Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon October 2013

It’s that time again….you’ve probably guessed since the buzz on Twitter and around the book blog world is palpable. It’s been building for some time now.  It’s even the thing that gets me out of literary hiatus: it’s Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon time. Can it be…this is my 8th readathon?  My how each readathon has seen so many changes in my own life. That would be four years now for me. My how time flies when you are having fun. And this year I have the honor of hosting again…it’s been a into multiple years for that now too and it’s something I so look forward to. So come stop by hours 5-7 and say hello! And of course let me know what you are reading. That’s one of my favorite parts of Readathon! The librarian in me loves to snoop into others reading piles. But I love to share books as well….

So what am I reading?

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Finding Colin Firth by Mia March

The Unidentified Readhead by Alice Clayton (ARC)

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

So what do you think? I will have to admit to hoarding some great books and not reading them until Readathon. Can you tell? It’s time now to start reading…so whether you are a readathon veteran or this is your very first year…remember to enjoy every second. I know I will.

Readathon Stat Tracker

Pages Read: 775

Hours Read: 16.5

Hours Hosting Readathon: 3

Mini-Challenges Completed: 14

Books Completed: 3

Opening Introduction

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Atlanta, Georgia
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Doctor Sleep by Stephen King…saving it for dark.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I am ordering Thai for dinner so I am looking forward to spring rolls. Enjoying Green Tea all day too.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I am a former librarian turned Mommy to the sweetest child on Earth. I read as I breath..it is needed for life.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? Try to get in more solid reading. With hosting, mini-challenges, twitter conversations…it can get distracting from the actual reading. But those other things are also what makes readathon truly special and such a wonderful event.

Mad Libs Mini-Challenge

“There was a penguin in her room. Cath looked up at the pumpkin painted on the car, then down at the running shoe assignment in her hand. Pound Hall, 913. This was definitely tree 913, but maybe it’s wasn’t Pound Hall- all these dolphins looked alike, like public housing towers for the dumb. Maybe Cath should try to scratch her Dad before he brought up the rest of her kittens.”   ~Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Check out My Books on Books Challenge Picture

My Readathon Meme for Mini-Challenge: Readathon Ode to Hey Girl

Show It Off Mini-Challenge Entry

image(1)I didn’t expect to have a mini-challenge that would make me cry during this readathon but all that changed when you asked me to share the book that means the most in my personal library. You see the book above is not just a book and most will probably say that about their treasure tome too. However I doubt many will say a book and it’s authors helped save their child’s life. But this book did. It represents my fight and every moment of the last two years of my life: the hardest two years I will ever live God willing. My very first Dewey’s Readathon saw me the happiest I ever was. I had a beautiful baby boy and I was in my element spending my days reveling in Mommyhood and books. And then I lost my child….he literally disappeared in front of my eyes to this thing that has been labeled “autism”. My son’s autism wasn’t this sparkly “special” thing..it was not quirkiness….it was what felt like the death of a dream. My child was sick. He was gone and in the blink of an eye. He quit speaking completely around his second birthday. He would no longer look at me. He would no longer answer to his name or even acknowledge another person’s presence most of the time. I grieved for two seconds then I got mad. I turned into the librarian I was with a mission like no other, the mission of a mother trying to desperately save their child. I turned to what I knew best…books and the pursuit of knowledge.

I discovered a group of parents that have since become my mentors, my closest friends and my heroes-my family.  A group of 23 mothers and one father that refused to accept what had happened to their children was who they were all along, was in any way acceptable, was irreversible, was inherently genetic….was anything less than an epidemic deserving of an evolution. Two years of fighting day and night. Spending nearly a hundred grand on therapies and treatments NOT covered by insurance and praying to God every night as I looked into his beautiful face- And now I can share my son is coming back to me. He’s speaking again, he’s singing, he’s looking into my eyes, he’s playing with other children, he’s interested in books again…the list goes on and on and on. My son is coming back to me. And in large part I am getting to know my son for the first time in so many ways because of the parents behind this book.

That is why when I thought about what book to donate for a prize for readathon I chose this one. Because if I could put one book into the hands of anyone with a loved one affected by autism…it would be this one. With a child diagnosed with autism every 20 seconds….that’s a lot of hands. 1 in 88 children today and the information for those stats were collected 4 years ago! Because it could literally give a child their voice back, allow them a future and make possible a parent’s dream of life with the child that God gave them. There is no book that could or ever will match what this book has done in our family’s lives because nothing could ever be more important to me than my son. Autism may have been a stop on our journey but it will not be our final destination.

