this year.


message 12: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments Bianca wrote: "Yay!
I finished the first book of the year! It took me a week to read, longer than normal, due to a busy store and lack of sleep.

It was The Man in the Moss by Phil Rickman. I loved ..."


COngrats!!


message 13: by HomeInMyShoes (new)

HomeInMyShoes | 2619 comments Congratulations on the first read.


message 14: by Nyssa, Series Addict (new)

Nyssa | 1229 comments Bianca wrote: "Yay!
I finished the first book of the year! It took me a week to read, longer than normal, due to a busy store and lack of sleep.

It was The Man in the Moss by Phil Rickman. I loved ..."


Congratulations!


message 15: by Bianca (last edited Jan 09, 2014 01:39PM) (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments Tonight I finished Virals by Kathy Reichs, the first in her YA Virals series. It was okay, the main character was a bit too full of herself (she kept reminding the readers how smart and pretty she was). A while ago I couldn't get enough of YA series, like Percy Jackson and The Hunger Games. Last summer I started with the Mortal Instruments series and loved the first book but, for me, the later ones aren't as good and I've been putting off #5 for months now. I don't think I'll be continuing this series (though, if I get back into YA I might).


message 16: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments Bianca wrote: "Tonight I finished Virals by Kathy Reichs, the first in her YA Virals series. It was okay, the main character was a bit too full of herself (she kept reminding the readers how smart ..."

Badly written and/or trite YA kills the soul quickly.


message 17: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments MrsJoseph (taking back my data & giving GR the middle finger) wrote: "Badly written and/or trite YA kills the soul quickly. "

Not exactly trite or badly written, more that she just doesn't understand teenagers. The main character complained about how the cool, rich kids in her school look down on her and her friends but she does exactly the same thing. Anyway, another book crossed off my Age Challenge list.


message 18: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments Oooh.


message 19: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (quiltsrme) | 420 comments I noticed that you are reading Song of Fire and Ice series. Mom is reading that now on her PPW. She's on book 2. Does the series seem just as exciting at book 4? I have to pick it up again. My nano had gone astray when I was halfway through Book 1, and I only found it again recently (I have multiple devices, so I'm never without audiobooks).


message 20: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments I read the first three books of ASOIAF within a year and burned out. Half way through the third book I put it aside for several months before finishing it. Only after a year and a half did I pick up the fourth book.

I liked the fourth book but a lot of people don't. It only features half of the characters, the book was too long and GRRM decided to cut it in half not in chronological order but by geographical location, and it introduces new characters. It also hasn't got any great battles or happenings like the Red Wedding or Joffrey's wedding. I liked it because the story was more about the characters and their development.

I've planned to read book five this year, I hope I hope soonish but I'd like to finish some other books first.


message 21: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments I finished The Eye of God by James Rollins last night. It's the latest book in the Sigma Force series.

Another series I love, I've read several adventure thriller series where after a few books I started to notice that each book is basically the same book dressed differently (e.g. the Cotton Malone series). Not with Sigma Force, though. In this story the Sigma Force team, plus some old and new outsiders, have to save the world from a meteorite impact that could destroy life on earth. A great story, that read much to quick. Now I have to wait until July for the next book in the series.


message 22: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments I finished book number four: Haunted House by Jack Kilborn (JA Konrath).

It features several of his characters of previous books, all who have gone through a traumatic experience and now get invited to an experiment about fear. They are told that with it they can help find the cure for fear and earn a million dollars. But, of course, all isn't what it seems like.

I haven't read any book by Konrath/Kilborn before, despite that the story was easy to follow and enjoyable. Now I do have to get the other books, though ;)


message 23: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments I finished three books in the past week:

Acqua Alta by Donna Leon.
The Vision by Heather Graham
Blood Brothers: A Short Story Exclusive by James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell


message 24: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (quiltsrme) | 420 comments Thanks for the info. Mom is a voracious reader when she actually sits down to read (typically Jan until Spring thaw). I'd be hard pressed to keep her in ebooks if she did this year round.


message 25: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments It seems I've been a bit lazy with updating lately.

