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General discussions > Action heroine annual reading challenge

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message 1: by Werner (last edited Sep 04, 2016 11:55AM) (new)

Werner | 1342 comments Since we're at the beginning of a new year, Danielle suggested (in a personal message to me) that it might be fun to have an annual challenge in this group, to read a certain number of books with an action heroine in the calendar year. Up to now, I've hardly ever taken part in challenges here on Goodreads; but I'm intrigued by this idea, and don't see any possible downside to having it as an option. The way I'd suggest approaching it would be to use this thread as a place where each of us (who want to) can set a challenge goal, for himself/herself, of a certain number of action heroine books to read. At the end of the year, we can report back here on whether or not we made our goal, and perhaps challenge ourselves with a new goal for the following year. Each person doing the challenge is his/her own judge of what books to count. Does that strike everyone as a workable plan?

I'll kick off the challenge for 2016 by setting myself a goal of finishing seven action-heroine reads by year's end. I'd already made some tentative reading plans for the year, and I think that goal is do-able.


message 2: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments Werner: I'll accept your challenge and raise you:

I aim to read seven 'action heroine' books +do reviews (need not be long) in 2016.

Some challenges allow one to join at anytime, which is fine. However, I'd encourage myself and others to share what they read as they read it. To my way of thinking, finding more well written, well plotted (and twisted) books in this little sub-genre would be enjoyable and I don't want to wait if you or anyone else finds a good one.


message 3: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1342 comments Yes, Jon, I'll definitely plan to do reviews (I review almost every book I read on Goodreads, unless there are reasons for refraining), and I try to do my reviews ASAP, while the book is fresh in my mind. If you follow our thread for action heroine books being currently read, I always post about mine there. So as I envision it, the end-of-the-year wrap-up would let people tally up whether or not their number of reads met their personal challenge; but it's also assumed that they'd be posting about their reading through the year on the other threads (as, hopefully, we already do!).


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 355 comments I'm definitely interested. Quick question. There is a create challenge function on the group front page. Are you okay with me creating a challenge for the group so we can count our reads with a shelf?


message 5: by Werner (last edited Jan 04, 2016 04:30AM) (new)

Werner | 1342 comments Yes, Danielle, that's absolutely okay with me! Thanks for taking care of that (you're obviously more familiar with the "Create challenge" function than I am!).

Jon and Danielle, I'll respond to your personal messages ASAP, but it may take a couple of days; I start back to work today on my day-shift schedule, and have some other family responsibilities that will also keep me busy!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 355 comments I realize you're busy with life stuff, so no worries. I'll create the challenge right now.


message 8: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1342 comments Looks good, Danielle; thanks! I signed up just now. (I don't want to create a permanent new shelf in my personal bookshelves; and I already have an Action Heroines shelf anyway, to which all of the relevant books I read this year will be added as I review them; but I'm guessing that at the end of the year, I can just remove all of the books from the temporary shelf, and then delete it?)


message 9: by Sadie (new)

Sadie Forsythe | 27 comments I'm in and for the record it was the challenge that snagged me. I've really paired down my forum participation lately, so without the actual challenge hitting my feed I'd have missed it. So, thanks for that Danielle.

Should be fun. I set a goal of 20 and I'm going to TRY and pick them from the group's list.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 355 comments Yes you can definitely just delete your shelf later if you want, Werner.

Glad you signed up, Zarah.


message 11: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1342 comments Zarah, what Danielle said! If you make your challenge goal, as a group, we'll already be halfway to our group goal of 40.

Our group bookshelves offer a lot of great ideas for action heroine reads. But it's also cool to expand the bookshelf, if you find worthwhile titles we don't have yet! (After all, members adding books is what's built those shelves up.)


message 12: by Mervi (new)

Mervi | 73 comments Great idea! I've only joined two reading challenges this year so I'm happy to join this one, too. I've got five Modesty Blaise books waiting to be read so that's a decent start. :)
I'll join with the goal of ten books.


message 13: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1342 comments Glad to see that we're getting a good response to the challenge! It looks like we're off to a great start.