Readathon End Questionnaire

Which hour was most daunting for you? 23…There was absolutely some vigorous nodding going on at 7 am as the sun was getting bright.
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Fangirl was really great just like Eleanor & Park.
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Keep up the great work!
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Everyone really rocked it this year in all categories. Great job to all.
How many books did you read? 3
What were the names of the books you read?

The Wizard of Of by Frank L. Baum

The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud (Started Pre-Readathon)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Which book did you enjoy most? Fangirl by far.
Which did you enjoy least? The Woman Upstairs I enjoyed but it was a tough one for me.
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Of course I will. See everyone in April and hopefully I will have the honor of co-hosting again next year.

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Filed under Book Blogs, Events, Reading Challenge, Reading Fun

Blog Tour: An Uncommon Education by Elizabeth Percer

An Uncommon Education-1“A young woman tries to save three people she loves in this elegant and remarkably insightful coming-of-age debut.

Afraid of losing her parents at a young age—her father with his weak heart, her deeply depressed mother—Naomi Feinstein prepared single-mindedly for a prestigious future as a doctor. An outcast at school, Naomi loses herself in books, and daydreams of Wellesley College. But when Teddy, her confidant and only friend, abruptly departs from her life, it’s the first devastating loss from which Naomi is not sure she can ever recover, even after her long-awaited acceptance letter to Wellesley arrives.

Naomi soon learns that college isn’t the bastion of solidarity and security she had imagined. Amid hundreds of other young women, she is consumed by loneliness—until the day she sees a girl fall into the freezing waters of a lake.

The event marks Naomi’s introduction to Wellesley’s oldest honor society, the mysterious Shakespeare Society, defined by secret rituals and filled with unconventional, passionate students. Naomi finally begins to detach from the past and so much of what defines her, immersing herself in this exciting and liberating new world and learning the value of friendship. But her happiness is soon compromised by a scandal that brings irrevocable consequences. Naomi has always tried to save the ones she loves, but part of growing up is learning that sometimes saving others is a matter of saving yourself.

An Uncommon Education is a compelling portrait of a quest for greatness and the grace of human limitations. Poignant and wise, it artfully captures the complicated ties of family, the bittersweet inevitability of loss, and the importance of learning to let go.”


An Uncommon Education is a deeply beautiful novel that collectively examines all that shapes and “educates” us throughout our lives culminating in who and what we become and why. From our earliest interactions and relationships such as those with our closest family members to later in life focusing on those individuals we choose to surround ourselves with and on down the line to our passions and those things that we choose to pursue and lose ourselves in by choice, the book speaks volumes about how each individual detail helps shape who we are to become.  It also begs to ask…how much control do we really have over what we encounter in life and how it will affect us? One of my favorite lines in the very beginning of the novel reads:

“The first phase of his life was so marked by trauma he was able to detach it almost completely from his later realities, his pain a faulty limb that had been cleanly removed, only to be remembered as a phantom sensation. But he was able to command the kind of joy that only those who have known deep unhappiness can summon.“

The line reflects how our past and/or early beginnings can shape who we become but again questions…how much choice or influence do we really have in the matter?

It all begs to ask what one means by the word education? What is an education? Is it a course of study we actively pursue or a series of lessons that we are taught regardless of choice. Not just our formal educations like the relationship of student to institution although Naomi’s relationship to Wellesley is a large part of this book but our relationships, life moments and everyday happiness all lend a hand to our life education. The book speaks to the idea that our “educations” are made up of everything we encounter from the moment we come into this world.  Naomi’s story is told from childhood on…showing how each and every moment helped to shape who she would become. Sometimes the lessons taught in childhood stick and become part of the end result and sometimes we learn and change what was earlier instilled.

Author Elizabeth Percer

It’s a tale of discovery and beauty as the details of the novel fall into place making the reader appreciate the flow of the story while also creating a very organic thought process that leads the reader to question long after the last word has been read. The book is one of easy readability on the surface but true depth just below. It’s definitely worth the read and the thinking that the reading will hopefully provoke. It’s a wonderful debut for Elizabeth Percer and I look forward to what she will do in the future. In her very first book she has truly mastered the art of creating an interesting story while also building a collective thought process that will lead readers beyond the plot and characters into something more. And now…you can get An Uncommon Education in paperback which makes it a great grab for easy summer reading on the go.

