Do I read romances? Is the sky blue?

I can never resist a happy ending. Or even a “happy for now” ending.

As a friend pointed out, I do review a lot of what he called “bodice rippers” on my blog. Even if not a lot of actual bodices get ripped, because some of them are contemporary romances and as many as I can find are science fiction romances. But my friend was close to correct, at least in the “horseshoes and hand grenades” definition of close. I do read a lot of romance novels. I enjoy them.

I am also aware that I am quite fortunate. A lot of romance novels are available for review on NetGalley. This is what we call a win-win. Except when it comes to writing all the reviews. I read a lot of books, I write a lot of reviews.

Reading Romances, the blog, is running a Reading Romances Challenge that has a signup and a Goodreads group. One of the interesting things about this challenge is that instead of the usual levels, there are specific, well, I guess you would call them tasks, except that’s not quite right.

A task implies that it’s something you wouldn’t want to do. These are more like stretch goals. The idea is to get romance readers to try something a bit out of their romance comfort zones. The January stretch is to either read the first book of a series, read a book by a debut author, read a book by an author that’s new to the reader, OR, read a YA romance OR read an erotic romance. All the “challengee” has to do is pick one of the above.

I chose to read a book by an author that’s new to me. Why? Because I read a lot of books by authors who are new to me. It’s part of my reviewing. I love discovering new “voices”.

And on the Goodreads group side of this equation–I committed to reading 50 romances. Like that’s going to be a problem. I think I’ve got 5 down and 45 to go. Make that 44 and 3/4–I started a new book today, and guess what? It’s a romance!


Just for Fun Reading Challenge

This is the last challenge that I signed up for. Because I absolutely, positively couldn’t resist this one.

After all, I started writing book reviews because I love to read, and I wanted to share that love. But one of the things that happened was that I ended up reading a lot of books that I had committed myself to, and not as many books “just because”.

Not that I have not enjoyed the books I’ve picked out to review. Far from it.

After all, I only choose books I think I’m going to like. Occasionally I’m wrong.

Sometimes I’m really, really wrong. (The Windup Girl comes to mind)

Lori at Escape with Dollycas into a Good Book is hosting the Just for Fun Reading Challenge this year on Goodreads. The challenge is really simple. Every month, I get to, not have to, but get to, read one book just for fun. Not because I’ve committed to review it, but just because I want to read it. Just for me.

This doesn’t mean I can’t review it after I’ve read it. I probably will, if only to keep track of what I’ve read. And I’m allowed to count it toward one other challenge. So if I drag something out of the back of beyond (my TBR from hell pile), I can count it for that. But the idea is to read a book I just want to read.

Oh goodie! Just try and stop me.

Kissing my TBR Pile Goodbye

Bookish has a Reading Challenge that is tailor-made for me. Fulfillment may be an issue.

I’m talking about the TBR Pile Challenge. The challenge is to get stuff out of my TBR Pile. Since I keep moving my TBR Pile from house to house, this seemed like a no-brainer to me, at least in the sense of signing up for it. How I’ll actually do on it is anybody’s guess.

I am signing up at the 21-30 book level, which is “A Sweet Kiss”. As in, I’m going to kiss 21+ books in my TBR Pile goodbye. Hopefully more.

Wish we luck on this one. I’m going to need it!


Get Greased: Steampunk Reading Challenge

The goal of the Steampunk Reading Challenge at Dark Faerie Tales is to read 24 steampunk novels in 2012. That’s the “Get Greased” level.

I’m not quite that ambitious. I do love steampunk, but I’m not so sure about devoting 24 of my 400 books this year to it.

There are other levels. Of course there are. The “Gaslight” level of 6 books is too low for me. I’m signing up for the “Gears” level of 12 books. I might make the 18 book “Gadget” level, but that will depend a lot on what comes up in reviews. There is a level for the truly steampunk obsessed. 30+ books makes you “Steamed”. Indeed.

