Friday, August 14, 2015

A new challenge for a Bookworm

An you may already know, my New Year's resolution this year including reading more books. 25 to be exact, 5 of which must be regular novels, not graphic novels. And as I stated recently, I'm already at 25, but need to finish one more regular novel. Seems like an easy goal to meet.

This week, I found a blog post on our internal social networking program at work that introduces a summer reading challenge. If I had found this sooner, I may have chosen the books I read so far this summer differently, but oh well. I still have some time and many more sunny lunches to read under a tree in the park!

General rules:
The challenge will run from July 9 to September 22, 2015. No books that are started before July 9 or finished after September will count. Each book must be at least 200 pages long. Audiobooks and large-print books are fine, as long as the regular print versions meets this length requirement. A book can only be used for one category, and each category can only be completed once. If you want to switch the category of a book during a later check-in, that's fine, just be sure to account for that in your point total.

Rereads can be used for a maximum of three books in the challenge. This rule is meant to encourage you to try new books while still allowing you to revisit books from your childhood or young adulthood that you might get more out of now. Please reread the entire book within the timeframe of the challenge in order to count it; no simply finishing old books or partial rereads.

The highest possible total is 200 points.

Prize is bragging rights.

And now for the exciting part: the challenge categories!

  • 5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules.
  • 10 points: Read a book you have never heard of before. (Just go to a shelf and pick a book based on the cover, the title, whatever you want!)
  • 10 points: Read a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years. (If you've had a Goodreads account for 2+ years, this will be easy to figure out. If you don’t, do your best to pick a book you’re pretty sure you’ve been wanting to read for years.)
  • 10 points: Read a book that won a Goodreads “Best Book” award in 2014.
  • 15 points: Read a book by an author who is completely new to you.
  • 15 points: Read a book by an author you have read before. (No re-reads for this one.)
  • 15 points: Read a book with "light" or "dark" in the title. (Or "lightness" or "darkness.")
  • 20 points: Read a book with the name of a city, state or country in the title. Edited to add: The place must be real, either current or historical, but not fictional.
  • 20 points: Read a book with an animal on the cover.
  • 25 points: Read a book that is part of a series with at least four books.
  • 25 points: Read a book that is longer than 500 pages long.
  • 30 points: Read a book with an alliterative title. (All words in the title must begin with the same letter; no exceptions for articles or prepositions. Examples: Gone Girl or Nicholas Nickleby. Yes, this is tough, which is why it's worth the most points!)

So far, I only have 1 book read that fits these qualifications, but I'm in the middle of 2 more that work. This will be a toughie....

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Elephants and bicycles and quilts oh my!

August has been a busy month for sure!

I spent Saturday volunteering with the Elephants in celebration of World Elephant Day (which is today!) The elephant barn was open to the public to check out, see the elephants up close, and speak with the keepers.

World Elephant Days puts the focus on these beautiful beasts and raises awareness about their plight in the wild and captivity - to ban the ivory trade and the use of elephants for performances. Visit WorldElephantDay.org for more info.

Then Sunday was CicLAvia. From 9am-4pm, a couple major streets on the west side of LA were shut down for cyclists, pedestrians, skaters, etc. Riding from home to the start of the CicLAvia path, then to the beach and back was about 15 miles. I'm very proud of myself - I haven't rode my bike in quite awhile but I was still able to stand and walk afterwards! I guess my gym membership is helping after all.

After this exhausting weekend, I did find a little time to work on my quilt. The stitching over the main body of the blanket is done. Now I just have to stitch in the border and apply the binding. Then maybe, just maybe, I'll start work on holiday projects!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Resolution review

It's the end of July already?!

The heat has just started rolling so it finally feels like summer. But all I see online are bloggers starting their Christmas projects. How can I keep up?!

To make myself feel better, let's look at my 2015 goal status so far:

  1. Finish 4 quilts. I've finished 2 so far - a full blanket, and a wall hanging; 3, if you count my zoo bag. And one more I hope to finish within the next week or two.
  2. Crochet a sweater. Haven't even started...
  3. Read 25 books. I'm already at 22! And 4 of those are regular text novels. I'm well ahead of my goal, especially since I have a huge stack of books on my to-read shelf!
  4. Make more items for charity. Earlier this spring, I crocheted a bunch of hats and scarves for Handmade Especially for You, a charity that gives the projects to women in shelters. I'm in the middle of an afghan right now, but as soon as that's done, I'm sure the leftover yarn will be used for more donations.
  5. Harvest a successful garden this summer. I think I'll say this is complete! Though I still have veggies growing, I've harvested a ton of cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, kale, and arugula. Though the cherry tomato plant is dying off, I have some peppers and basil coming up! I'd call that a success.

Not so bad, right? And once I finish my denim quilt, maybe I'll start work on some Halloween projects to help me feel a little ahead...