Somehow, I find the act of signing up for and attempting a challenge to be stress reducing. Last month, I set out to complete a fitness challenge in the form of the Tone It Up girls book, 28 Days to Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous and complete it I did.

That was super fun for me. I’ve been trying to get back into daily activity and couldn’t stick to much of anything. But this was easy and fun to do. Now it’s just finding a way to continue. For 30 days though, I moved on a regular basis. I started using weights again (nothing giant, I’m only up to 8 pounds) and playing with the Beachbody on Demand programs.

Working out is just a huge stress reducer, for me. I find that I can clear my head and focus on getting stronger, rather than whatever may be wrecking me at that moment.

As previously mentioned, I also love to read. Total bookworm here. Although, I do greatly enjoy the notion of being  a book dragon too. Anyway! I set myself a reading challenge every year.

For a long time, I followed a blog that read 52 books in a year and did reviews every week. He ended up reading more like 95 books and I was in awe. I’ve always loved to read and even consider myself a fairly quick reader. However, reading that much seemed quite impossible.

Last year, I attempted 100 books and barely made it over the half way mark. So this year, I thought, how about that 52 books in a year goal! I mean, that’s a book a week and depending on my weeks, I’ve been known to get through at least that much.

To help me reach this goal, I decided to find some challenges to complete. Right, I know. The actual reading of a certain number of books is a challenge in of itself but, being the book worm I am annnnnd the shopper I am, I have acquired a lot of books. A LOT.

I have two book shelves that are over stuffed, a side table with two giant stacks of books, 3 small totes full of the last two years purchases from a local library sale ( GOD, I Love that sale!), a stack on my floor of books I took when we cleaned out my Dad’s place after he passed, a stack on my floor of books I have borrowed from my library, and then the stack of whatever I’m reading that tends live in the corner of my bed. *phew* Overwhelmed yet?

I tend to just stare at them thinking I want to read EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW but as that isn’t actually possible, I like having a way to pick out my next read. I find that reading challenges help me to grab something I may not have or that I’ve had forever and just haven’t picked up yet.

So! I found three that all together work out to 50 books. Yup! I’m smart (sometimes). And because I’m me and will read things that don’t fit the lists, I know that I can get two more in.

The first two are actually the 2017 Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenges. These are extremely popular and I just like the categories that tend to be part of them. The third is the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge for 2017.

I feel like I’m doing pretty good thus far. According to Good Reads, I’m actually ahead of schedule in my reading for this year (Woop!) and I’ve actually checked off a bunch of things from my challenges!

Here’s what I’ve completed so far (Updated 5/11/17)

from the Reading for Fun Modern Mrs. Darcy List
8/12 Completed

  • A book you chose for the cover- Heartless by Marissa Meyer. -and for the author and for the fact that it was a retelling of Alice in Wonderland which I frikkin love. This was an excellent read.
  • A book with a reputation for being un-putdownable- Lost Among The Living by Simone St. James— THIS BOOK! A ghost story set in the 20s that’s just the perfect amount of haunting.
  • A book set somewhere you’ve never been but would like to visit- My ( Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella–because London.
  • A juicy memoir- The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
  • A book in the backlist of your new favorite author-Panic by Lauren Oliver— I am seriously loving everything I read of hers.
  • A book recommended by someone with great taste-Lumberjanes
  • A book you were excited to buy or borrow but haven’t read yet-Amulet:Firelight by Kazu Kibishi–My niece got me hooked on these years ago and I counted down to this one and then never picked it up. I was not disappointed.
  • A book about a topic or subject you already love- Mortified by David Nadelberg– I’ve been following Mortified since I was in college the first time.

from the Reading for Growth Modern Mrs. Darcy List
5/14 Completed

  • A book publish before you were born- Letters From Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkein–this was so beautiful.
  • Three books from the same author- Pandemonium, Requiem, and Alex by Lauren Oliver
  • A book by an #ownvoices or #diversebooks author- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

from Book Riot’s 2017 Read Harder Challenge

  • Read a debut novel-A Man Called Ove–I can’t believe this is a debut. This was so, so, so good.
  • Read an all ages comic-Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelen
  • Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your location- Delirium Stories by Lauren Oliver– Most of the Delirium series takes place in Portland, Maine which is all of 10 minutes from my location and certainly less than 100 miles.

Currently, I’m working on the 7 books I have out from my local library. I’m headed to vacation on the 23rd so I’d like to be able to return at least a few of these happily read on the 22nd.

The Read o Rama read-a-thon starts tomorrow so I’m hoping joining in on sprints everyday this coming week will help me along with my goal. Getting lost in the books in helping my general anxiety and stress anyway. I’m also working my way through the Alexander Hamilton biography that Lin-Manuel Miranda read randomly on vacation and then Hamilton happened, so I feel like I’m learning a lot of history too.






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