Challenges Update # 21 – Week 10 of War & Pages + New Books for New Books November!

Hello my gracious, gregarious Bookbaggers!

Welcome to the 10th update of  War & Pages (and actually the 11th and final update too!) + an exciting update on  New Books November and other crazy dribblings from my mind parts 😀

war &  pages challenge badge

This Sunday I was feeling a little under par (probably a combination of the heat and an overindulgence of junk and underindulgence of sleep the nights before) so I stayed inside, napped, and read in between napping. As a result I read over 50 pages of Catch 22 and likely would’ve finished the whole lot if I hadn’t fallen asleep again:

Catch 22:

catch22

59 pages (4 chapters)

World War Z:

world-war-z-book-cover

Finished! :D

Total:

59 pages

Then Tuesday afternoon and evening I plunged in again and before I knew it I had finished the last 2 chapters and the extra bits at the back! Since it seems silly to wait until next week to officially update you on this development, I may as well do this:

Catch 22:

catch22

53 pages (2 chapters + thoughts on Catch 22) – Finished! :D

World War Z:

world-war-z-book-cover

Finished! :D

Total:

53 pages

Overall it was a wonderfully surreal and darkly funny book, and while it took me the good part of the year to read it, this challenge certainly helped me get into the story and finally finish this excellent classic. I know a lot of people struggle with Catch 22, so to them I say: don’t worry if it takes you forever to pick it up, if you start and abandon it a dozen times, or when you finally stick with it, it takes you almost a year – or longer – to get through –  in the end its worth it 🙂

So that’s all folks for the War & Pages challenge, which started with a link between two books I was struggling with, and in the end both books were in the top 10 of books I’ve read this year! I do have another idea for a reading challenge (*cough* possibly to do with Brisingr *cough*), so perhaps when New Books November is done and dusted I will announce something new – I’m getting to love this challenge business!

In other exciting news I have chosen my first books for New Books November!

New Books November challenge badge

As predicted I didn’t finish anything before the 15th, so I planned to get Official jar Chooser Sarah to pick me a random slip and a Comic Companion to go with it on the weekend, but then I also finished Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman Friday afternoon (it was awesome by the by) so instead I got her to choose 1 random slip, 1 blue slip (since Neverwhere was a library book and thus had a library book successor) and 2 greens for the Comic Companions. Then yesterday she came over for a coffee and chose a purple slip (Books-I-Own-But-Have-Yet-To-Read) and another Comic Companion to replace Catch 22, so for New Books November I have at least one book from each pile! 😀

The random slip Sarah chose was actually a blue so I just made that the replacement for Neverwhere and got her to choose another random:

The Living  Dead - New Books November

The Living Dead by Various

I borrowed this zombie anthology from my workmate, Scott, at the same time as World War Z so I’m really excited to get into some more zombie creepyness (especially because I finally got around to watching The Walking Dead since the first episode is finally airing on free-to-air TV in Australia (yes we are way past the 8 ball on this one).

And for the Comic Companion:

Willow wonderland - New Books November

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow – Wonderland
by Jeff Parker, Christos N. Gage (writers) Brian Ching (penciler), Jason Gorder (inker),
Michelle Madsen (colourist), David Mack (cover artist), and Joss Whedon (executive producer)

I’m really excited about this choice as Willow is my favourite character from Buffy, and the art for this collection is just stunning!

For the blue slip replacing Neverwhere she picked:

Shades of Grey - New Books November

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

This interesting sounding sci-fi came before the whole 50 Shades phenomena and has been raved about on many book blogs I follow so I’m eager to see what its like 🙂 Sounds to me a bit like The Giver meets The Hunger Games with its own twist, which is very promising 😀

And as the Comic Companion:

Death the high cost of living - New Books November

Death: The High Cost of Living
by Neil Gaiman (writer), Chris Bachalo (penciller) and Mark Buckingham (inker)

I was also super excited to read this stand-alone volume set in the Sandman universe, staring one of its most intriguing characters – Dream/Morpheus/The Sandman’s sister and fellow Endless, Death.