Mervi, Modesty Blaise is on my to-read shelf; I've only ever read one of the short stories, as a kid (and years ago, the beginning of Last Day in Limbo), but I definitely regard the first book as a must-read, and keep hoping to get to it sooner rather than later. (Maybe I should suggest it as the book for our group's annual common read this May...?)


message 14: by Angela (new)

Angela (angelic1ang) | 29 comments So how do we get our total books read for the challenge to show up? I created the shelf in the challenge and it was indeed created. I put books on it that I read or am currently reading but my total still shows zero. I checked to make sure there is a date for when i finished reading the two that should count.


message 15: by Angela (last edited Jan 07, 2016 11:52AM) (new)

Angela (angelic1ang) | 29 comments Angela wrote: "So how do we get our total books read for the challenge to show up? I created the shelf in the challenge and it was indeed created. I put books on it that I read or am currently reading but my tota..."
Well, it finally updated. It must just take a few minutes to display. I thought the application would check when the page loaded to see how many should be there but the code must be in the background and not part of the page. I'm a software engineer and create websites. I expected it to be instantaneous once the book was marked in the database as being on that shelf.


message 16: by Mervi (new)

Mervi | 73 comments Werner: Good idea! I hope the first Modesty Blaise book is still available. I live in Finland and found the Finnish translation in a second-hand book store.


message 17: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1342 comments Mervi, it's still in print (in English) as a paperback, though not an e-book, so it's available through Amazon, etc. It's also held by 222 libraries in the OCLC system (including the one where I work --I had it ordered for our Leisure Reading collection a couple of years ago). So it should be something that's fairly easy for English-language readers, at least, to obtain. When I set up the poll in April, I'll be sure to make that one of the options!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) | 355 comments Angela wrote: "Angela wrote: "So how do we get our total books read for the challenge to show up? I created the shelf in the challenge and it was indeed created. I put books on it that I read or am currently read..."

I'm glad it worked out, Angela. Sometimes the challenge shelf thing is buggy.


message 19: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments Just a reminder to all group members that our annual reading challenge is open all year to join. Also, feel free to raise your goal. I'm blessed so far this year with an abundance of strong female characters. I'm going to up my goal for the second time.


message 20: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (Thornraven) | 271 comments This is the first time I've done a challenge, but it looks like the shelf is working. And, I've already started my first book - I'm indulging my Patricia Briggs fangirl with Dead Heat


message 21: by Pamela (new)

Pamela | 32 comments I am confused, and new to this sight. I set a reading challenge every year. when I hit the good read challenge you set up, it took me to my regular good read challenge. I can add a shelf to cover strong female main characters, if that is what we are doing. I read somewhere between 175 -225 books per year. so my challenge would easily be over fifty or more, since I look for those type of books to read.


message 22: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1342 comments Yes, Pamela, when you sign on for the challenge here, the Goodreads program requires you to set up a special shelf in your personal bookshelves for this particular challenge; and it only counts books that you put on that particular shelf. (I'm new to challenges myself; this is the first year I've done one!) Once 2017 rolls around and the challenge is over, if you don't want to keep that shelf, you can remove all the books from it and then delete it. (Which is what I plan to do; I have an action heroines shelf already, and don't need any unnecessary clutter on my shelves! But some people might like to keep the shelf as a memento of the challenge.)

Wow, 175-225 books a year --that's pretty cool (even if I'm green-eyed with envy :-) )! Since I don't have nearly as much time to read as I'd like, I average around 32 books a year; so my challenge goal has to be more modest.


message 23: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments Pamela, I'm about a year old with GR. To expand a bit on what Werner said, set up a bookshelf first before using the challenge form on the top of the Action Heroine Fans home page. You could use your female-heroine shelf, as it only has one 2015 book in it, or create a new shelf. I've labeled mine "action-heroine-2016." Then, each time I complete reading a book and I'm asked by Goodreads what shelves I want to use, I check that box along with others.

