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Reading Challenges > 2012 March Reading Challange

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message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann | 273 comments In my mind March is a brooding, rainy sort of month, so March’s reading challenge is to read a book of urban fantasy.

Urban fantasy is set in modern society in real-world places, but with magical or supernatural aspects or characters. (Urban fantasy isn’t necessarily dark and brooding, but the name of the genre makes me think of gloomy, rainy, foggy city streets, but maybe I’ve just read too many books by Jim Butcher or Patricia Briggs.)

Coincidentally, two of the current Reader’s Choice books are urban fantasy: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison and Under Wraps by Hannah Jayne.


message 2: by Vicki (new)

Vicki (dragonshelver) | 35 comments My reading of the Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare covers this challenge as well, because it is Urban Fantasy!


message 3: by Micah (new)

Micah | 16 comments How about The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood? I just picked it up (finally) and while it is set in a somewhat urban city (moves back and forth between when it was a small town and bigger city) it has a story-teller (don't ruin it for me, haven't figured him out yet) who tells a pretty fantastical story, woven into the plot.


message 4: by Becky (new)

Becky | 45 comments I'm reading The Graveyard Book.


message 5: by Becky (new)

Becky | 276 comments I am going to read American Gods


message 6: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (jackie123) | 263 comments I will read "American Gods, also. Then Becky and I can compare notes ;0)


message 7: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (dashforcover) | 906 comments Is there some way to identify Urban Fantasy books separate from "plain, old" Fantasy books?


message 8: by Jana (new)

Jana | 36 comments I have the same question as Debbie.


message 9: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 371 comments Mod
Jana wrote: "I have the same question as Debbie."

I would say that its when the "urban" part of the genre is as important as the "fantasy" part. A lot of traditional fantasy was set in a medieval-type world, so this trend is really set apart by the contempory urban setting. What do you think?


message 10: by Ann (last edited Mar 07, 2012 03:06PM) (new)

Ann | 273 comments Jennifer wrote: "Jana wrote: "I have the same question as Debbie."

I would say that its when the "urban" part of the genre is as important as the "fantasy" part. A lot of traditional fantasy was set in a mediev..."


Exactly!

Urban fantasy is just fantasy that takes place in modern times in real world locations—usually cities, but sometimes in smaller towns.

Ask yourself: Is the book fantasy? Can I visit the places mentioned in the book? Is the world the characters are living in much like mine today: are there cars, electricity, computers—only with magic or supernatural elements or people too?

If the answer is yes to those three questions it is an urban fantasy.


message 11: by Jana (new)

Jana | 36 comments That's a great description. That helps a lot. Thanks.


Britt, Book Habitue (britt--bookhabitue) | 378 comments Okay, then what's the difference between urban fantasy and paranormal??
I've always thought of urban fantasy as being things like Lisa Shearin's Raine Benares books-- more traditional in setting but with an edgier/more modern feel and language and such-- and paranormal as being fantasy that takes place in modern times/places.


message 13: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (dashforcover) | 906 comments Some folks see paranorrmal as a subset of fantasy. Its even implied in your own description ... fantasy in a modern time/place. Therefore, one might say, paranormal is fantasy, but fantasy is not limited to paranormal.

Does this make sense to anyone? HOWEVER, that being said, your description, Britt, is more clear to me than any of the others. I can look for paranormal much more easily than I can look for urban fantasy.

So, to thee, I doff my cap.


message 14: by Ann (new)

Ann | 273 comments Paranormal v. urban fantasy? You'll find there's a lot of bleed over between the two.

Paranormal fiction usually focuses more on the science fiction end of the spectrum with psychics, aliens, and the like than the magic/mythical creatures and beings so common to traditional fantasy.

Honestly, they're so close that I commonly find the same book appearing under both urban fantasy and paranormal fiction lists here on Goodreads.


message 15: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (dashforcover) | 906 comments Too bad I already (barely) read the Fablehaven series!


message 16: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 371 comments Mod
Ann wrote: "Paranormal v. urban fantasy? You'll find there's a lot of bleed over between the two.

Paranormal fiction usually focuses more on the science fiction end of the spectrum with psychics, aliens, a..."


I usually think of paranormal as being more connected with the occult. But you are right- the lines are often blurred, and even if you do decide what a genre means, so often the books are too complex to really fit into it.


message 17: by Dana (new)

Dana | 4 comments I re-read Moon Called by Patricia Briggs just a few days ago, and plan to try Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews, which one of my friends with a similar taste in books enjoyed. :)


Britt, Book Habitue (britt--bookhabitue) | 378 comments Since I'm not the only one that thinks Lisa Shearin's books are urban fantasy (Ilona Andrews calls them urban fantasy in her quote on the book cover!) I'm counting them for this.
I read book 5 (Con and Conjure), then reread the first 4 books.... then read Con and Conjure again just for good measure.... all in about 4-5 days. :D


message 19: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (dashforcover) | 906 comments I am currently reading Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner. Its an ... interesting concept.


message 20: by Ann (last edited Mar 21, 2012 03:37PM) (new)

Ann | 273 comments Dana wrote: "I re-read Moon Called by Patricia Briggs just a few days ago, and plan to try Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews, which one of my friends with a similar taste in books enjoyed. :)"

I love anything Patricia Briggs or Ilona Andrews. Hope you enjoy Magic Bites.