Then last night to replace Catch 22 she chose:

Etiquette and espionage - New Books November

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

Darn lens flare! This is another uber exciting choice because it’s the first in Gail Carriger‘s (of Parasol Protectorate fame) new series, and if it’s good (which it definitely will be!) I can lend it to Sarah after 🙂

And as the final Comic Companion:

Freak angels - New Books November

 FreakAngels #1 by Warren Ellis (writer) and Paul Duffield (artist)

Which I bought at the same time as Death: The High Cost of Living and looks excellent 🙂

While there is next to no chance that I will finish something else before December 1st, the contenders still need updating, just in case. The updated contenders are:

Books-I-Own-But-Have-Yet-To-Read Pile (Purple Slips)

Newest-On-The-Pile Books:

A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin

a-game-of-thrones

White Cat by Holly Black

white-cat

Books Published in 2013:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

neil-gaiman-the-ocean-at-the-end-of-the-lane-book-cover

Books-Borrowed-From-Libraries Pile (Blue Slips)

Newest-On-The-Pile Books:

Carnevale by M.R. Lovric

carnevale

Skinlane by Neil Bartlett

skin lane

(Yes, I know this was also on the Old Books October contender list, but I now only have three books on this pile, so they’re all included)

Books Published in 2013:

Metro Winds by Isobelle Carmody

metrowinds

Books-Borrowed-From-Others Pile (Red Slips)

Newest-On-The-Pile Books:

Flip This Zombie by Jesse Petersen

flip this zombie

Away with the Fairies by  Kerry Greenwood

away with the fairies

Books Published in 2013:

None.

Graphic Novels (Green Slips)

Newest-On-The-Pile Books:

         Scott Pilgrim Volume 1: Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O’Malley

scott pilgrim vol 1

Batman: Nevermore Issues 1-5
by Len Wein (writer), Guy Davis (penciller and inker), and Jeromy Cox (colourist)

Batman Nevermore

Books Published in 2013:

Rat Queens #1 – Gold, Guts and Grog, Part One
by Kurtis J. Wiebe (writer) and John Upchurch (artist)

rat queens #1

In other New Books November news I didn’t end up reading any of my New Books November mascot – Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales – over the weekend, but I did read some Monday afternoon

buffy tales

I read the Melaka Fray story that I mentioned last week, but then when I was all ready to get into the Vampire half I saw that there was one last Slayer story that I missed – and a pretty darn epic one at that! The forgotten story was actually a story in two parts that circled back on each other in a way. The first half was about Buffy and the Sunnydale crew dealing with a Djinn at Sunnydale high, and it was illustrated in this glorious, psychedelic coloured, cartoonish style. The second part was set in the late 1930s (during WWII) and had the Slayer enlisted to impersonate a German spy, but ended up with her discovering the same Djinn and trapping it.

In other, other news, last Friday I received a really exciting parcel in the mail – my two pre-ordered copies (one for me and one for Sarah) of Hyperbole and a Half by the hilarious Allie Brosh 😀 😀

Hyperbole and a half

Because Allie is hilarious and the book is filled with stories/comics both from her blog and previously unpublished, I have also been dipping into this all week, so with all the books I was already reading, the New Books November picks, plus this and my New Books November mascot, my currently reading page is looking like some sort of crazed orgy of books and comics at the moment!

I haven’t started the majority of the new picks (only Etiquette and Espionage which I started during my lunch break yesterday) and I probably won’t get to them this weekend as the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode – The Day of the Doctor (linked in case you live under a rock… which still has internet access…and yet you still haven’t heard about the 50th….under a rock with internet access but you only read my blog? Little weird and stalkerish Mr Under-rock dweller, but that link’s for you :P) is airing Saturday night/obscenely early Sunday morning and my workmate Scott, Sarah and I are staying up all night to watch it 😀

That’s all for now (“All?!” I hear you say. “After that bombardment of news I need a lie down” O.O) but stay tuned for more updates, maybe a new challenge and other things that I can think of/can be bothered doing 😛

Until then:

You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world! This room’s the greatest arsenal we could have – arm yourselves!

In honor of the 50th Anniversary I thought I’d go with another book-related Doctor Who quote, this time from the Season 2 episode (of the New Who series that is) Tooth and Claw.

and this is a representation of how excited I am about the 50th, especially seeing David Tennant as the doctor again:

Doctor who David Tennant gif

Also, in case you haven’t had enough Doctor Who stuff on this post (is there such thing?) have you seen the Google Doodle for today?

If you go there today it should be there and if it ends up the the archives after I'll update the link :)

Updated to link to the doodle in Google’s doodle archive…that’s a bit of a mouthful isn’t it?

