Tag Archives: Reading Challenge

Paris in July 2018

Ah, back to the one time of the year where I post regularly on my blog again.

Although I had taken a mandatory hiatus from all things Paris, I’ll go back to my obsession this month with my favorite annual reading challenge. Although I won’t be making any physical trips to France, I’ll be an armchair traveler through books, movies, music and more adventures at home.

Paris in July is an annual Paris reading/armchair traveling gathering hosted every year by Tamara at Thyme for Tea. You can sign-up through her post to join the fun!

Currently Reading: 

Paris by the Book &  Murder in the Marais (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #1)
Future Reading:
See my To-Read France Booklist on Goodreads for the entire list. There’s more than 100 books on my list so far. I’ll probably have more added to that list by the end of the month.
Planned Activities: 
french mystery night
My local independent bookstore is hosting a French Murder Mystery Author’s night next week with Cara Black, Susan C. Shea and Wendy Hornsby. I’ve only recently started Cara Black’s Aimee Ludec series, but I’m excited to learn more about all of the author’s and their books.
Other activities are to-be-determined. But they will include baking, eating and drinking French foods and drinks I’m sure.
What are you going to do this July?

Paris in July Week 1 recap


Displaying IMG_5412.JPGI started off the month by baking a a fresh batch of madeleines. The napkin is courtesy of the most adorable little French shop in Capitola in CA if you’re ever in the area. Petite Provence. They host French conversation clubs, and have a beautiful assortment of napkins, tablecloths, bread baskets, dishware, soaps, etc. Everything and and anything you would want. It reminded me of the little shopping booths I would snoop through in Arles.


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I even brought my husband into the mix and we enjoyed some wonderful apertifs with Lillet Rouge and making our own Pastis this week.

This week has also graced me with unexpected books set in France to add to my reading list. On Wednesday, I found an unexpected copy of THE PORTRAIT by Antoine Laurain from Meryl Zegarek Public Relations.  (Thank You!!) I came into work on Thursday and found ARCs of Last Christmas in Paris and Whispering in French waiting for me on my desk at the library. #libraryperks

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This month is off to a wonderful start! Not sure where it’ll lead me next.


Paris in July 2016 – Reading Adventures

If there is anything that would bring me out of my blogging hibernation, its probably my favorite yearly event. Paris in July hosted by the wonderful Tamara at Thyme for Tea.

Paris in July 2016


Paris Reborn: Napoléon III, Baron Haussmann, and the Quest to Build a Modern City
I don’t have much on my plate this summer. I’m currently reading this book:

Its a view of the political world and dealings of the Paris restructuring of the 1860’s under Napoleon III’s empire with Baron Haussmann at the helm. Its an interesting read, although I wish it included more maps, better pictures and more talk about the effects of the renovation and demolitions on the inhabitants of Paris, rather than the political dealings of government trying to get this grand project underway.


I recently stumbled on this amazing walking tour of Paris via my library’s Hoopla account:

Its an hour-long walking tour of the some of the most scenic and idyllic views of the city of light. Its technically meant for those passing their productive time away on treadmills and elliptical machines, but I prefer to watch the views pass by from the comfort of my computer chair.


I don’t have any other grand projects in mind beyond the usual. Watching some French movies, listening to French music and bringing home some picture books set in France for my preschooler. He’s already well-acquainted with the Eiffel Tower. In fact, almost everything he builds with blocks he calls “The Eiffel Tire.” We’ll see where the rest of the month takes me.


2015 Reading Challenge

This 2015 Reading Challenge complied by PopSugar seems very feasible, for me at least. I’ve never been good with reading challenges, but I think I could accidently read a number of the books on this checklist. That’s another plus, is that its a checklist form. There’s nothing I love better than checking something off a list. I think I might print out a number of these to pass out at the library this month. What reading challenges are you signing up for next year?

Nonfiction Reading Challenge 2014

I’ve been on a big non-fiction kick lately. I’m mostly interested in history right now. As well as all things European or British. (We can thank the BBC Sherlock for this obsession). I think my obsession with England is overtaking my obsession with France. In my rather insane desire to learn about all things Europe, I’ve been scouring the websites for quality nonfiction books. I want to learn something when I read. Actual facts and figures, not just opinion pieces or funny anecdotes. I feel ready to step away from fiction from a while and really give my brain a challenge. Hence, the Nonfiction Reading Challenge, someone reminiscent of my Dewey Decimal Reading Challenge I attempted a few years back. I’m quite tardy in signing up, but better late than never. Here’s hoping I find some interesting titles to add to my list in the meantime.

There are 4 levels for the challenge. We’ll see where I wind up by the end of the year.

Dilettante–Read 1-5 non-fiction books

Explorer–Read 6-10

Seeker–Read 11-15

Master–Read 16-20

What 2012 holds in store for my bookshelf

Or 2012 – the year I actually read the books collecting dust on my bookshelf.

I found this challenge by Bookish Ardour titled Off the Shelf. The main premise is to read books purchased before 2012. Sounds easy enough. My good friend at HardlyWritten did that last year and finished all the pre-2011 books on his bookshelf. I attempted something similar in 2011, but most went unread and I ended up donating a good chunk of my TBR pile to the library because I decided that I would just never sit down and read those books. Some books you buy to read, some books you buy because you feel like you should own them. I did read almost all the books I bought in 2011 though, does that count???

