Tag Archive | Ali McNamara

2014 TBR Pile Challenge

I’m very excited that Roof Beam Reader is hosting the TBR Pile Reading Challenge again – for the 5th year! I’ve started the last two years, but failed both, so I’m hoping to do better this year!

The challenge is, as it suggests to read books from your TBR Pile. I can’t even count how many are on my list, and book shelf. We’re thinking about moving in a couple of months, so last weekend, I took a box – big box – of books to our storage unit to get them out the flat. And I’ve still got 4 shelves fully – with two rows per shelf. So there’s loads.

This year though, I decided to take books, partly off my shelf, but mainly from the list I’ve written over the last few years. Every time I see a book I want to read, in a magazine, shop, on TV, a friend recommends, or wherever, I write it on this list. It’s quite long.

I have to choose 12, and 2 spares (just in case) now, then as I read them, review them, link on here, and on Roof Beem Reader’s TBR Pile Challenge. Here’s my 2014 list:

1 – The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (2012)

2 – Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (2011) (21/2/14)

3 – The Woman Who Went To Bed For A Year by Sue Townsend (2012)

4 – Lets Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (2012)

5 – Breakfast at Darcy’s Ali McNamara (2011)

6 – How We Met by Katy Regan (2012)

7 – The Man Who Forgot His Wife John O’Farrell (2012)

8 – Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coeho (1998)

9 – China Lake by Meg Gardiner (2002)

10 – The Time of My Life by Cecelia Ahern (2011)

11 – Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell (2012)

12 – The Greatest love Story of All Time by Lucy Robinson (2012)

And the extras, in case I can’t get through one or two.

13 – Something Missing by Matthew Dicks (2009)

14 – The Other Family by Joanna Trollope (2010)

As I said, I didn’t complete 2012 and 2013, so as the saying goes, I want to make the third time lucky! See Roof Beam Reader’s sign up for the challenge here.

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Book Winner & A New Challenge?

I had all these great plans for tonight, and so far have managed none of them, and it’s 22.30. How typical of me.

Main reason for a blog today is that I’ve received my prize from a competition on Novel Kicks. It’s ‘From Notting Hill with Love… Actually’ by Ali McNamara. Woop!

When I first heard the title of the book, I knew I had to read it, even though I kind of hated the film Notting Hill, but hey, what an awesome titled book. Plus the first thing I ever heard about it (again from Novel Kicks) was ”She was just a girl, standing in front of a boy …wishing he looked more like Hugh Grant.” Ha ha, I love it.

So now I have a big dilemma. I’m doing an A – Z reading challenge this year. Reading authors from A to Z (kinna self explainatry really!). I’m on D (I read 2 As and 2 Bs and only started it mid January, so that’s why I’m not too far along). After D I should read E. But… I’ve just won this M book. I was kind of thinking that I’m going to be reading more than 26 books this year, so occasionally can skip out of the challenge and read something else.

But, I’m also a bit of a perfectionist, and want to do it in order. Unfortunately I think the perfectionist side of me is going to win out. Damn.

The other problem is that now I’ve moved, I’m closer to work – the tube journey is either 5 mins or 10 mins depending on which stop I get out at and how much I can be bothered to walk that morning/evening – so I’m not reading as much as I used to then. So getting through each book is taking longer. Sigh. Oh well, I’m not even half way through D, so I’ve got a while to think about it.

So, the second part of this blog: A New Challenge. Right, I’m quite a strong believer in things happening for a reason. I’ve not really been on Twitter much since I started my new job in October. I dip in now and then, but don’t give it the attention it deserves – especially since my phone now for some reason won’t log onto it. When I do log on, I usually don’t read that many people’s tweets – maybe the top 20 or something. 

Tonight I logged on. Pretty much the first thing I saw was Kait Nolan saying she was hosting a new challenge. Back in the day when I used to spend a lot of time online, I used to be an avid reader of Kait’s blog. So much so that when she released a novella, Forsaken by Shadow, I bought it, even though it was paranormal which I’d never read before (and which I really enjoyed). Kait also inspired me to do my first ever writing challenge Novel Push initiative in 2009 (which she also ran, and which then led to me doing NaNo that year). 

Therefore hearing about Kait doing another challenge, I was instantly intrigued. I looked and found this – A Round of Words in 80 days. 80 days from 1st April. Any writing target you want. Check in on Wednesday and Sunday. Hmmmmm. Tempted? You bet I am.

Any writing target I want? Well, that could be hours spent on editing, or on my writing course, or good old word counts. Or how about a mixture of the three?

I’ve not decided if I will sign up, although I think I probably will. Maybe. No, probably.

My 1st idea was 250 words a day, but not in a day by day goal, more a week by week one: 1750 words a week split over whichever days I want, or can. A weekly goal seems so much more realistic for more than two months than a daily target – something is so likely to come up which would mean I’d fail one day, then another and another, but weekly, there’s always time to make it up!

Writing then, that’s what I thought would be a good goal, but then I thought that I’d also like to get some editing in, ditto the writing course. So maybe each week the equivalent of 250 words a day. Maybe half an hour editing/on the writing course, or a mixture of them.

Like I said, I’ve not decided yet, this is just a provisional idea. But it has legs….

An hour ago I decided there were 4 things I needed to do before I go to bed. In 65 mins I’ve done 2, so have 55 mins to edit this then do the other two (washing up and ironing, definitely not the fun things!). Night all.