Its a super funny and frustrating game (aren’t the frustrating ones also usually the most fun?) where you play as the doctor fetching all the letters of GOOGLE in different times while dodging Daleks and the like, and ever time you die you move on to the next regeneration! Very cool 🙂

Anyway, that’s really all for now 😛 As always share you’re weird sigh-offs, quotes and now I guess funny gifs too in the comments, at bookpolygamist(at)gmail(dot)com or on the Facebook page, and feel free to follow me or just my individual boards on Pinterest 🙂

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Let New Books November Begin! :D

Welcome one and all, new and ancient, earthlings, aliens and…whatever that is, to the grand opening of:

New Books November challenge badge

You are all welcome to join, use my nifty challenge badge on your blog and come up with your own rules related to new books but the official rules for myself are:

  1. The 2 books on each pile that are the newest to be added go in the draw.
  2. In addition to the 2 newest-on-the-pile books, any book (or graphic novel) on any pile which was published this year (2013) also gets entered into the draw
  3. If a book that is newest-on-the-pile was also published in 2013 then it’s entered under that category and the next newest is added
  4. The eligible books from each pile get put in the jar and will be chosen using the current system – when I finish a book the new book will come from the same pile (i.e. if I just finished a library book than I’ll choose a new library book), If I am already reading one from that pile (as is often the case as I read 4-6 at a time and there’s only 4 piles – library; borrowed from friends; books I bought; and graphic novels) the new book will be picked from the pile with the most books
  5. Comic Companion will still be chosen with each new book but they will also be chosen using the above rules
  6. If the chosen book is one of the 2 newest-on-the-pile ones the next newest will be added to the draw for next time
  7. The challenge goes from the 1st of November to the 30thAnd one more added when it occurred to me that the whole month could go by without me finishing any books:
  8. If at halfway through the month (the 15th)  no books have been chosen, all contenders for all piles (except graphic novels) will be put in the jar and one book will be chosen, plus a comic companion from the green slip contenders

The current contenders for the challenge are:

Books-I-Own-But-Have-Yet-To-Read Pile (Purple Slips)

Newest-On-The-Pile Books:

A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin

a-game-of-thrones

White Cat by Holly Black

white-cat

Books Published in 2013:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

neil-gaiman-the-ocean-at-the-end-of-the-lane-book-cover

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

etiquette and espionage

Books-Borrowed-From-Libraries Pile (Blue Slips)

Newest-On-The-Pile Books:

Carnevale by M.R. Lovric

carnevale

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

shadesofgrey

Books Published in 2013:

Metro Winds by Isobelle Carmody

metrowinds

Books-Borrowed-From-Others Pile (Red Slips)

Newest-On-The-Pile Books:

Flip This Zombie by Jesse Petersen

flip this zombie

The Living Dead by Various

the_living_dead

Books Published in 2013:

None.

Graphic Novels (Green Slips)

Newest-On-The-Pile Books:

Death: The High Cost of Living
by Neil Gaiman (writer), Chris Bachalo (penciller) and Mark Buckingham (inker)

death the high cost of living

 FreakAngels #1 by Warren Ellis (writer) and Paul Duffield (artist)

freak angels vol 1

Books Published in 2013:

Rat Queens #1 – Gold, Guts and Grog, Part One
by Kurtis J. Wiebe (writer) and John Upchurch (artist)

rat queens #1

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow – Wonderland
by Jeff Parker, Christos N. Gage (writers) Brian Ching (penciler), Jason Gorder (inker),
Michelle Madsen (colourist), David Mack (cover artist), and Joss Whedon (executive producer)

willow wonderland

Also, since I was recently gifted an amazing comic collection for my birthday I have decided to make it the official mascot of New Books November:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tales
by Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson,  Becky Cloonan (writers)
Tim Sale,Doug Petrie, Leinil Francis Yu, Gene Colan and others (artists)

buffy tales

I’m not even going to enter this into the draw as I want to read it so much! Instead I will read in throughout New Books November (its huge so it may even last the whole month) and I’ll update you on the tales I’ve read each week with my other challenge updates 🙂

Let the festivities begin! 😀

Stay tuned for updates as the month goes on and until then:

Happy New Books November!

Challenge Update # 15 – Week 4 of War & Pages and the first Old Books for October!

Well hello there my ravishing, lovable Bookbaggers!

