Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Winter 2016 Book Challenge: The Preliminary List

photo via Instagram

Happy November! Today marks the start of the Semi-Charmed Winter 2016 Book Challenge. After checking out all your comments and preliminary posts (and stealing some great ideas, thanks!), here is what I plan to read for the challenge over the next three months:

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


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, Karan Mahajan (National Book Award finalist for fiction)

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

Faithful, Alice Hoffman (release date: Nov. 1)

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

The Sun is Also a Star, Nicola Yoon (Yoon is a black woman from Jamaica)

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

All American Boys, Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely (one main character is a black American)

20 points: Read a modern retelling of a classic.

Vinegar Girl, Anne Tyler (retelling of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew)

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

Campari for Breakfast, Sara Crowe (based on the category creator's recommendation!)

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

Who wants to help me with this one?? There are a ton of spellings for Megan, and I've already read The Girl on the Train. Has anyone else read a book with a Megan/Meghan/Meagan/etc. you would recommend? Otherwise, I might use this as an excuse to finally reread A Wrinkle in Time (featuring Meg Murry), which I've been wanting to do for years.

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

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford and The Train to Crystal City by Jan Jarboe Russell (both about the treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II)

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.

Dubliners, James Joyce and Black Girl/White Girl by Joyce Carol Oates


Have you read any of these? What did you think? And for those of you playing along, good luck!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Semi-Charmed Winter 2016 Book Challenge

photo via Instagram

It's almost time for the next installment of the Semi-Charmed Book Challenge series! Whether you are a newcomer to the challenge or a repeat reader, I am excited to have you here today. Continue reading after the jump to see the guidelines and categories for the winter challenge.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Summer 2016 Book Challenge: Month 3

Wow, is it really September already? (I was in Starbucks this morning and heard someone call out a pumpkin spice latte, so I guess it really is!) This means the Semi-Charmed Summer 2016 Book Challenge ended at 11:59 p.m. last night. Feel free to stop by the original post to share what you read for this challenge, and let us know if there are any titles we should add to our TBRs! :)

I did not get close to finishing the challenge this summer, but I did read a lot of books. I'm in the middle of my short story/essay collection right now (The Fire This Time), and I chose One Good Earl Deserves a Lover as my "punny" book, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I actually am not a romance fan, but I heard this was a good book for non-romance fans on a bookish podcast, plus it had a punny title, so hopefully I'll get around to reading it sometime this year. :)

Thanks again for reading! If you were one of the first five finishers, please remember to send me your category suggestion for the winter challenge by October 1. I'll plan to post the winter list on October 15, and the next challenge will run from November 1 to January 31!

Happy end of summer, y'all.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Summer 2016 Book Challenge: Month 2

It's August 1, which means we're entering the final month of the Semi-Charmed Summer 2016 Book Challenge! Remember, you no longer have to "check in" with your progress each month; this post is just a friendly reminder that the challenge has one month left.

If (when?) you complete the challenge, head back to the original post and leave a comment with your book titles and ratings.

Fun fact about my reading this summer: I've read three books with the word "girls" in the title: The Girls by Emma Cline, Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman, and The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell. I finally realized I need to read a book with just "girl" in the title for the 40-point challenge, so I picked up Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse, and it ended up being my favorite of the four!

But as for my favorite book read in July? Definitely Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Read it.

Good luck and happy August!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Summer 2016 Book Challenge: Month 1

Hello, and happy July! Today marks one whole month since the #SCSBC16 started. (Did that seem fast to you? Or just me?) This post is just a friendly check-in to give you an opportunity to link up to your own blogs or Goodreads accounts if you wish (not required!).

Remember, you no longer have to "check in" with your progress each month (hence why I've disabled the comments on this post, hopefully to help avoid confusion). Just head back to the original post and leave a comment with your book titles and ratings when you complete the entire challenge! I hope this will make the challenge less work and more fun for everyone. :)

In the past month, my favorite book was actually my "unattractive cover" pick (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler), so it was definitely a reminder to not judge a book by its cover. (Although I do it all the time—how else are you supposed to winnow down the large collection of books available to us??)

