Book Challenge: The Final Results

Book Challenge: The Final Results
So the book challenge is over – done and dusted in the middle of this month. How did I do? I didn’t even manage halfway! I now know that setting such a specific number, especially such a high number,  was never going to work for me. I gave it a good shot but I have better plans for next year, all to be reviewed in a post coming up in 2013. For now, let’s recap the last few reads of the 125 books in a year challenge.

43. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo -Stieg Larsson
I know, I know – a bit late to the party it seems. I also did this the wrong way round, watching the Daniel Craig film version before reading the book, thus slightly ruining the read as I constantly knew what to expect. However, it was interesting to see what bits they had omitted from the Hollywood big screen and I am definitely going to pick up the others in the series eventually.

44. Blink Once – Cylin Busby
This book was beautiful and the tale bittersweet. The story of West, paralysed from a freak accident, and of Olivia, the girl he meets in hospital, kept me gripped for the whole few hours it took me to read this book. Whilst I wasn’t expecting the ending, this is still one of the standout books of 2012 for me. Review to come on My Keeper Shelf.

45. Falling To Ash (Moth #1)
Firstly, how beautiful is this cover? Secondly, this is where vampires do interest me. Call me whatever you like but I have never truly understood the mass appeal of the Twilight saga – I much prefer the story Karen Mahoney tells in this novel. Vampires and vampire hunters joining together to stop an evil force? Sounds just up my street! Review to come on My Keeper Shelf.

46. Dead On Demand – Sean Campbell
This was a Kindle freebie a few months back and I have to admit…I am pretty glad it was free. It was an okay read, however I felt the story was a little far fetched and silly in places. Someone hiring a hitman (or in this case, hit-woman) to kill his estranged wife, then hiring someone to kill her, kill them, etc to stop any way of anything being traced back to him was all a little ridiculous in my eyes.

46. The J.M Barrie Ladies’ Swimming Society – Barbara Jane Zitwer
A Kindle freebie done good! I wanted a little catchup with the ever increasing backlog of ebooks on my Kindle so used to pick out a book for me and it chose this one. Am I glad it did! Being a big fan of J.M Barrie himself and the whole Peter Pan story (plus with Finding Neverland being my favourite film!), this had to be a good one and it didn’t disappoint. The idea of elderly ladies swimming in a freezing pond was both hilarious and moving at times and this is definitely worth checking out.

47. Angela’s Dead – Lindy Peters

The story had plenty of promise but the predictability and constant editing errors within this Kindle freebie totally put me off. I finished the book – but only just.

48. Bohemia – Veronika Carnaby
I posted a review of this just yesterday and although this would never normally be my cup of tea, I did quite enjoy the book. However, I did feel a little confused by the expression of time within the book.

I also started two books whilst still undertaking the challenge that I plan to finish very soon; these are Mystic City by Theo Lawrence and Breathe by Sarah Crossan. Reviews of both of these will also be up on Lesley’s wonderful blog My Keeper Shelf very soon!

What books are you currently reading? Are there any on your wishlists?

Perfume Sample Challenge

Perfume Sample Challenge
As well as being a total enabler and empties fiend, Sandra over at Beauty Balm has struck me with blogging inspiration yet again as she posted about her perfume sample challenge
Like Sandra, I have plenty of perfume samples cluttering up the place and since they’re only tiny, I thought I’d join in with her challenge to start using them up rather then leaving them lying around, gathering dust.
I store all the perfume samples I receive in this Madame Milly box that I received (with products of course) a couple of Christmases ago. I cannot resist applying for a free perfume sample when I see one and once What’s In My Handbag? arrived on the scene, my fate was sealed.
I haven’t decided which ones I am going to use up first but I shall post an update in a couple of weeks and hopefully have some to show you in my October Empties.
Do you have a pile of unused perfume samples? Are you taking this challenge?

125 Books In A Year – A Challenge

For someone like me who is an avid reader, 125 books in a year shouldn’t really be a challenge at all.
However, recently I’ve found myself not really reading at all – and this saddens me.
Add to this that within a couple of weeks, I’m going to have my hands full with a little baby and you can begin to see why this is going to be a bit of a challenge for me.
I have seen similar challenges on a few blogs, and a lot of people who’ve given up along the way. Yet I’ve also seen people who smash their target of  {insert number here} books easily. So how will I fare?
I’ve given myself some rules regarding this challenge:
-The books must be exactly that – books. No short stories, books of poetry(much as I love them), but novels.
-I can read non-fiction, such as autobiographies, biographies etcetera.
-I can reread books, however I can only reread them once during the duration of this challenge.
-If I do reread, I have to try to make sure that the majority of the books I choose aren’t rereads. I need to be open to new books and new authors.
-I will post a fortnightly/monthly update (undecided yet), letting you all know how I am doing.
So that’s that!
I’m starting with How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran..
Here goes!

10 Day Friend Challenge

10 Day Friend Challenge
Having seen this friend challenge on both Emma’s and Adele’s blogs, I thought I’d give this challenge a go.
Day 1: Your oldest friend
Day 2: The friend that knows the most about you
Day 3: The friend that you have the most fun with
Day 4: A friend that you feel you have the most in common with
Day 5: A friend you have been on holiday with
Day 6: The friend that you act crazy with
Day 7: A friend your parents love
Day 8: A friend you have had a road trip with
Day 9: A lifechanging event a friend shared
Day 10: Your best friend
So to begin with,
Day 1: Your oldest friend
This is Michelle, and she’s been my friend for 21 years – yes, all of my life. Our mum’s were friends already, and when we were born, they used to go shopping together. It was inevitable we’d become friends too.
We did have a period where we didn’t really talk for a while – not because we weren’t friends, just because we drifted apart at different secondary schools. However, we became proper friends again back in December 2005, and I couldn’t ask for a truer friend.
We dated best friends together (big mistake!), both went for the same guy a couple of times, we work together.. every aspect of life I think we pretty much have covered!
She’s always there for me, and was the first person to know I was pregnant. She is also the one who gave me the lovely heartfelt note that I mentioned in my baby shower post that so many of you loved.
I honestly couldn’t imagine life without this girl!