Welcome to fourth update of  War & Pages (and frankly a pretty anticlimactic one!) + the announcement of the first books chosen for Old Books October!

war &  pages challenge badge

The reason this week’s update is a little anticlimactic is that I had a fun and busy weekend, firstly doing a Studio Noah photography session with my dogs on Saturday morning (yes, I know that is a bit weird, but they’re getting old and I wanted at least one really nice photo of them which was done by a professional instead of just grabbing my phone and taking a few blurry shots when they’re being cute) and then just as I was settling down to read for the day, I got a call from my friends inviting me to AQWA (The Aquarium of Western Australia) and a shop around Hilarys boat harbour! We had a fantastic afternoon oooing and ahhing at sea critters, perusing the quirky little shops (I ended up with 3 pairs of earrings, a broach, a hair-clip bow and other goodies) and ending the adventure with a treat from Cold Rock Icecreamery 🙂 of course afterwards we hung out at theirs until the wee hours and the next day Sarah and I slept until 3pm (Which really messes with your head, time-wise) and chilled the rest of Sunday, so I didn’t read any of either Catch 22 OR World War Z all weekend!

I did read a little bit of World War Z earlier in the week, so it wasn’t a complete failure, but I didn’t come close to my quota:

Catch 22:

catch22

0 pages (0 chapters) 😦

World War Z:

world-war-z-book-cover

15 pages

Total:

15 pages

I hope to do better this week, and I’m already on track since I finished the last 40 odd pages of World War Z on Tuesday 🙂

On that note, on to more positive challenge updates:

Old Books October challenge badge

On Sunday I was pretty positive that I would finish both World War Z and Heartless by Gail Carriger during the week so I asked my Official Jar Chooser, Sarah, to pick my first books and graphic novels for Old Books October! Good thing I thought ahead too, because I finished Heartless on Monday, and as I said above, I finished World War Z the day after.

Since both books I was finishing are from the Books-Borrowed-From-Others Pile (Red Slips) I got Sarah to pick 1 new book from that pile, 1 from the Books-I-Own-But-Have-Yet-To-Read Pile (Purple Slips) since that is the largest, and 2 Comic Companions, 1 for each new choice.

The first book she chose, and the one that replaces Heartless is:

guards guards - Old books oct

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett 

Since I read the last Discworld book at the start of the year, I’m really excited to get into some more Discworld hilarity 😀

And for the Comic Companion:

Sandman season of mists - Old books oct

 The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman (writer),
Kelley JonesMalcolm Jones III
Mike DringenbergMatt WagnerP. Craig Russell,George PrattDick Giordano (artists),
Daniel VozzoSteve Oliff (colourists), and Todd Klein (letterer)

Again, I’m excited to read the next installment of this awesome graphic novel series, and I’m also enjoying the coincidence of the first two choices for Old Books October being from the “published before 2000” part of the challenge 🙂 Plus with a Terry Pratchett offering and a Neil Gaiman one, its like my own personal Good Omens reunion 😛

For the second book which replaces World War Z she picked:

Brisingr - Old books oct

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini 

I am less excited about this because the last book (Eldest) took me forever, and this one is a monster, but I have had it forever and the end of Eldest was good so even if it takes me forever to get through I will do it goddammit!

Then for the Comic Companion she picked:

Free comic book day comics - Old books oct

My little collection of comics my workmate, Scott, picked me up from Free Comic Book Day –
Star Wars: Captain Midnight/Avatar: The Last Airbender ; Mouse Guard /Rust flip book ; and Molly Danger/Princeless 🙂

Since they’re all really short and were included as a bonus anyway I said Sarah could pick another graphic novel which was:

Soulless - old books oct

Soulless by Gail Carriger (writer) and REM (artist)

I am especially pleased about this one as it’s the first volume of the Soulless manga, based on the Parasol Protectorate series (of which Heartless was the fourth) which I absolutely love, and I can’t wait to see how they’ve adapted it visually!

So I have a veritable cornucopia of new (old) reads to start at the moment!

Also, since I’ve chosen books out of the original contenders the list needs to be updated. As Guards! Guards! and The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists were Books Published Before 2000 and not Longest-On-The-Pile Books they don’t get a replacement (ditto the Free Comic Book Day comics since they were a bonus) however, Brisingr and Soulless make way for the next longest on their respective piles.

Here is the update list of contenders:

Books-I-Own-But-Have-Yet-To-Read Pile (Purple Slips)

Longest-On-The-Pile Books:

Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris

gravesurprise

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

the-graveyard-book

Books Published Before 2000:

The Complete Illustrated Lewis Carroll by Lewis Carroll
(Collection published in 2008 but works collected published from 1865)

The Complete Illustrated Lewis Carroll

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1962)

a clockwork orange

Carrie by Stephen King (1974)

Carrie

The Shining by Stephen King (1977)

the shining

Books-Borrowed-From-Libraries Pile (Blue Slips)

Longest-On-The-Pile Books:

Forbidden Fruit by  Kerry Greenwood

forbidden-fruit

Skinlane by Neil Bartlett

skin lane

Books Published Before 2000:

None.