I hope all my American readers have a fantastic holiday weekend, and I hope everyone else has a great weekend as well!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Let the Reading Begin! #SCSBC16

Hello! This is just a friendly reminder that the Semi-Charmed Summer 2016 Book Challenge starts today (June 1). You don't need to do anything to get started (except read!), but I did want to share the following graphic with all the categories for this season's challenge. (Please feel free to share on social media and/or your own blogs if you desire.)

If you have any questions, please refer back to this post for the complete guidelines and category descriptions, but most of all: Just have fun! If you think a book fits a category, it probably does. :)

Good luck to all!!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Semi-Charmed Summer 2016 Book Challenge

photo via @megtristao

It's time for the next installment of the Semi-Charmed Book Challenge series! Whether you are a newcomer to the challenge or a repeat reader, I am excited to have you here today. If you are a veteran, I've changed around some things with this challenge to make is less work and more fun for everyone (I hope!), so be sure to continue reading after the jump for the summer challenge rules and categories:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

So if you care to find me ...

... look to the western sky The Everygirl and the San Jose Public Library blog! :)

photo via Instagram

Hello, readers! I just wanted to pop in and update you on my long absence from Semi-Charmed Kind of Life. I don't have plans to return to regular blogging in this space anytime soon, but I am keeping the blog open to continue my seasonal reading challenges (the summer list will be posted on May 15, with the challenge running June 1 - August 31!) and to make a transition back to blogging easier if and when and I decide to pick it up again.

In the meantime, you can find my posts about travel (and possibly other subjects quite soon) over at The Everygirl, and you can read my bookish posts on the San Jose Public Library blog. As always, feel free to keep up and interact with me on Instagram and Twitter!

P.S. — If you understood my title/intro of this post, I hope we're best friends. ;)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Winter 2015 Book Challenge: Final Scoreboard

photo via @megtristao

Thank you to everyone who participated in the winter challenge! Quite a few of you (13!) finished the challenge, and many others got very close. Several of you who didn't finish still said you had a lot of fun, and that's what I love to hear! This is all about having fun and trying new books. :) That being said, I was a little stricter than usual when counting your final tallies because of the disclaimer I included in the first scoreboard. I just want to make sure I'm treating everyone fairly, so if any of your books were under 200 pages long or if your titles didn't exactly match up (e.g. there were a few "X" and "The X" pairings I couldn't count), those points will not be included in the final scoreboard below. As always, feel free to email me if you disagree with your total! I don't mean to discourage anyone (really, you still "won" because you read a new book or two!), and I hope you will all come back for the summer challenge regardless of how you did in this one. :)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Winter 2015 Book Challenge: Month 3

photo via @megtristao

Well, that's all she wrote read, folks! The winter book challenge just ended (at 11:59 p.m. on January 31), so it's time to tally up those final books! Continue reading after the jump to see the current scoreboard and find instructions to check in with your final score.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Winter 2015 Book Challenge: Month 2

photo via @megtristao

Happy New Year, readers! I hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating the last day of 2015 and get to spend today doing something that reflects what you intend to do more of in 2016 (like reading, perhaps!). Today marks the end of the second month of the winter challenge, which means there is only one month left to finish! If you are new to the challenge, feel free to review the general rules and categories here, and record any books you've read back to November 1 in your check-in.

Below is the scoreboard as of the first check-in (which was available from December 1-7). I tend to be pretty lax with these challenges, as my main goal is for everyone to just have fun, but because I had so many questions about some of the categories this year and posted clarified categories with the month 1 check-in, I had to be a little stricter this time. Therefore, if you didn't receive points for a category you think you completed, it's probably because the books didn't quite match the category (in my humble opinion), or because you counted half points for the two-book categories (you must complete the entire category to earn points). If you disagree or are confused about your total below, please feel free to email me and we can clear it up before the final check-in on February 1! I definitely don't want anyone to feel cheated of points, but I also want to be fair to those who followed the rules. :)

Also, if you would like me to add/remove/change the blog link I have associated with your name, please let me know in the comments with your check-in, and I will be sure to update the next scoreboard!