So, for Divergent, I might check: dystopia, fantasy, fiction, romance, sci-fi, strong-alpha-woman, suspense, and YA. If reading it this year, I'd also check the action-heroine-2016 box.


message 24: by Noetic_Hatter (new)

Noetic_Hatter (noetichatter) | 91 comments I'm in. I set myself a starting challenge of 10 action chick books. (I did a terrible job of reading last year, not even meeting my overall challenge goal of 50 books - first time since 2011 that I did not meet my annual challenge goal.) Since I just finished a Veronica Mars novel, I only have nine more to go. :-)

I named my shelf "2016 Action Heroine Fans Yearly Challenge". It lines it up right next to my 2016 Read and 2016 Purchased lists.


message 25: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1342 comments Glad to have you aboard with this, N.H.!


message 26: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (Thornraven) | 271 comments Debated adding Playing the Witch's Game (Keepers of the Veil #3) by Zoe Forward to my count. As you can tell from the cover, it's more romance than action. But... the heroine swims a jungle rapids, fights off a crocodile (with magic), and gets shot at (more than once). So I think it qualifies.


message 27: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1342 comments That book definitely sounds to me like it qualifies, E. G.!


message 28: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments Is the crocodile the bad guy? ; - }

Go with it E.G.


message 29: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (Thornraven) | 271 comments Jon wrote: "Is the crocodile the bad guy? ; - }

Go with it E.G."


The croc wants to eat the heroine. The croc is extraordinarily focused and patient because the bad-guy is controlling it. That said, I'm pulling it from my challenge shelf. Without the romance there wouldn't be a story.

Unlike Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1) by Ilona Andrews and Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1) by Kim Harrison where even without the 'romance element' there's a good story.

... and, dare I say it? My own, The Cartel The Apprentice Volume 1 (The Twelve Systems Chronicles, #1) by E.G. Manetti. It wouldn't the same story without the, uh, adult bits, but the struggle would work.


message 30: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1342 comments E. G., in the four books I have on my challenge shelf so far, I would say that whatever romance elements the books have don't predominate. But I have a couple on my larger "action heroines" shelf where romance definitely is crucial to the story; and there are undoubtedly more such books on our group shelves. Each person doing the challenge is his/her own judge of what to include; but as far as I'm concerned, I think a story that's mainly about the heroine finding a worthy partner can be fairly included, as long as she faces and overcomes physical challenges along the way.


message 31: by E.G. (last edited Apr 01, 2016 05:13PM) (new)

E.G. Manetti (Thornraven) | 271 comments Werner wrote: "E. G., in the four books I have on my challenge shelf so far, I would say that whatever romance elements the books have don't predominate. But I have a couple on my larger "action heroines" shelf w..."

I don't disagree. However, my personal standard includes the heroine rescuing herself, if not others. For Playing the Witch's Game, the heroine is intrepid, but the croc is vanquished by the hero going all 'crocodile Dundee', and the hero takes a bullet for the heroine. It's on the edge, but I like my decisions to be clear-cut not marginal. So out it goes.

Hey, it's only April 1, and my TBR is growing by leaps and bounds thanks to this group. I've got Bran's book that I'll definitely finish, and some others I really want to read.


message 32: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1342 comments Sounds good, E. G.!


message 33: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments Okay, okay ... I'm going to agree with both of you. A personal standard governs. Werner wrote: I think a story that's mainly about the heroine finding a worthy partner can be fairly included, as long as she faces and overcomes physical challenges along the way. Yes.

However, I doubt there are many books I'd want to label "action heroine" in which the heroine didn't participate actively in rescuing herself or doing something similar, perhaps saving some other character.


message 34: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1342 comments Yes, Jon, that makes sense!


message 35: by E.G. (last edited Apr 02, 2016 05:40PM) (new)

E.G. Manetti (Thornraven) | 271 comments What separates an 'Action Heroine' from a strong heroine?