Books-Borrowed-From-Others Pile (Red Slips)

Longest-On-The-Pile Books:

Everville by Clive Barker

everville

Sharp Shooter by Marianne Delacour

sharp shooter

Books Published Before 2000:

The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton  (1994)

The-Laughing-Corpse

Graphic Novels (Green Slips)

Longest-On-The-Pile Books:

 House of Mystery: Room and Boredom (House of Mystery, Volume # 1)
by Matthew Sturges and Bill Wilingham (writers), Jill Thompson (penciler), Luca Rossi (inker) and Todd Klein (letterer)

House of Mystery

The Unwritten:  Inside Man (The Unwritten Volume # 2)
by Mike Carey (writer) and Peter Gross (artist)

UNWIM_CVR.indd

Books Published Before 2000:

None.

That’s it for now 🙂 Stay tuned for the next War & Pages update next week (which will hopefully make up for last weeks abysmal effort!) and anything else that takes my fancy.

Until then:

Reading is Next to Godliness!

(Better than cleanliness in my opinion 😛 If you agree, or not feel free to vent in the comments,  via  bookpolygamist(at)gmail(dot)com or on the Facebook page 🙂 )

Let Old Books October Begin! :D

Welcome one and all, young and old, sentient books and squishy meat beings of any species that somehow are reading my blog, to the grand opening of:

Old Books October challenge badge

You are all welcome to join, use my nifty challenge badge on your blog and come up with your own rules related to old books but the official rules for myself are:

  1. The 2 books on each pile that have been there the longest go in the draw. This includes ones which have been on and off the pile due to library due dates and the like. Basically the 2 which have been marked as TBR for the longest are the contenders
  2. In addition to the 2 longest-on-the-pile books, any book (or graphic novel) on any pile which was originally published before the year 2000 also gets entered into the draw
  3. The eligible books from each pile get put in the jar and will be chosen using the current system – when I finish a book the new book will come from the same pile (i.e. if I just finished a library book than I’ll choose a new library book), If I am already reading one from that pile (as is often the case as I read 4-6 at a time and there’s only 4 piles – library; borrowed from friends; books I bought; and graphic novels) the new book will be picked from the pile with the most books
  4. Comic Companion will still be chosen with each new book but they will also be chosen using the above rules
  5. If the chosen book is one of the 2 longest-on-the-pile ones the next oldest will be added to the draw for next time
  6. The challenge goes from the 1st of October to the 31st

    And one more added when it occurred to me that the whole month could go by without me finishing any books:

  7. If at halfway through the month (the 15th)  no books have been chosen, all contenders for all piles (except graphic novels) will be put in the jar and one book will be chosen, plus a comic companion from the green slip contenders

The current contenders for the challenge are:

Books-I-Own-But-Have-Yet-To-Read Pile (Purple Slips)

Longest-On-The-Pile Books:

Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris

gravesurprise

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

the-graveyard-book

Books Published Before 2000:

The Complete Illustrated Lewis Carroll by Lewis Carroll
(Collection published in 2008 but works collected published from 1865)

The Complete Illustrated Lewis Carroll

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1962)

a clockwork orange

Carrie by Stephen King (1974)

Carrie

The Shining by Stephen King (1977)

the shining

Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett (1989)

guards guards

Books-Borrowed-From-Libraries Pile (Blue Slips)

Longest-On-The-Pile Books:

Forbidden Fruit by  Kerry Greenwood

forbidden-fruit

Skinlane by Neil Bartlett

skin lane

Books Published Before 2000:

None.

Books-Borrowed-From-Others Pile (Red Slips)

Longest-On-The-Pile Books:

Everville by Clive Barker

everville

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini 

Brisingr

Books Published Before 2000:

The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton  (1994)

The-Laughing-Corpse

Graphic Novels (Green Slips)

Longest-On-The-Pile Books:

Soulless by Gail Carriger (writer) and REM (artist)

soulless manga

 House of Mystery: Room and Boredom (House of Mystery, Volume # 1) by Matthew Sturges and Bill Wilingham (writers), Jill Thompson (penciler), Luca Rossi (inker) and Todd Klein (letterer)

House of Mystery

Star Wars: Captain Midnight/Avatar: The Last Airbender ; Mouse Guard /Rust flip book ; and Molly Danger/Princeless
 
(Free Comic Book Day comics – bonus choice because I have had these as long as House of Boredom)

free comic books day1

Books Published Before 2000:

 The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman (writer),
Kelley JonesMalcolm Jones III
Mike DringenbergMatt WagnerP. Craig Russell,George PrattDick Giordano (artists),
Daniel VozzoSteve Oliff (colourists), and Todd Klein (letterer)
(1992)

sandman4

Let the festivities begin! 😀

Stay tuned for updates as the month goes on and until then:

Happy Old Books October!

