Thursday, November 3, 2016

Semi-Charmed Winter 2016 Book Challenge

I have been really looking forward to this reading challenge ever since I saw it on Ashley's blog! When I read all the rules and point opportunities from this challenge, I knew it was just what I needed, even though it seemed daunting at first! 

The great thing was that a few of the books that I had already on hold at the library worked for some of the categories, which was a win-win for me! 

Even though the challenge already started, you have until January 31st, 2017 to get this challenge completed, which is plenty of time IMO! Here are the general guidelines for those who want to join in on the fun!

General Guidelines:

  • The challenge will run from November 1, 2016, to January 31, 2017. No books started before 12 a.m. on November 1 or finished after 11:59 p.m. on January 31 will count.
  • Each book must be at least 150 pages long. Audio books and large-print books are fine, as long as the regular print version meets the length requirement.
  • A book can only be used for one category, and each category can only be completed once.
  • The highest possible total is 200 points, and the first five people who finish the challenge will be invited to contribute a category for the summer 2017 challenge.
  • Have fun! Read some books you might not have read otherwise. Discover new authors and make new bookworm friends. (Yes, these are the most important rules!)

5 points: Freebie! Read any book that is at least 150 pages long.

Save The Date by Mary Kay Andrews (464 pages)

I picked up this book from Barnes & Noble and have been meaning to get started on it! It's a long one, but I love this author so I can't wait!

10 points: Read a 2016 finalist (longlist or shortlist) for one of the following literary prizes: National Book Award, Man Booker or Man Booker International.

The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan (288 pages)

After reading the synopsis of this book, I knew it was something I wanted to read. Having visited India and more specifically Delhi, this one just felt right! 

10 points: Read a brand-new release (something published between November 1, 2016, and January 31, 2017).

Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham (256 pages)

I personally love Lauren Graham so I was excited to see that she had a book coming out November 29th, fitting since the 4 part Gilmore Girls show is releasing during that time also.

15 points: Read a book by an author of a different race or religion than you.

In The Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero (257 pages)

I heard buzz about this book earlier in the year and kind of put it to the back of my head. Then when I was browsing books, this one popped back up and I knew I wanted to include it. I love Diane's character in Jane The Virgin and knew this would interest me! She's also of Colombian American heritage which qualifies it for this category!

15 points: Read a book featuring a main character who is of a different race or religion than you.

The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie (430 pages)

This was another book that was a finalist for the National Book Award, but since I chose the other book I wanted to find another category to squeeze this book in. From the synopsis alone it had me intrigued. It's a long read, but I'm excited to get it started.

20 points: Read a modern retelling of a classic.

Great by Sara Benincasa (272 pages)

I have to admit I did a Google search for this one because I had no clue. This was the first book in the list that I clicked on and immediately I knew it was something I would love to read. It's a modern twist of The Great Gatsby which is an old favorite of mine! Excited to read this one!

25 points: Read a book with an alcoholic beverage (neat or cocktail) in the title.

The Final Summer of Vodka: The Marmaris Diaries by Louise Bell (182 pages)

This was another Google search and it was much harder than I thought to find a book with an alcoholic bev in the title. I had already read Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea so I had to look elsewhere. After looking long and hard this one actually sounded interesting enough to read. I couldn't find it at my local library, but luckily the Kindle version on Amazon was dirt cheap. It also just barely meets the page length requirement.

30 points: Read a book with a character that shares your first or last name.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel (326 pages)

After trying super hard to find someone with the name Nikki, it ended in pretty much failure. There were plenty of authors with my name, but hardly any characters with the name. At least that's what my Google search showed. My husband even tried helping me find a book to qualify, he managed to find a book with Nikki as a titular character, but it was a book intended for middle schoolers. Needless to say I didn't want to read a book geared towards elementary/middle schoolers. Then I decided to search for books with my last name since it's common enough. I had no idea that this book's character has the last name Patel, but I immediately added it. The story line sounds good enough and since I haven't watched the movie, I figured why not!

30 points: Read two books: a nonfiction book and a fiction book with which it connects.

(NF) Tales from the Back Row by Amy Odell (240 pages)

(F) The Devil Wears Prada by Laura Weisberger (360 pages)

This was definitely a hard category even though you could go a thousand different directions. The most difficult part was finding books that I would be interested in. When it comes to fashion, of course it interests me and these are both books that I would enjoy. 

40 points: Read two books: one by an author whose first name is the same as the last name of the author of the other book.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (440 pages) & The Dead Wife's Handbook: A Novel by Hannah Beckerman (424 pages)

Luckily this one was a little bit easier to find after some searching. The Nightingale has been on my radar after hearing about it from some other bloggers.


Are any of you doing this challenge? What are some books that you would read in some of these categories? Any fun reading challenges you're participating in?


  1. I'm so excited that you're going to participate in the challenge! I had the hardest time trying to find a book that had a character named Ashley too, so I'm glad that you were able to find one with your last name! And yes to the Lauren Graham book and The Nightingale! The Nightingale is such an amazing book and I hope that you love it as much as I do, and the Lauren Graham book is perfect to read right before the Gilmore Girls revival!

  2. the name one was SO hard for me that i think i'm just going to sit this one out lol. i did come across a couple but none that i actually wanted to read and i've learned the hard way not to force certain books. i hope you like the life of pi though, i loved it. i really want to read Lauren Graham's book!

  3. I've never done a book challenge before, but I've been reading a ton and think I might need to figure this one out! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston