2013 Challenge Wrap-up

Since this was my first year as a blogger, even though I didn’t start until mid-February, I decided to sign up for some of the reading challenges that are available on other blogs. I may have overreached in setting these goals, but it was still a lot of fun to try!


Off the Shelf

The goal was to read as many books on your shelf as possible, those books that you haven’t started but that you had when 2013 started.  Since there were tons of books on my to-read pile that I’d had for ages, this seemed like a good incentive to get me working my way through them!

I chose to participate at the Trying level, meaning that I was going to try to read 15 books that were sitting on my shelves at the start of 2013.

FAILED – I only read a measly 2 books off my shelf, there were just too many new books coming out constantly for me to take a break and go back to those that had already passed me by!  This is an area where I hope to do MUCH better in 2014!


The Classics

The challenge was to read classics (must have been published prior to 1980) this year.  There were no levels, but I signed up to read 3 – hoping to reread great books that I read in high school or college that I have always wanted to read again.  I thought it would be interesting to see what some “maturity” (ok – aging) would do to my perspectives.

FAILED – I only read 2 out of 3, once again those pesky new books kept distracting me!


Nerdy Non-Fiction

The goal was to read more non-fiction books.  I largely read fiction so this was a great challenge for me.  I signed up for the Geek level, with the goal of reading 4-6 non-fiction books in 2-3 different categories.

COMPLETE – Yay!  I read 6 non-fiction books and thoroughly enjoyed them all!  I am hoping to read even more in 2014.


Ireland Reading Challenge

Although I am Irish by marriage only, I love Irish authors and books that take place in Ireland, so this should I thought this would be a fun challenge.  I signed up for the Luck o’ the Irish level and tried to read 6 books for this challenge.

FAILED – I only read 4 out of 6, but the Irish have never really been all that lucky anyway!  😉


Southern Literature

Maybe it’s living in a climate where the winter seems to last too long, but I devour books that are set in the south.  I signed up for the Y’all come back now, y’hear! level with the goal of reading 4 books for this challenge.

COMPLETE – Yay!  I read 6 southern books, two more than required by the challenge!  In the middle of this cold northeastern winter I am sure I will read some more soon!


What’s in a Name 6 – COMPLETE!

This challenge just seemed like a lot of fun to me.  The goal was to read a book that has the following in its title (for a total of 6 books):

  1. Up or down (or equivalent): The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore
  2. Something you’d find in your kitchen: The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister
  3. Party or celebration : The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan
  4. Fire (or equivalent): Inferno by Dan Brown
  5. An Emotion: City of Hope by Kate Kerrigan
  6. Lost or found (or equivalent): Loss of Innocence by Richard North Patterson


Library Books Reading Challenge

OK, so I signed up for this one because it would be pretty easy for me considering that I work in a library and most of what I read comes from the library.  The goal was to read books from your local library.  I signed up for the Just Insert IV level with the goal of reading 50 books from the library.

COMPLETE – Yay!  I was able to include 54 books that I checked out from the library AND that I wrote about on my blog!

What were your reading goals for 2013?  How’d it go? For a list of all the books that I read for my challenges, and links to my reviews of them, go here!


Looking for Me


Looking for Me is the newest novel from Beth Hoffman, the author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, a fantastic Southern novel with great characters and intricately drawn relationships.

Teddi runs an antique and custom furniture refinishing shop in Charleston, having left her home in Kentucky after graduating from high school to pursue her dream, leaving behind her solid, hardworking, war-veteran father, her perpetually disappointed and angry mother, and her brother, Josh.  Josh is her companion, her confidante, and she is his big sister, his protector and friend.  Josh is unusual, quiet, and thoughtful, with a strong connection to nature.  When Josh disappears one Thanksgiving, Teddi spends years believing that he is still alive somewhere.  After her parents pass away Teddi is forced to go back home and face the realities of her family.

The characters, their interactions, and the souls of their relationships are what made this such a special story.  Teddi’s relationships and interactions were real and written gracefully, always seeming believable and familiar.  If you are looking for a mystery, a good Southern whodunit, this isn’t it, but I encourage you to give it a try.  The story is not about what happened to Josh, and how it happened.  It is a story about relationships, family, love, friendship, forgiveness, acceptance, and happiness.

Title:  Looking for Me
Author: Beth Hoffman
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 368
Publication: Pamela Dorman Books, May 2013