A New Challenge and a Sneak-Peek at Challenges for October/November

Greeting my phenomenal, enchanting Bookbaggers!

I have come to you on this fine day (not literally as it is quite wet and wooly where I am at the moment!) to introduce to you a new challenge that I have invented/semi-started, and two which are coming up in the next two months.

Firstly, I decided to set myself a new challenge to help me along with two books I’m reading at the moment –Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, which I have been reading most of the year (and is the main reason behind this challenge) and World War Z by Max Brooks, which I have only been reading since July (which is still not great considering its a really interesting book, but much better than the start date of Catch 22 which is January O_O). Since they’re both war-based books (albeit ones which are a bit unconventional) I thought I’d do a war-based book challenge:

war & pages

I had planned to make a challenge badge on Photoshop or something anyway, but then I discovered PicMonkey, a (mostly) free photo editing site which many bloggers use for making snazzy banners and the like 🙂 It’s so fun and easy to use I will probably use it for all my badges and stuff from now on, and you may see more challenges as an excuse for making new badges ;P

Anyway, back to the challenge! As with my previous challenges anyone is welcome to join me and use the challenge badge, but for myself I have set these rules:

  1. Each week read a minimum of 50 pages from Catch 22 and/or World War Z
  2. The 50 pages must include at least one chapter of Catch 22 
  3. The challenge ends when I have finished both books (from my estimations gleaned from how much is left in each book this will be in about 11 weeks if I stick to the page quota)
  4. I will post a challenge update once a week chronicling the number of pages I read and how I’m going in general

I trialled this challenge a little last week to see what would be a reasonable amount of pages to read, and 50 seems perfect. I haven’t really read any this week so far, but in my head (its an interesting place – make yourself at home!) the challenge has officially started so hopefully I’ll read some this afternoon and over the weekend and I’ll post my first update next week.

Now for the challenges of the future (WoooooOOoooo!) 😀

Recently I was contemplating my various TBR piles and lamenting that I have books which have been in a pile for ages, but also lots of new books I really want to read. Then something just clicked in my brain (possibly in the part which loves alliteration and puns in challenges :P) and two new month-long challenges were born:

Old Books October challenge badge

(more PicMonkey fun in action!)

Old Books October is fairly self-explanatory and simple, but as you all would know by now I don’t really do simple when it comes to choosing books, so here are my rules for the challenge:

  1. The 2 books on each pile that have been there the longest go in the draw. This includes ones which have been on and off the pile due to library due dates and the like. Basically the 2 which have been marked as TBR for the longest are the contenders
  2. In addition to the 2 longest-on-the-pile books, any book (or graphic novel) on any pile which was originally published before the year 2000 also gets entered into the draw
  3. The eligible books from each pile get put in the jar and will be chosen using the current system – when I finish a book the new book will come from the same pile (i.e. if I just finished a library book than I’ll choose a new library book), If I am already reading one from that pile (as is often the case as I read 4-6 at a time and there’s only 4 piles – library; borrowed from friends; books I bought; and graphic novels) the new book will be picked from the pile with the most books
  4. A Comic Companion will still be chosen with each new book but they will also be chosen using the above rules
  5. If the chosen book is one of the 2 longest-on-the-pile ones the next oldest will be added to the draw for next time
  6. The challenge will begin on the 1st of October and end on the 31st

I have already worked out which ones are the contenders for each pile and I will post the list when the challenge officially opens 🙂

As a sort of companion challenge I also created:

New Books November challenge badge

(oooo yeah! PicMonkey is the shit :D)

The rules I’ve set for New Books November are pretty similar to the ones for Old Books October, only backwards-ish:

  1. The 2 books on each pile that have been added the most recently go in the draw. This only includes books added before the start of November, any books added after the challenge starts will be put on hold until it ends (I am also going to try to not add any new books over the whole October/November period, or if I do they will have to wait!)
  2. In addition to the 2 newest-on-the-pile books, any book (or graphic novel) on any pile which was originally published in 2013 (i.e. no reprints/new editions of older books) also gets entered into the draw
  3. The eligible books from each pile get put in the jar and will be chosen using the current system – when I finish a book the new book will come from the same pile (i.e. if I just finished a library book than I’ll choose a new library book), If I am already reading one from that pile (as is often the case as I read 4-6 at a time and there’s only 4 piles – library; borrowed from friends; books I bought; and graphic novels) the new book will be picked from the pile with the most books
  4. A Comic Companion will still be chosen with each new book but they will also be chosen using the above rules
  5. If the chosen book is one of the 2 newest-on-the-pile ones the next newest will be added to the draw for next time
  6. The challenge will begin on the 1st of November and end on the 30th

I have also already worked out the current contenders for this challenge, and they will also be posted when it officially opens 🙂

Besides these new challenges I have decided that I will continue to use the Jar O’ Books method of choosing (as you may have gathered from my rules) for the rest of this year as its great fun 🙂 Who knows – I may even keep it as my regular process as it takes much less time than the old one and is just as random, if not more.

Keep your eyes peeled for my next update and other goodies, and it the meantime:

Keep your eyes on the books!

He he I’m enjoying playing around with new sign offs that are pop-culture based (this one is obviously an X Files reference) but i am open to any other suggestions for a more permanent one to replace “Happy Reading!”. Let me know your suggestions in the comments or via bookpolygamist(at)gmail(dot)com

Challenges Update # 5 + a change in my choosing process for June/July!

Why hello there, oh studious Bookbaggers!

Since my last update I have made a little headway with my Poe challenge, there has been zero activity in my Comic Companions challenge, because I haven’t finished any reads, and I have decided to try something a little different when choosing new books over the next two months 😀

But firstly:

poe.my.god challenge badge

Last Sunday I read four more stories: A Premature Burial (which is about a man who suffers from catalypsy and so has a deep-seated fear that he will be mistaken for dead when having an episode and buried alive), The Assignation (a confusing story which starts with a child being saved from drowning, and ends with his mother and rescuer both dying mysteriously from poison, and maybe they were lovers? This one may have made the least sense out of the whole collection), Shadow – a Parable (a very short story about a group of men in Ancient Greece or Rome I believe, who perform a ritual resembling a séance), and lastly The Black Cat (which describes some pretty shocking abuse of a pet cat by his master who is subsequently led to madness and murder from his guilt and perceived taunts of a replacement cat. I was a bit rattled by this one, but it was a chilling and well-written little story).

As I said a couple of updates back, my challenge is now going til the 15th of June (1 year, 1 month, and 1 day since I started Tales of Mystery and Imagination) so I have the rest of this week, and next week until Saturday to read the last 6 stories.

comiccompanions-badge

As I said above, there has been no action on the Comic Companions front as I haven’t finished any books this week – BUT! – I did receive a graphic novel that I ordered in the mail:

unwritten vol 3

Too bad its the third volume and the second is yet to arrive, otherwise I probably would start it as soon as I finished one of my reads (probably City of Ghosts by Stacia Kane since I have been hooked on that since I started it and will likely finish this weekend, if not today), but I do still have lots to choose from until volume 2 shows up 🙂

In other news, the other day (which if you know me can mean anywhere from yesterday to a month ago – there, now I’ve shared that with you, you do know me! Welcome to my mind! Have a cup of tea and make yourself at home 🙂 ) I read a post on a blog I recently followed, The Perks of Being a Bookworm, which shared a really cool idea she found on tumblr:

tumblr_mmqkju4SF31rbfnw0o1_500

Basically you write books from you TBR pile on bits of paper, stick it in a jar and then fish one out when you want a new read! The creator, Crini from the tumblr page All About Books, used different coloured strips of paper for different genres (Fantasy, SciFi, Contemporary, Thriller/Horror) so she would still have a little bit of choice in the kind of book she wanted to read.

