Weekly Wishes #24 and SCSBC 2014 Book Challenge: Month 2

I’m back from my trip to Galveston Island, Texas with my sisters. I had almost more airline delays than I could handle in this one little trip, but I had a blast with my sisters! Galveston is such a cute, historical island for exploring and relaxing – the perfect getaway for the holiday weekend.

This post has two parts: first, I am reporting my progress on my July goals (which isn’t much yet since I was traveling most of last week) in connection with the Weekly Wishes link-up hosted by The Nectar Collective, and second, I’m checking in with my Month 2 update for the Semi-Charmed Summer 2014 Book Challenge.

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First time at the pool this summer – Galveston, July 5

July Goals

1. Read three books. This is the one goal I was able to work on while traveling. I finished The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, and I thought it was fantastic! I thought it was so good, in fact, that I rated it 5 stars on GoodReads – a rare thing for me to do.

2. Organize my jewelry. I have not done anything for this organizational project yet, but I have started getting ideas from different people.

3. Revamp my blog design and layout!! Daniel is out hiking the Appalachian Trail right now, but he comes back tomorrow. And, we are actually not traveling this weekend (for once!), so I think we may work on this then.

4. Write all of my posts about our Europe trip that I have planned… and post them! I’ve started my third and final post about our trip to London, and then I’ll do some posts on Paris. I think I can still have all of these completed by the end of the month.

NEW GOAL: 

5. Explore SkillShare classes and start working on one. I want to be a life-long learner. To me this involves reading fiction and non-fiction, traveling, working on a language with my Duolingo app, watching documentaries, working on playing an instrument (for me, this would be piano, but I haven’t played in years), keeping up with current events, and taking classes just for the sake of learning. I’ve done a decent job of being a life-long learner in some of these areas, but I want to work on the areas I’m neglecting. Hopefully, signing up for SkillShare will help me to grow and work my brain! Do you have any class recommendations? I’m interested in so many different things, but I imagine I would want my first class to be related to developing my blog since that is currently my main hobby.

Semi-Charmed Summer 2014 Book Challenge: Month 2 Check-In

I have had a lot of fun doing this summer reading challenge! I’ve made okay progress this past month, but I’m still behind. I’m not going to get mad at myself if I don’t complete the challenge on time, but it is definitely still a big summer goal of mine!

Finished Books:

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 200 pages long.
— Someday, Someday, Maybe, Lauren Graham (344 pages, 4 stars) [from Month 1 update]

25 points: Read a book written by a blogger.
 Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way, Shauna Niequist (252 pages, 4 stars) [blog] [from Month 1 update]

15 points: Read a historical fiction book that does not take place in Europe.
— Out of the Easy, Ruta Sepetys (346 pages, 3 stars) [set in the United States]

20 points: Read a book that was/will be adapted to film in 2014.
— The Fault in Our Stars, John Green (318 pages, 4 stars)

20 points: Read a book with “son(s),” “daughter(s)” or “child(ren)” in the title.
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards (401 pages, 5 stars)

PREVIOUS POINTS: 30
TOTAL POINTS: 85

Currently Reading:

15 points: Read a book another blogger has already read for the challenge.
— The Light Between Oceans, M.L. Stedman (352 pages, rating TBD)

What are you reading this summer?

Semi-Charmed Summer 2014 Book Challenge: Month 1

I’m not going to do a Weekly Wishes post this week since I’m in Texas spending time with friends and family and because I didn’t set any week goals last week. In place of my usual Weekly Wishes post, I thought it was about time I do my first check in the for summer book challenge I’m doing. To see the full list of books I’m planning to read for the challenge, click here. I obviously have a lot left to read to complete the challenge, but there is still a whole summer ahead!

Finished Books:

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 200 pages long.
— Someday, Someday, Maybe, Lauren Graham (344 pages, 4 stars)

25 points: Read a book written by a blogger.
 Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way, Shauna Niequist (252 pages, 4 stars) [blog]

PREVIOUS POINTS: 0
TOTAL POINTS: 30

Currently Reading:

15 points: Read a historical fiction book that does not take place in Europe.
— Out of the Easy, Ruta Sepetys (346 pages, rating TBD) [set in the United States]

What are you reading this summer?

Semi-Charmed Summer 2014 Book Challenge

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I have been thinking about doing one of the book challenges held by Megan at Semi-Charmed Kind of Life for a while now. My biggest hesitation is that I enjoy spontaneously choosing my next book to read based on what I feel like reading rather than having them planned out. Also, I typically cannot read as fast as I will need to in order to finish the number of books required in the challenge. However, I think that participating in one of these challenges will help me to read faster, and I think that the group effort will be a fun way to link up with other bloggers who love to read. So, I’m going to give it a shot. If it doesn’t work out, that’s fine, but I want to see if it’s something that I like.  If this sounds like something you would want to participate it, click here to see the rules and other information on Megan’s blog. You should also click around to see some of her other posts – she is one of my favorite bloggers!

Without further ado, here is my preliminary list of books I have picked out for each category of the challenge (I can change them throughout the summer):

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 200 pages long.
— Someday, Someday, Maybe, Lauren Graham (344 pages)
10 points: Read a book that was written before you were born.
— Brave New World, Aldous Huxley (268 pages) [first published in 1932]
10 points: Finish reading a book you couldn’t finish the first time around.
The Magnificent Obsession, Anne Graham Lotz (198 pages remaining)
10 points: Read a book from the children’s section of the library or bookstore.
— The Fault in our Stars, John Green (318 pages)
15 points: Read a book that is on The New York Times‘ Best Sellers List when you begin reading it.
 The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt (771pages) – This is LONG! We will see if I can do it!
15 points: Read a historical fiction book that does not take place in Europe.
— Out of the Easy, Ruta Sepetys (346 pages) [set in the United States]
15 points: Read a book another blogger has already read for the challenge.
— TBD 
20 points: Read a book with “son(s),” “daughter(s)” or “child(ren)” in the title.
— The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, Kim Edwards (401 pages)
20 points: Read a book that was/will be adapted to film in 2014.
— Wild, Cheryl Strayed (315 pages)
25 points: Read a book written by a blogger.
 Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way, Shauna Niequist (252 pages) [blog]
25 points: Read a biography, autobiography or memoir.
— Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), Mindy Kaling (222 pages)
30 points: Read a pair of books with antonyms in the titles.
— Any suggestions?

Reading List

I like to read a variety of books – everything from biographies to historical fiction to mysteries to business. Because of this, the list of books that I would like to read is very, very long. Too long to list out in a blog post (or to actually read in real life). But I thought it would be fun to post a list of books that I am planning to read in the near future, including books I’m on the waiting list for at my library, are sitting on my nightstand, or are just on my mind to read in the next few months. I only have a goal of reading two books per month, so you can see that my reading list isn’t the most realistic – but it is still fun to think about books I’m interested in.

Fiction

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (pseudonym for J.K. Rowling)

Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Book #3 of the Divergent Series)

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Christian Life

The Magnificent Obsession: Embracing the God-Filled Life by Anne Graham Lotz

Biography

Too Small to Ignore: Why the Least of These Matters Most by Wess Stafford, Former CEO of Compassion International

Business

The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau