Thursday, September 18, 2014

Banned Books Week 2014: A Semi-Charmed Photo Challenge

Good evening, friends! I write to you tonight from Seattle, Washington, where I am spending the next few days attending orientation for my Master of Library and Information Science program. Woohoo! During our introductory lecture today, our program chair had a few great quotes that I had to write down, including:

"We're all better off when people can read and think freely."

Well said. Naturally, this got me thinking about Banned Books Week, which I then looked up and realized is next week! Last year, I hosted a photo challenge for Banned Books Week, which I found to be quite entertaining and received some positive feedback on. Therefore, I am turning this into an annual challenge!

Instead of providing specific prompts for each day this year, I decided to leave it open to all of you to post any bookish photos you wish throughout Banned Books Week (September 21 - 27). Please tag your photos with #bookphotoaday, and I will curate my favorite posts each day and feature them on my personal Instagram at @mcstroup and also here on the blog!

Please feel free to share the above graphic on your own social media and/or blog to encourage others to join the challenge! I hope to see your bookish posts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr next week. :)

Linking up with Nicole for Treat Yo' Self Thursday.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Change is here!

Well, now seems as good a time as any to post my big news, considering I just got home from my last day at my current job. Woohoo!! As of next week, I will be working part-time as a library aide, and (hopefully) part-time as a lifestyle blogger. ;) Y'all are some smart people; most of you guessed that a new job was one of my big announcements!

As for the other announcement, it goes hand in hand with the new job....

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summer 2014 Book Challenge: Final Scoreboard!

button design by Kelsey

Oh my gosh. First, let me just say that I love each and every one of you! My heart was so happy reading all your comments on the final check-in (and the check-ins leading up to that). I love hearing that my little challenges have inspired some of you to renew your love in reading after a dry spell, or even just point you in a new direction. Thank you so much for playing along and making these challenges fun! Can you believe there were 19 finishers this summer?! Looks like I need to make the next challenge a little more challenging. ;)

But really, speaking of the next challenge, I have it scheduled for November 1 to February 28. And, with so many finishers this time, I'll be able to do something I've never done before: A completely reader-created book challenge! If you finished the challenge, please send me your category idea for the winter challenge before October 10 so I can post the preliminary list on October 15 and give everyone enough time to plan out their challenge books and get any "non-challenge" books out of the way before November 1. :) You can comment on this post or email me at semicharmedkol[at]gmail[dot]com. Keep reading after the jump to see who finished and/or check where you ended up!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Change on the horizon ...

This picture doesn't have anything to do with this post; I just like it. :)

I have big news! But, like any good blogger, I can't just come out and say it. I have to keep you coming back for more. :) Plus, I thought it would be fun to hear what you think my big news is.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Summer 2014 Book Challenge: Month 4

button design by Kelsey

After four months of reading, the Semi-Charmed Summer 2014 Book Challenge is over! Remember the challenge ended at midnight, so please only count books that were finished before then. With 12 finishers so far, I think this is the most successful challenge yet! Or perhaps it was the least successful, as I obviously didn't make it hard enough. ;) Continue reading after the jump for the current scoreboard:

Friday, August 1, 2014

Summer 2014 Book Challenge: Month 3

button design by Kelsey

The Semi-Charmed Summer 2014 Book Challenge is almost over! Just one more month to get all those categories checked off your list. :) Congratulations to everyone who has finished so far! And even if you haven't finished/won't finish, I hope this challenge has at least introduced you to some new great books you wouldn't have tried before! Here's the scoreboard as of last month's check-in:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Funny: Word Crimes

Blogging makes me happy. (Surprise!) Seeing that the only post I've managed to publish in the past 30 days was for my book challenge makes me not so happy. (Not that I don't love my book challenge, but there is so much more I want to share with y'all!)

I have lots of ideas for posts I want to write soon, but while I ease back into the blogging groove, I'll admit I'm copping out today: I'm just sharing a hilarious video. I don't share videos often, so if I do you know it's going to be good. (Like this one.) Fellow grammar nerds enjoy:

So tell me: What's the funniest video you've seen lately?

Happy weekend!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer 2014 Book Challenge: Month 2

button design by Kelsey

Welcome to the second Semi-Charmed Summer 2014 Book Challenge check in! We're halfway through the challenge already; do you think you'll finish?? Here's the full scoreboard after the first check-in last month (including one winner already! Heather is so sneaky....):

Friday, June 20, 2014

New Book on the Shelf! (Summer Book Swap)

Hosting reading challenges attracts a lot of book-loving bloggers to my little corner of the Internet. One of these bloggers is Carly from Carly Blogs Here, and when I heard she was co-hosting a summer book swap with Tiffany, Emily and Lauren, I knew I had to participate. What's better than getting a book in the mail?? (Getting a book paw-delivered to you by a corgi, of course. Sorry, I've just been on a huge corgi kick lately....)

Anyway, I was so excited to be paired with Sara from Life & Leopard—she's a fellow Literary Junkie, so it was fun to have a familiar name to swap with. And when she emailed me her favorite authors, I just knew I'd found my reading soulmate. So of course I was confident I would receive an awesome book from her, but I didn't expect her to know me quite so well.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Words of Wisdom from Norton Juster

I reread The Phantom Tollbooth earlier this month, and if you know anything about my reading habits, you may know I don't reread books often. This was one novel that had been on my mind for a while—actually, I even mentioned wanting to reread it someday in the post I just linked to—and it just so happened that reading a children's book was one of the categories in this summer's book challenge! (Okay, so that category might have been totally planned to encourage me to reread The Phantom Tollbooth. I guess that's one of the perks of being the challenge host!)

Anyway, the point of all this rambling is that this book is absolutely fantabulous. I couldn't stop telling people about how great it was when I was reading it. If you haven't read this book in the past five years, read it again. It's a quick read and definitely worth your time to remind yourself of some very important life lessons! Including ...