I love this idea and wanted to try it out for a little while – taking a break from my usual process of choosing – but instead I have done different colours for my different TBR piles:

Red are books I’ve borrowed from friends (Sarah; my little bro, Scott; and my workmate, Scott – yes I know, very confusing, but also ha! all S names :P)

Blue are books I’ve borrowed from libraries

Green are Graphic Novels (my own and ones I’ve borrowed from libraries or friends)

and Purple are my own Books-I’ve-Bought-But-Have-Yet-To-Read pile

That way I can still keep a modicum of my old ritual by choosing a book from the pile that I just finished one from, while also mixing up my habits a tad 🙂

I thought I would try the jar thing for June and July, because that will give me enough time to trial it (I wouldn’t want to do it for a period when I only choose one or two new reads) but not too long that I will miss my little ritual. And also doing it for June/July allows me to make this a thing:

Jar-full-o-books-june-july

Which is just an excuse for me to play in Photoshop again 🙂

Anyway, that’s it from me for now. In my next update there will probably be some Comic Companions news to share, as well as my continuing slog through Tales of Mystery and Imagination, and the results of my fledgling Jar O’ Books choosing (or choosings – who knows)

Until then:

Happy Reading!

Even a Book Polygamist gets the Blues

For most of this past year my books and I have had polygamist marriage difficulties.

Perhaps its my fault – studying and working more and spending the rest of my spare time hanging out with my mates and playing video games (because don’t I deserve some down time?) that I barely have the time or energy to dote on one book let alone four or five.

But do they not have some part in the drifting apart also? Perhaps they’ve lost the spark that kept me interested – I don’t see them making an effort to pull us out of the rut!

However, despite the disconnect I still held hope. I continued to carry a book or two in my bag, hoping that I would reach for them rather than my iPod or Nintendo 3DS mistresses on my commute. I tidied the pile next to my bed so they would look more alluring, but alas, I was usually sleep-bound before I could even glance their way.

And then came the Blue Book Affair which shocked me out of my reading rut and got me on track. I returned once more to a book I had been neglecting and pussy footing around for months – Freedom by Jonathan Franzen – filled with a new determination to finish it and finally have room for a new read. After a few days of dedicated reading I got through the last few chapters and was left with a dilemma that I am rarely faced with when reaching the end of a novel – I didn’t like it.

Despite having a wide range of interests when it comes to what i read, I pick my books carefully and usually will only start something if I’m fairly certain that I’ll enjoy it (whats the point otherwise?), so a book that fails to engage me is a surprising and distressing experience. I was especially surprised when it came to Freedom. Objectively it looked like it would be a quality read – a family epic spanning decades, which I usually love; it has won, and been nominated for several awards; the author has been highly praised; when the book came out in 2010 it was a hit; and it was even on Oprah’s book club (hmmmm maybe that should’ve been a warning – me and the Ms O don’t always agree) – but as much as I tried to like it I ended the experience with a feeling of relief rather than the usual mix of satisfaction and sadness I get when reaching the end of a good book.

I will elaborate in a future review (which will be one of the only negative ones I have written since the inception of Book Polygamist) but in short while Franzen is obviously a talented writer, and several plot points and subject matters had me interested , I just did not engage or empathize with the primary (or secondary) characters in any way. If I had identified with or even just liked even one or two of the half-a-dozen or more central characters (or even felt a satisfying loathing), this book could’ve been a winner, and as with the general book-reader marital problems my isolation from the characters could’ve been my own fault – perhaps I was not the target audience, perhaps if I lived in America I would’ve connected with their political beliefs etc etc – but whatever the problem was i just wasn’t feeling the love.

Since I finished Freedom I have read quite a few reviews online and have found amongst the waves of praise many people who were left with a similar disappointment, so at least I don’t feel like I’m being unfair but I still wanted to shake it off, so to speak and jump right back on the horse (ah! mixed metaphors! they’re like a squeaky wheel that kills two birds in a bush…that are catching worms early…or something).

I did this by first picking a book from my small Library-Books-To-Read pile (using my usual process) which was The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff (which I was excited about because I have borrowed it a few times in the past but had to return it and I also like the coincidence of reading another book with Templeton in the title so soon after The Templeton Twins: have an Idea)

And then I amped up the Cleansing-Bad-Book-Experience-With-Better-Books by starting The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 😀

and putting another one of my reads – The Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian in my bag to read on the bus (a strategy that actually worked this time as I had finished the remaining 3/4 of the book over three days of commuting).

By the end of last week I had finished The Secrets of Eden and The Hunger Games, plus I have gotten more into The Monsters of Templeton and two of my other current reads: Pyramids by Terry Pratchett and the Neo-Noir anthology, Blood, Guts & Whiskey which I have been meandering through since May, so perhaps in the world of book polygamy, a few short affairs can salvage a rocky relationship 🙂

I hope all my Bookbaggers have enjoyable reads on the go, and as always I bid you:

Happy Reading!