2015 Real Book Challenge: December Recap

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016


So I flamed out pretty early with this challenge. I set a goal of 50 “real” books and only managed 37, resulting in a dismal 74%, despite the fact that I surpassed my overall reading goal of 105 by 17 books. Oy.

I blame Netgalley: 2015 was the year I discovered the joy of eARCs, and I went all in. Nearly all of my reads were on an ereader. That’s okay though! I love my Kindle: it’s great for traveling and reading in low-light environments; you don’t have to worry about hoarding, since the books take up zero space; no more relocating entire bookcases full of books when that one corner of the house floods YET AGAIN (okay, maybe that’s just me); and ebooks are wee bit cheaper, especially if you wait for the deals. Plus my Kindle is easy to hold up from the bottom of a dog pile, so there’s that.

But comics and “crafty,” heavily illustrated books? I still prefer the real thing for those. Buffy just doesn’t look the same on an iPad, okay. Which is my roundabout way of saying that I plan on participating in the Real Book Challenge again this year …. just with a more realistic goal. 25, maybe?




  • Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix (2014)


  • 2015 Real Book Challenge: November Recap

    Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015




  • Those Left Behind (Serenity #1) by Joss Whedon, Brett Matthews, and Will Conrad (2006); reviewed here


  • 2015 Real Book Challenge: October Recap

    Wednesday, November 4th, 2015


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  • Bitch Planet, Vol 1: Extraordinary Machine (Bitch Planet #1-5) by Kelly Sue DeConnick (2015)
  • Blood and Salt (Blood and Salt #1) by Kim Liggett (2015)
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (Mad Max: Fury Road – Prequels #1-4) by George Miller, et al. (2015); review coming soon
  • Dr. Horrible and Other Horrible Stories by Zack Whedeon et al. (2010)


  • 2015 Real Book Challenge: September Recap

    Thursday, October 1st, 2015


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  • Plumdog by Emma Chichester Clark (2015); reviewed here
  • A Cup of Water Under My Bed: A Memoir by Daisy Hernandez (2015); review coming soon


  • 2015 Real Book Challenge: August Recap

    Tuesday, September 1st, 2015


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  • Learning to See Creatively, Third Edition: Design, Color, and Composition in Photography by Bryan Peterson (2015); reviewed here
  • The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich (2015); review coming soon

  • 2015 Real Book Challenge: July Roundup

    Friday, July 31st, 2015


    Long story short: I finally signed up for NetGalley and Edelweiss this spring, and ooops! There goes my Real Book Challenge. In the past three months, I’ve only managed to read one physical book. (In Wilderness, my sole contribution for July.) I guess the good news is that I was so far ahead to begin with that I’ve only fallen one book behind – and hopefully I’ll soon be able to make those numbers up, now that I’m almost caught up on all those digital galleys. (*fingers crossed*)

    If not … there are always comic books. (Cue evil laughter.)




  • In Wilderness: A Novel by Diane Thomas (2015); reviewed here


  • 2015 Real Book Challenge: April Roundup

    Saturday, May 2nd, 2015


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  • Vegan’s Daily Companion: 365 Days of Inspiration for Cooking, Eating, and Living Compassionately by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (2011); review coming soon
  • Capture the Moment: Inspiration and Techniques for the Modern Photographer by Sarah Wilkerson (2014); reviewed here
  • The Shark Curtain by Chris Scofield (2015); reviewed here
  • Church of Marvels: A Novel by Leslie Parry (2015); review coming soon
  • City of Savages by Lee Kelly (2015); review coming soon
  • Go Ahead & Like It by Jacqueline Suskin (2015); reviewed here


  • 2015 Real Book Challenge: March Roundup

    Wednesday, April 1st, 2015


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  • Empress of the World (Battle Hall Davies #1) by Sara Ryan (2003); reviewed here
  • Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The Shrike by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos (2014); reviewed here
  • Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: Blood by Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, and Tony Akins (2012); reviewed here
  • The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks by Sam Maggs (2015); review coming in May
  • The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman (2015); review coming soon
  • Your Family in Pictures: The Parents’ Guide to Photographing Holidays, Family Portraits, and Everyday Life by Me Ra Koh (2014); reviewed here
  • Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper (2015); review coming soon
  • The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons (2015); review coming soon
  • Last of the Sandwalkers by Jay Hosler (2015); review coming soon


  • 2015 Real Book Challenge: February Roundup

    Sunday, March 1st, 2015


    Ten books down, forty to go!