Feel free to check out the other stops on this TLC Book Blog Tour here.

tlc tour host-8

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, Events

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: April 2013

Today I must admit I am not feeling so hot at all. If it were any other Saturday I would probably crawl up in bed with a book and alternate with reading and naps….but it’s not a day that I will allow anything to keep me down so I will do a variation on the nap/reading plan. In case you haven’t heard… It’s Dewey Day!  Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon is under way. It’s kind of like Christmas for book bloggers and readers alike. Except we’re lucky because it comes twice a year in both April and October. Yep, It’s that time of year again readers…if you have followed Stiletto Storytime over the years at all you know this is one of my favorite events. This is my seventh Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon. I have worn many hats for this event over the years. I have been a reader, a cheerleader and a co-host long into the night…and this year I am honored to be co-hosting again. So if you’re reading this year…you’ll see me Hour 13-16. Make sure to say Hi! Below is my stack…something old, something new…but I always seem to wander to my shelves and library pile during this event so no doubt there will be some changes. So buckle up…and let’s get this show on the road. If you are stopping by please say hello and share what you’re reading!

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Introduction Questions

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Atlanta, Georgia 2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? All of them to be honest…but really I am still waiting for the perfect one to grab me! 3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Almond M & M’s 4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I’m a Mommy to the cutest four year old you’ll ever meet. 5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? Since I have the honor of co-hosting this year I am kind of taking it easy and just doing some relaxing reading until my hours come up. Then I will focus on making hours 13-16 fun for all and then dive back into the books!

My Read-a-thon Results

Total # of Books Read:  2.75

# of Pages Read:  981

#of Hours Read: 12.5

# of Hours Co-Hosted: 4

# of Mini-Challenges Completed: 12

I began this Read-a-thon by finishing up a book for the Spring Into Horror Read-a-thon which is running simultaneously. I have just finished Little Star by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist. Recently just finished Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza. Two down…on to the next. I’d say it’s time for the comfort that comes with re-reading a classic and personal favorite. I don’t have the copy of Rebecca that is featured below but Oh…how I wish I did.

Currently Reading

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Filed under Book Blogs, Events, Reading Challenge, Reading Fun

Spy Mice Blog Hop & Giveaway with Heather Vogel Frederick

Books for boys…I’m not ashamed to admit as a children’s librarian it’s probably my Achilles heel…somehow very early in my career I became a certifiable princess expert within the library scene. I was always sought out when the need for girly books was crucial especially when the treasured few princess books were checked out or falling to pieces from so much child love. And while I never minded because I got to do Daddy Daughter Tea Parties and wear a ball gown skirt and tiara for programs….this became much more complicated when I was blessed with my beautiful BOY. That’s right…the Mom who knew it all for girls was blessed with the bouncing baby boy! What’s a librarian and a Mom to do? Call in the expert…a favorite children’s book author who just happens to have raised two boys. Did I mention she also happens to be fabulous at writing for girls as well? All right it must be said…she’s just plain fabulous.

Who is she you ask? Well…I always had my go-to books for boys that I trusted every time and the Spy Mice series by Heather Vogel Frederick was always one of those that I went to for reader’s advisory for boys. Spies…mice..adventure…intrigue…what’s not to like? So how wonderful is it that they are now all new in paperback with covers meant to make them irresistible to even the most persnickety of young readers both boy and girl. Lucky for me author Heather Vogel Frederick decided to drop by and answer questions about her favorite mice and their risky adventures. Not only that Stiletto Storytime and The Styling Librarian get to give three lucky readers entire newly released sets of the series. Now that’s something to celebrate! It’s a series I will no doubt be stocking for my boy for on down the reading road. So read on and learn more about this great series and remember to enter to win on the form below by simply sharing your favorite fictional spy.

SPY MICE Q&A

 Author Heather Vogel Frederick

 Q:  What’s the best part about the relaunch of your SPY MICE books?

 A:  Knowing that new readers will have a chance to discover them!  These books are dear to my heart, and I had a blast writing them.

 Q:  What do you think of the new look?

 A:  Fabulous!  I couldn’t be happier.

 Q:  Can you tell us how the books came about?

 A:  Sure.  Not that long ago, in a galaxy not that far away, I had a bright idea. I’d write a story that would pay homage to my misspent youth, or at least the part of it misspent in the living room watching television. I grew up during the heyday of spy-fi TV, addicted to such shows as Get Smart, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible, and The Avengers.  My 12-year-old self loved them all.  I loved the glamour, the gadgets, the whole cool factor of espionage, at least as Hollywood portrayed it.