Here is the info for the Off the Shelf Challenge. I’m not aiming for any particular level, although I certainly hope that I get farther than Tempted. I hope other will join this challenge with me.

The Deets

  • The Main Rule: Do not include books acquired during 2012, it defeats the purpose, read those books from before 2012 started!
  • Running Dates: 1st of January – 31st of December 2012
  • When Can I Sign Up: All the way up to the last two weeks of December!
  • Crossover Genres: Anything! The name of the game is to turn those unread books into read ones.
  • Mr Linky: To use the Mr Linky you’ll need to click on the graphic then enter your link. These will be updated and posted into this page every couple of weeks or so.
  • Further Details:Crossover challenges are fine, you can change levels at any time, this is eBook, short story, and graphic novel friendly, and you don’t need a blog to join in (read further for details)

    The How To

    1. Choose Your Level:These are listed further down and you can change levels at any time.
    2. Grab The Badge: Place it somewhere on your blog, profile, or in a signature where possible and link back (main page or this page, it’s up to you).
    3. Sign Up Post: Create a post on your blog, in a group, or on a forum (only if allowed) to let others see what you’re aiming for (a predefined list of books is optional).
    4. Link Up: Grab the direct URL to your sign up post, not your blog, click the Mr Linky graphic and enter your link!
    5. Blogless? Don’t worry, you can sign up with your social network profile (YouTube, Twitter, GoodReads, Shelfari included), just make sure you link to your review list, shelf, tweet, or category. If you don’t have any of those feel free to comment!

    Challenge Levels

    1. Tempted– Choose 5 books to read
    2. Trying – Choose 15 books to read
    3. Making A Dint – Choose 30 books to read
    4. On A Roll – Choose 50 books to read
    5. Flying Off – Choose 75 books to read
    6. Hoarder – Choose between 76-135 books to read
    7. Buried – Choose between 136-200 books to read

Southern Belle Challenge – September

Now that I’ve traveled through France in July, I’ll be making my way to the Southern States via a neat new challenge hosted by Curling Up With A Good Book.

We can choose to read books, watch movies, or find a favorite Southern recipe to share.

There has been so many books that take place in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Tennessee,
“The Help”, “The Dry Grass of August, and “Saving Cee-Cee”.


1 : 1 Reading Challenge

Spread the word


The 1: 1 Reading Challenge will span January – December 2011.

For every 1 book borrowed from the library, borrowed from a friend, newly purchased, or sent for review, then 1 book must be read off of my bookshelf. I must follow the sequence:  1 borrowed book, 1 bookshelf book (although as many bookshelf books can be read in a row, no more than 1 borrowed book may be read consecutively.)

Exceptions to the rule:

Cookbooks, craft books, gardening & home improvement. These books will be exempt from the ratio.

Sounds pretty easy right? I have this bad habit of splurging at library bookstores where books can cost as little as 25 cents. This is my attempt to preserve what little shelf space I have on my two bookshelves, both of which are already filled to capacity.

I’ll be keeping a monthly statistics log with the following information updated on the 1st of each month.


Total number of books owned: 220

Total number of books read that I own: 82

Number of books left to read on my bookshelf: 138


I am aware that there are many similar challenges floating around the hundreds of book blogs in cyberspace. While everyone and anyone is more than welcome to follow my model and rules, this will not be a very formal challenge. I have a bad track record with challenges. This is really just a way to motivate myself to read more of the books that I own and to be more particular about the books that I bring into my apartment to put on my bookshelf.

I often turn to the library stacks or go to my favorite used bookstores for new selections because I never want to read the books on my bookshelf. Why did I buy these books in the first place? I had an interest in them when I selected them. They went through a rather strict selection process. I usually spend about 5 minutes perusing a book before making my final purchase. As it stands, I’ve read about a third of all the books that I live with. In an ideal world, only have a third of my books should be unread.

The challenge will begin bright and early January 1st. Until then, I have roughly a week to prepare my bookshelves and myself for this challenge.

Dewey Decimal Challenge – Official Post


So here is my official post for my Dewey Decimal Challenge for 2009.

I created a separate page to keep track of all the Challenge happenings.

This is the first challenge I’ve ever run, but I feel pretty confident about the overall plan. The goal is to read 10 books, 1 book from each Dewey Century in the span of a year. You can organize your reading plan anyway you want. Between January and December 31st I’ll have random topics and activities following each Dewey Century from 000 to 999 in that order.

Rules and Sign-up are located HERE

New Years Resolutions and Challenges

So, one of my New Year’s resolutions was going to be to NOT join any reading challenges. I have a terrible time keeping up with them, and somehow end up avoiding books specifically for those challenges when I have the option of two books. I think I may still be traumatized from the past 7 years of mandatory reading via school.

Anyways, the Library Thing 999 challnege caught my eye. It seems broad enough that books I read will just happen to fall into the selected categories.
The rules are simple:
This group is to help you track your progress on the 999 challenge – 9 books in 9 different categories, all read in 2009. For an added challenge, try completing your books by 9/9/09! You pick the categories yourself, just post here and let us know how you’re doing. I’ve started a separate page on my blog to track these books. I want to try and read 100 books again next year, so this will get me 80% of my goal!