Innocent Blood by James Rollins & Rebecca Cantrell
What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman
Undone by Karin Slaughter
Broken by Karin Slaughter

Yesterday I started Anne Perry's The Face of a Stranger but after two chapters I'm not sure I'm in the right mood so I continued with the anthology I've been reading for a while now.


message 26: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments In the past week I finished:

The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry.
The first in the William Monk series. It took quite a while to get into the story but I'll give the next book in the series a chance some time.

Quietly in Their Sleep by Donna Leon.

In three weeks I'm on holiday for a week and I'm already considering what to read. I'm thinking of giving Mary Stewart's Merlin series a go.


message 27: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments Bianca wrote: "In the past week I finished:

The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry.
The first in the William Monk series. It took quite a while to get into the story but I'll give the next book in th..."


Damn. You're moving. I've been a bit bogged down with reading.


message 28: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments MrsJoseph (taking back my data & giving GR the middle finger) wrote: "Damn. You're moving. I've been a bit bogged down with reading. "

LOL, I'm feeling a bit bogged down the last couple of weeks. I've had a cold, Family Stuff and the rediscovery of Tropico 4 to blame for it.

Hopefully my vacation will be a bit more relaxing than last time (Family Stuff is still going on but not at the super critical point it was in November) so I'm planning for some quality reading time. Now only to convince my sister not to plan each day all day with activities.


message 29: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments I finished The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton on Friday. I loved it! One of those books you can lose yourself in.

I've started reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin. I hope to finish it before I go on holiday, the previous book took me eleven days to read, this book is longer but I still have two weeks. With a bit of luck I should make it.


message 30: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments I just started Malazan.

O_O


message 31: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments MrsJoseph (taking back my data & giving GR the middle finger) wrote: "I just started Malazan.

O_O"


I got book one waiting for me. But first I need to finish ADWD and after that probably a break from epic fantasy for a while.

Meanwhile, I've discovered GOG.com (someone here and on MR mentioned it) and I've found a lot of old favourites, games I've always wanted to play and game I've never finished. I'm now working on a Sherlock Holmes game but after that I think I'll treat myself to Myst, which I've never managed to finish.


message 32: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments GOG is tricky! They have a LOT of sales.


message 33: by Christa, The Returned (new)

Christa (christaw) | 1150 comments Indeed. And avoiding the GOG emails isn't easy because sometimes they give away free games, and don't want to miss those. They've nailed the art of temptation.

However, I've found Humble Bundle to be a far greater weakness for me lately.


message 34: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments Christa wrote: "Indeed. And avoiding the GOG emails isn't easy because sometimes they give away free games, and don't want to miss those. They've nailed the art of temptation.

However, I've found Humble Bundle to..."


^This


message 35: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments Still working on A Dance With Dragons, only 600 (Kobo) pages to go, so I should be able to finish it this week.

Last week an Indie game called Banished came out and it's already my favourite city builder ever. No war element, not too easy (actually it's quite hard to get everything balanced) and great expansion possibilities that you can slowly build up in your town. It's highly addictive and thus eating into my reading time. Luckily ADWD read relatively quickly.


message 36: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments Bianca wrote: "Still working on A Dance With Dragons, only 600 (Kobo) pages to go, so I should be able to finish it this week.

Last week an Indie game called Banished came out and it's already my favourite city ..."


Christa loves it, too!

I am resisting. :)


message 37: by Christa, The Returned (new)

Christa (christaw) | 1150 comments Banished is awesome! I had a few false starts but I'm finally running a town I think might survive a while. The hard part for me was surviving the first old-age die-off. I'm now paying for my conservative early-game growth strategy. But I did manage to get a cemetery built before anyone died so at least everyone has gotten a proper burial so far.


message 38: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments My biggest problem when I started was having enough logs/firewood and later food. My current town has a huge stockpile of both (stored food doesn't spoil!). In my current town the settler generation is dying but it evens out with people finishing their education.