I just got the latest book in Patricia's Alpha and Omega series, Fair Game, a spin off from the Mercedes Thompson series—can't wait to start it.


message 21: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Mitchell (lawmomi) | 7 comments I just finished reading Trance by Kelly Meding. I would recommend it for anyone wanting to get in another good urban fantasy this last week.


message 22: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (dashforcover) | 906 comments I finished reading Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner today. It was a fun read! Its nice to have a challenge broaden my reading scope.


message 23: by Havilah (new)

Havilah | 23 comments Debbie wrote: "I finished reading Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner today. It was a fun read! Its nice to have a challenge broaden my reading scope."

This series is one of my guilty pleasures! If you liked the first book, you'll like the next ones too. :)


message 24: by JoAnn (new)

JoAnn (jladybug) | 107 comments I read Liar. I was surprised to find it fit this month's challenge perfectly. It's hard to describe the plot without giving too much away, but basically, it involves the grisly murder of the protagonist's secret friend. Our narrator, the protagonist, is definitely unreliable, so the reader is left with many questions at the end and must make up his/her mind as to what the truth is. I found it enjoyable.


message 25: by JoAnn (new)

JoAnn (jladybug) | 107 comments I also plan to finish The Changeling Sea by Thursday, when it is due back at the library.


message 26: by JoAnn (new)

JoAnn (jladybug) | 107 comments Becky wrote: "I'm reading The Graveyard Book."

Loved that one. I read it in one sitting.


message 27: by Kate Hastings (new)

Kate Hastings Vicki wrote: "My reading of the Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare covers this challenge as well, because it is Urban Fantasy!"
Great series!


message 28: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (dashforcover) | 906 comments Havilah wrote: "This series is one of my guilty pleasures!"

When I first started it, I thought it was kind of a dorkey idea. But as it mixed the suspense with some good humor, I came to enjoy it more. I may well continue for the times I need some brain candy that is well worth the read.


message 29: by Meleofa (new)

Meleofa | 2 comments I read Fairy Game by Patricia Briggs. I love her books.


message 30: by Becky (new)

Becky | 276 comments I attempted to read American Gods and got through 225 pages or so before I had to quit from lack of interest and too much vulgarity. Then, I was going to read Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane but ran out of time. This genre was challenging for me. I'll keep it in mind as I look for things to read. So, give me an INCOMPLETE for this month.


message 31: by Ann (new)

Ann | 273 comments Just a reminder: one more day to post if you want to be included in our drawing for this month’s challenge. Please make sure I can see your profile. Otherwise I can't contact you if you win. Thanks!


message 32: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (jackie123) | 263 comments I will need an incomplete also. :0(


message 33: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (dashforcover) | 906 comments Ann wrote: "Just a reminder: one more day to post if you want to be included in our drawing for this month’s challenge. Please make sure I can see your profile. Otherwise I can't contact you if you win. Thanks!"

How do I make sure you can see my profile?


message 34: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (jackie123) | 263 comments I did listen to all the "Gregor" series, and thought they were great. Especially good for upper grade level boys.


message 35: by Debbie (new)

Debbie (dashforcover) | 906 comments Is there a challenge for April? If nothing has been chosen, I'm suggesting keeping with the "April showers bring May flowers" idea. Any book with any form of water in the title. Water, Rain, Showers, River, Ocean, etc. Fiction or Non-Fiction. The theme pattern could be continued for May with titles related to flowers.


message 36: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (jackie123) | 263 comments What about flowers in the title? I just finished "The Language of Flowers" :0)


message 37: by Ann (last edited Apr 03, 2012 03:05PM) (new)

Ann | 273 comments Debbie wrote: "Ann wrote: "Just a reminder: one more day to post if you want to be included in our drawing for this month’s challenge. Please make sure I can see your profile. Otherwise I can't contact you if you..."

Sorry for taking a while to answer the question about how to make it so I can see your profile and send you messages. Being new to posting the monthly Reading Challenge I had to ask around to find out the answer. Here’s how you can make it so that I can contact you if you win the Reading Challenge for the month.

Next to your picture that appears in the top right hand corner of the page when you are logged in to Goodreads there is a down arrow. Click on it and drop down menu will appear. Click on “Edit Profile.”

This will take you to the “My Account” page. Towards the top of the page there are several tabs. Click on the tab labeled “Settings.”

Here’s where you can make changes so I can see your profile and send you messages:

Step 1. Partway down the “Settings” page there is a “Who can view my profile” heading. Click on either “anyone” or “Goodreads members.”

Step 2. Further down the “Settings Page” there is a heading titled “Who Can Send Me Private Messages.” You have to click on “anyone” for me to be able to send you a message.

Step 3. Make sure to click on the “save account settings” at the bottom of the page when you are done.

Make sure to do all three steps and I should have no problems contacting you.


message 38: by Ann (last edited Apr 05, 2012 03:04PM) (new)

Ann | 273 comments This month's winner was Joann, who read Liar by Justine Larbalestier. Congratulations, Joann! Everyone make sure to check out April’s Titanic inspired reading challenge.


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