    By the way, Kindred? So good I can’t even. I should really write a review, but truth be told I’m kind of afraid to. There just aren’t enough words in the English language, okay.


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  • Diverse Energies edited by Tobias S. Buckell and Joe Monti (2012); reviewed here
  • Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol (2011); reviewed here
  • Kindred by Octavia E. Butler (1979/2004)
  • Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia E. Butler (2003); review coming soon
  • Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock (2014)


  • 2015 Real Book Challenge: January Roundup

    Sunday, February 1st, 2015


    I’ve been kind of stumped as to how to best compile the monthly roundups for all these challenges I’ve committed to, especially since there’s so much overlap. In order to keep things simple, I think I’ll try writing a post for each separately. Let’s see how it goes, shall we?

    I managed five real books in January, which is a pretty solid start toward my overall goal of 50! I especially enjoyed Winterspell and These Walls Around Us. Spoiler alert: both will make an appearance on the diverse challenge lists (yay!).


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  • Fist of the Spider Woman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire edited by Amber Dawn (2009); reviewed here

  • Winterspell by Claire Legrand (2014); reviewed here
  • Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement (2014); reviewed here
  • A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev (2014); reviewed here
  • The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (2015); review coming in March

    2015 Reading Challenges

    Monday, January 5th, 2015

    Since I had so much fun participating in the 2014 “Real Book” Challenge, I decided to take on a few more in 2015. There are an astounding array of book challenges out there – everything from reading A to Z (books with titles that start with every letter of the alphabet from A to Z) to POPSUGAR’s epic reading challenge checklist – so to keep things simple, I’m sticking to just three: the Real Book Challenge, along with two new-to-me challenges that promote diversity in literature. Plus one pledge and a quote challenge. No biggie!


    2015 Reading Challenge

    2015 Reading Challenge
    Kelly has
    read 0 books toward her goal of 105 books.

    Overall Goals

    My goal for the year is a handy 105 books – 2 a week, plus one for good luck – which I’ll keep track of on Goodreads. I killed it in 2014 (148 books!), but I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep up this pace, if at all. So I’m being realistic!


    2015 “Real Book” Challenge

    I’m shooting for 50 real books, which is nearly half my overall goal, and is the same as my revised goal for last year. This puts me right on the border between a Real Book Hoarder (accurate) and a Queen. I won’t even bother trying to list all the books I’d like to get to this year, since my to-read pile can only be described as “outrageous.”


    Dive Into Diversity Reading Challenge 2015

    Challenge hosts Rachel (Reading Wishes) and Magan and Estelle (Rather Be Reading) use the following guideline for choosing books for the Dive Into Diversity Challenge (courtesy of the We Need Diverse Books tumblr): “We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.” They challenge participants to read at least one diverse book a month, or 12 in a year.

    Since there’s going to be some overlap with the LGBT Challenge (see below), I’m shooting for at least 24 diverse books – 12 which feature LGBTQI protagonists/authors and another 12 featuring people of color, people with disabilities, and/or ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. Seeing as I already gravitate towards books featuring female protagonists and those written by women, and thus could easily ace this challenge without changing my reading habits at all, I won’t bother including those titles in this challenge unless they’re diverse in other ways.

    Here are just a few of the books I hope to tackle for this challenge*:

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    LGBT Challenge 2015

    Last but not least is the LGBT Challenge, now in its second year at Niji Feels. For this challenge, participants can read any book “that falls under the L(esbian) G(ay) B(isexual) T(ransexual) T(ransgender) Q(ueer) Q(uestioning) I(ntersex) A(sexual)+ spectrum.”

    With the help of the following titles, I’m shooting for Omnivorous Bookglutton: 10+ LGBT books from any genre. Or 12, in my case.

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    2015 We Need Diverse Books Pledge

    We Need Diverse Books HQ is also challenging folks to diversity their reads in 2015. This one’s more of a pledge than a challenge, though, so I won’t bother doing a monthly wrap up post like I will with the others. Besides, the Dive Into Diversity challenge pretty much covers it! You can download a badge for twitter, tumblr, and instagram here; since 24 wasn’t an option, I rounded up to 25 – a number I’m fairly confident I can beat!


    2015 Book Memories Challenge

    I spotted this one on tumblr at the eleventh hour and just couldn’t resist! I’m probably too lazy to go the book jar route (plus my handwriting is dreadful, so there’s that), but hopefully I’ll have a nice, shiny roundup to show you guys this time next year.


    * The Saga and Tankborn covers look so purty together! I just wanna frame ’em and hang ’em on the wall, pop art styley.