It also depends on how many of my “books for fun” I get to. Gail Carriger’s Heartless and Timeless are both very definitely steampunk. I didn’t quite get to Heartless in 2011, and Timeless is due in February.

Shooting the Moon: the SFR Reading Challenge

I’m throwing my hat into the ring (or should that be launching my rocket ship?) at the SFR Reading Challenge. The official sign up is here, if you want to climb on board.

There are levels to this challenge. Maybe I should call them orbits.


The earth-bound among us will be signing up to read 5 science fiction romance (SFR) novels in 2012.


The more adventurous plan on reaching earth’s nearest neighbor. 15 SFR novels gets you to the moon.


Venus, can be orbited by those reading 25 SFR novels.


And for those who think really, really big. Jupiter, of course. Big challenge equals big planet.


I’m planning on reaching the moon at the very least. I hope to reach Venus. Jupiter, well, we’ll have to wait and see what this year’s reviews bring.

Bitten by the Paranormal Romance Reading Challenge

I read a lot of paranormal romance. I remember when Anita Blake used to kick more asses than she bit. That was a lot of books ago. But I still keep hoping…

When I read that Bitten by Paranormal Romance would be running a Paranormal Romance Reading Challenge in 2012, I signed up. The challenge is to read 20 paranormal romances. The real challenge is to be certain that they are paranormal, and not urban fantasy. Figuring out which witch is which can sometimes be a classic case of “your mileage may vary”. But if one book doesn’t pass muster, the next one will.

And no YA or novellas need apply.

Still, I’ll be done by the end of February, or March at the latest. I’m in the middle of my first book now.

And speaking of YMMV, I’m not sure about either of the buttons. You be the judge.


Science Fiction Reading Challenge

The 2012 Science Fiction Reader Challenge is hosted by Working for the Mandroid. I love the name of this blog. There are some blogs I’ve discovered with really terrific names, and this is one.  (Confessions of a Toxic Friend is another, but totally different focus)

Back on topic, Working for the Mandroid is running the Science Fiction Reader Challenge this year. Being related to Science Fiction, it is not simply a “read 20 books and you’re done” type challenge. Oh, no.

The geek girl running Working for the Mandroid has very specific science fictional categories I have to read in to fulfill this challenge.  Aren’t you curious?

YA/MG (Young Adult/Middle Grades) Science Fiction
Adult Science Fiction
Hugo Winner
SF Classic (Pre-1950’s)
SF Modern Classic (1951-1992)
Time Travel/Alternate History/Parallel Universe
Mad Scientists/Genetic Testing/Environmental Disaster

Thank goodness the Mandroid provides links to references for all of these. I have ideas for some. I even have books already lined up for some. But there are a couple I’m going to have to go hunting for. And for anyone thinking that the Steampunk here and the Steampunk challenge overlap just a teensy bit, the answer is, heck yes! And why not? It’s allowed.

Unstuffing the 150 Books Reading Challenge

Oh goodie! There is a 150+ books reading challenge at My Overstuffed Bookshelf. The signup post is here for my fellow masochists out there.

And the linky to my Goodreads challenge is up so, since I said I’d read 400 books at Goodreads, 150+ books anywhere else is somewhat underwhelming. But I love seeing that so many other people are excited about reading LOTS of books. It really warms this librarian’s heart.

This one even allows novellas!

I can see it now. Tracking is going to be way more difficult than filling.

Only 100 Books? Book Chick City’s 100+ Books in a Year Reading Challenge

Book Chick City hosts a whole bunch of Reading Challenges. And they all look yummy. But this one caught my eye, and I just had to sign up.

The details are all available in the sign-up post here at Book Chick City. But this is so cool. Any 100 books count in any genre. But just fiction, no non-fiction. Easy-peasy.

I think everyone should read 100 books in a year. My only question is whether I’m going to read 300, or 400, or 500.  I’m afraid, I’m very afraid.

So heck, yeah, I’m in.  At least three times over, I’m in.