Ever since Jon invited me to join 'Action Heroines', I've given this a lot of thought. I've come to the conclusion that she must risk herself - ideally to save others, but it's okay if it's only herself. It's okay if she gets help - including from the hero. But help, not rescue.

Violence is not essential - I haven't found female MacGyver, but I'm sure someone has written her.

*I feel a blog post coming on* :D


message 36: by Werner (last edited Apr 02, 2016 06:17PM) (new)

Werner | 1342 comments For my personal definition, it's the element of physical action that separates the two heroine types (both of which I admire, BTW!). I'd agree that violence isn't essential. In the LOTR movies, for instance, Arwen shows her action chops by carrying Frodo to safety on horseback, outrunning the pursuing Nazgul right on her heels. (In the book, it was a male elf who did this; but I appreciated Peter Jackson's giving Arwen the chance to show her mettle.)

Physical action usually involves some risk, of at least injury, and it's often undertaken to save others --heroines, by definition, are the kind of people who care about others, not just about themselves. As far as rescue goes, a damsel-in-distress type who gets into trouble and passively awaits rescue, letting the hero assume all the risks and avoiding danger herself as much as she can, isn't anybody's idea of an action heroine. (Or much of a heroine, period.) But in my definition, a lady can accept a rescue when it's needed and still be an action heroine, if she's got guts and engages in action when she can, and is willing for rescuing to be a two-way street. In Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Bandit of Hell's Bend, for instance, Diana Henders is rescued by the hero from a kidnapper near the end; she was overpowered and trussed up through no fault of her own, and not able to rescue herself (a man in the same situation couldn't have, either). But earlier in the book, she's stood up to and returned hostile fire in an Indian attack (and took out one of the attackers), faced down villains, and put herself at risk to warn the hero of danger. So I don't diss her for needing a rescuing hand --any of us might, at one time or another, without it besmirching our valor. (Of course, that's just me!)


message 37: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (Thornraven) | 271 comments Werner wrote: "In the LOTR movies, for instance, Arwen shows her action chops by carrying Frodo to safety on horseback, outrunning the pursuing Nazgul right on her heels...a lady can accept a rescue when it's needed and still be an action heroine, if she's got guts and engages in action when she can, and is willing for rescuing to be a two-way street."

I'm totally fine with mutual rescue. I consider Eve Dallas from JD Robb's 'In Death' series an action heroine even though she and the hero, Roarke, are a team and routinely rescue each other.

I'm not discounting the heroine from the book I pulled. She's intrepid, and does her best. But she's reactive rather than proactive. So not an 'action' heroine.


message 38: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1342 comments I've never read any of the Eve Dallas books, though other Goodreads friends have also praised them highly. Maybe I should at least put one of the books on my "maybe" shelf, and give it some consideration....


message 39: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (Thornraven) | 271 comments Werner wrote: "I've never read any of the Eve Dallas books, though other Goodreads friends have also praised them highly. Maybe I should at least put one of the books on my "maybe" shelf, and give it some conside..."

They're a little weird - near future NYC, with a bit of dystopia. The heavy use of slang can be annoying. On the other hand - I know that all the volumes can be found in public libraries. There's adult content, but it's muted. Sensual rather than explicit.


message 40: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1342 comments Thanks for the feedback, E. G.!


message 41: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments Thanks, E.G., for the Eve Dallas review. I'll pass. Between slang and dystopias ... I'll save it/them for my next reincarnation.


message 42: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (Thornraven) | 271 comments Jon wrote: "Thanks, E.G., for the Eve Dallas review. I'll pass. Between slang and dystopias ... I'll save it/them for my next reincarnation."

Definitely not everyone's cuppa. And while I love Eve and Roarke, I'm slow to pick them up these days, because the slang drives me nuts.


message 43: by R. (new)

R. Billing (R_Billing) | 38 comments E.G. wrote: "I haven't found female MacGyver, but I'm sure someone"

I think Jane gets reasonably close.

