Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Follow me around the world at TristaoTravels.com!

Oh hi there! Remember me? Is anyone still out there?...

On the off-chance anyone is still following this blog, I wanted to let you know my husband and I left on a (hopefully) one-year trip around the world last month. You can follow along on our adventures at tristaotravels.com (and on Instagram by following @megtristao). See you there!

Departing from LAX for our RTW trip!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Winter 2016 Book Challenge: Final Post

photo via Instagram

Happy February, everyone! Thank you all again for a fun and challenging winter reading experience. The #SCWBC16 wrapped up two days ago, and we had 13 readers finish the entire challenge, so kudos to each of you! Also kudos to everyone else who attempted the challenge, whether you finished one book or 12. I would love to hear everyone's favorite book they read this winter in the comments.

If you were curious, I did not get close to finishing, but I still read a lot of great books this winter! (I highly recommend Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran and All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood, neither of which I read for this challenge!)

Finally, I wanted to apologize for not being a very engaged host this past season. This was my 10th Semi-Charmed Book Challenge (I can't believe it!), and though I still love this community, I don't plan on hosting another challenge anytime soon. I feel like I'm missing out on so much by not being as engaged as I used to be, and I know there are a lot of other great reading challenges out there for you to join.

Speaking of ... may I suggest the Book Challenge by Erin? Erin is an awesome reader/blogger/'grammer living in Australia, and she has very graciously offered the first five finishers of my winter challenge to suggest a category for HER next challenge, scheduled for July - October 2017. (Thanks, Erin!! You rock!)

That being said: Jamie G., Becca, Bev, Jennifer E. & Kirsten T. - please contact Erin if you want to contribute to her challenge! For all readers, check out Erin's blog to learn more, and join the fun on her Facebook group and/or Goodreads. Also follow her on Instagram! She's fun. :)

Thanks again to all of you for coming back to Semi-Charmed Kind of Life again and again, whether you've been around since the first challenge in 2012 (or even before that), or whether you just visited for the first time last month. I hope to be back someday. (And in the meantime, keep up on my book writing at my public library and The Everygirl!)


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. ;)