I wish, however, that trade boats would come more often than once a year and you could also trade food and herbs.


message 39: by Christa, The Returned (new)

Christa (christaw) | 1150 comments I always end up having a firewood / log crisis no matter how much I stockpile. And even if I get them started early, foresters don't provide a consistent amount of logs even after they get to the point of cutting the trees they themselves planted. I've actually found it more efficient use them to seed empty land, wait a few years and have my laborers cut it down, then seed it again.

Food... Food I've got down pretty good, except when nomads show up. They can decimate a massive stockpile in record time, especially since they hoard a ton of food in the boarding house.

I've had traders come more often. On my most recent town they were coming almost twice a year. The hard part is getting one that has what you need. I waited forever on my last town and NEVER got any livestock.

The biggest challenge for me in this game is living with my decisions and not starting over, so I've started setting myself progressively higher goals, at which point I can call it a success and start a new town. Since I'm still learning, this helps.


message 40: by Christa, The Returned (new)

Christa (christaw) | 1150 comments I started a new group - Reading Gamers
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

Join us! :)


message 41: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments Thanks for the tip about firewood, I tried it out in my current town and it works great!

My biggest problem at the moment is having enough storage for all the food, LOL. I haven't dared to allow nomads yet.

My current town is about 45 years old now. I tried out several towns before but I started a new one because it's hard to find a map that suits me, most are too hilly for my taste.

A tip I read about the traders; when you see a boat coming save the game, if he doesn't bring what you want/need load the saved game again and again until you get what you want.


message 42: by HomeInMyShoes (new)

HomeInMyShoes | 2619 comments Christa wrote: "I started a new group - Reading Gamers
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

Join us! :)"


Evil, evil I tell's ya!


message 43: by Christa, The Returned (new)

Christa (christaw) | 1150 comments Bianca wrote: "My current town is about 45 years old now. I tried out several towns before but I started a new one because it's hard to find a map that suits me, most are too hilly for my taste.

A tip I read about the traders; when you see a boat coming save the game, if he doesn't bring what you want/need load the saved game again and again until you get what you want. "


I know what you mean about the maps. I ended up searching Google for "Banished Map Seeds" - you'll be amazed. There's even a Reddit for map seeds.

I hadn't heard about the traders, thanks! I do usually see them coming so I'm definitely going to try that.


message 44: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments I finished A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin!!!! I loved it, though I'm not used to taking two weeks to read one book.

I also finished Grayson Manor Haunting by Cheryl Bradshaw. Although it was an okay book, a first in a series, I'm not sure if I will get the next when it's released.


message 45: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments Yesterday I finished The Crossing Places. I loved it! I already got the other books in the series. It reminds me a lot of Phil Rickman's Merrily Watkins series.

I think I might abandon my age challenge, I've never been good with prescribed reading.


message 46: by HomeInMyShoes (new)

HomeInMyShoes | 2619 comments What, no way! These challenges aren't like New Year's resolutions.

*whispering to himself*
Only 54 countries to go, only 54 countries to go...


message 47: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments I even gave myself two years for this challenge, but I always seem to have books I want to read more than the ones on the list.


message 48: by MrsJoseph *grouchy*, Resident Book Pusher (new)

MrsJoseph *grouchy* (mrsjoseph) | 3289 comments I don't know how you are still reading AND playing at the same time!


*jealous*


message 49: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments I'm not playing at the moment. Banished won't play with sound on my notebook (I'm on vacation), I tried another game but couldn't be bothered.

Today we also made a cake, I brought my Domtower shaped bakingtin, only with all the nooks and crannies I didn't get it buttered properly and it didn't want to come out (we know now how our local church tower looks when it has collapsed). It does taste good, though.


message 50: by Bianca (new)

Bianca van Willigenburg (biancavw) | 1447 comments Yesterday I finished Mary Stewart's The Crystal Cave. When looking for something to read on my ereader I accidentally tapped on this book, opening it, and thought "why not". It's been on my "TBR soon" list for a long time, but I've always put it off because most Merlin/Arthurian books I've read disappointed me.

Not this one though! I really enjoyed it and found it hard to put down.


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