Twenty thousand miles above her, on the bridge of the Prince Consort, her pet monster had not gone unnoticed.
‘Captain!’ called the midshipman on the sensor station, ‘Orthodynamic trace!’
‘Where?’
‘In the sea, just off the tip of Florida. Boca Chica island.’
‘Yes! This could be Jane. Put the profile in the drum, and get Spence in the loop.’
A cat's cradle of lines and dots, looking like the score for a particularly unpleasant song, appeared in the drum. Keefe dropped into the command chair, and Spence's image appeared on his panel.
‘Improvised drive, all right,’ said Spence, ‘it's her. Norris, get the troops moving. Hang on, what's this? Norris—belay that until we know what's happening.’
Keefe's eyes scanned the profile. ‘I've never seen anything like it before. One of the Powell vector components is flicking up and down, and it's doing it regularly. Auntie? Have you ever seen anything like that before? Is it some sort of data?’
‘Yes,’ said Auntie. ‘It's Morse code.’
‘Morse code?’ said Keefe, ‘Oh my God, she's only gone and wired a bloody Morse key to the drive. That's Jane. Nobody else. Can you read it?’
‘Yes. But there are a lot of abbreviations. I'll add it to the display, with decodes.’
Text began to appear in the drum.
CQCQ (Calling any station) STARFEAR (I have built an improvised orthodynamic drive under duress) SALAMANDERS ARMED HOLD OFF ATTACK GETTING PASSPHRASE STOP WILL STARFOX (test orthodynamic drive) NEXT HOUR QSL (please confirm this contact) STARTOUCH (interaction of orthodynamic fields) NEXT MINUTE LOVE JANE XXXX



message 44: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments This has been a banner year for new-to-me action heroines. I've just upped my challenge. Would any of you like to create a challenge or up your goal?


message 45: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (Thornraven) | 271 comments I don't know if I ever set a goal, although I set up a shelf. Do rereads count? I'm rereading Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1) by Kim Harrison for the BOM in another group.


message 46: by Jon (new)

Jon Abbott | 297 comments There is an informal medical term, "turf." This is when a doctor doesn't want to deal with a patient but can't simply abandon them for legal/ethical reasons. So they turf the patient to another, perhaps unsuspecting, doctor.

Werner, I'm turffing E.G.'s question to you. I'm not turffing E.G., just the question, mind you.


message 47: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1342 comments Understood, Jon! :-)

E,. G., I'd say that re-reads count; as long as you read or reread it this year, any action heroine book should be fair game for the shelf.


message 48: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1342 comments E.G. wrote: "I don't know if I ever set a goal, although I set up a shelf. Do rereads count? I'm rereading Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1) by Kim Harrison for the BOM in another group."

E.G., when you go to the group homepage, the material about the challenge shows right at the top. If you haven't set a goal, the screen you see will invite you to; underneath the description of the challenge, there will be a line that says, "I want to read [box for entering a number] books for this challenge." Once you enter the number, the box underneath it asks you to enter the name of the shelf you've created for the challenge.

Once you've entered those two things, the program keeps track of your progress automatically. So if you HAVE already done so, when you go to the homepage, the challenge material in the screen you see will report the number of books already read toward the challenge. Hope that helps!


message 49: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (Thornraven) | 271 comments Werner wrote: "E.G. wrote: "I don't know if I ever set a goal, although I set up a shelf. Do rereads count? I'm rereading Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1) by Kim Harrison for the BOM in another group."

E.G., when you go to ..."


Hi Werner, that worked. I had set 6 as a goal, but since I'm on 3 (with Dead Witch Walking reread counting), and have several good ones on my TBR (thanks to this group), I bumped it up to 8.


message 50: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (Thornraven) | 271 comments @Jon - turfing? That is a really interesting concept. I may work that into a novel.


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