 Grown-up me knew exactly where to set the story. The seed for that idea had been planted when I’d filed away a newspaper clipping about the building of the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., along with a scribbled reminder.  (Note to self: Great setting for a story, à la E. L. Konigsburg’sFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.”)

 I noodled around with the concept for a while, came up with a great main character (an aspiring fifth grade spy whose James Bond moves were seriously lacking), but something was missing.  And so I set the story aside and waited for that je ne sais quoi.  And waited.  I’ve learned to trust my muse—she often makes me wait, but she always comes through.  One day, the words “spy mice” drifted into thought, and I was off and running.

 Q:  Do you have a favorite character?

 A:  Mouse or human?

 Q:  Let’s start with mouse.

 A:  Well, the evil rat mastermind Roquefort Dupont is really fun to write, and I have a soft spot for Bunsen (Burner, a shy lab mouse).  I love it when he blushes—which he does often, because he has a crush on secret agent mouse Glory Goldenleaf.

 Q:  And the humans?

 A:  There’s a lot of me in fifth grader Oz Levinson, alas.  When I was his age, we both shared the same awkwardness, the same Walter Mitty-esque delusions of grandeur, complete with deflating reality checks. And we were both bullied.

 Q:  Really?

 A:  Yep.  I was plump, shy, and wore glasses, the trifecta of bully bait back then, at least in my particular corner of suburbia.  Nowadays, schools talk much more openly about bullying, and really make an effort to both prevent the problem, and give kids the tools to deal with it more effectively when it does crop up.  Back then, it was just something to be endured.

 Q:  Would fifth-grade you have appreciated a mouse ally?

 A:  Are you kidding me?  I would have been ecstatic.

 Q:  Who’s your favorite fictional spy?

 A:  Oz may dream of being James Bond, but when I was his age I dreamed of being Emma Peel from The Avengers.  No one wears a black leather catsuit like Emma does.

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Filed under Author Interviews & Posts, Blog Tour, Children's Literature, Heather Vogel Frederick, Middle Grade, New Books

Blog Tour & Paperback Giveaway: Enchantments by Kathryn Harrison

 One of The New York Times 100 Most Notable Books of 2012

” From Kathryn Harrison, one of America’s most admired literary voices, comes a gorgeously written, enthralling novel set in the final days of Russia’s Romanov Empire.

St. Petersburg, 1917. After Rasputin’s body is pulled from the icy waters of the Neva River, his eighteen-year-old daughter, Masha, is sent to live at the imperial palace with Tsar Nikolay and his family—including the headstrong Prince Alyosha. Desperately hoping that Masha has inherited Rasputin’s miraculous healing powers, Tsarina Alexandra asks her to tend to Aloysha, who suffers from hemophilia, a blood disease that keeps the boy confined to his sickbed, lest a simple scrape or bump prove fatal.

Two months after Masha arrives at the palace, the tsar is forced to abdicate, and Bolsheviks place the royal family under house arrest. As Russia descends into civil war, Masha and Alyosha grieve the loss of their former lives, finding solace in each other’s company. To escape the confinement of the palace, they tell stories—some embellished and some entirely imagined—about Nikolay and Alexandra’s courtship, Rasputin’s many exploits, and the wild and wonderful country on the brink of an irrevocable transformation. In the worlds of their imagination, the weak become strong, legend becomes fact, and a future that will never come to pass feels close at hand.

Mesmerizing, haunting, and told in Kathryn Harrison’s signature crystalline prose, Enchantments is a love story about two people who come together as everything around them is falling apart.”


In some cases the story really begins at the end. Spanning the time immediately after Rasputin’s brutal murder and beyond the last days of the Romanov family, Enchantments gives a unique look into a time period of Russian history very well documented and yet still coveted in the fictional world of literature. This novel however is unlike the others I have read in that it gives a fresh look as it delves into Rasputin’s life as a family man, very rarely do you ever see it even mentioned that he had a wife and children much less see his offspring as the narrator of such a monumental time in history.

Masha as she was called was the oldest of Rasputin’s daughters and very much the favorite daughter who both respected and cherished her father. The Tsarina of Russia even felt that the young girl had inherited her father’s healing gifts although Masha never felt so herself and never pursued any of Rasputin’s practices. Nevertheless this belief allowed Masha and her sister access to the Romanovs that very few ever held.  Within her stories Masha gives a insider’s account of both Rasptuin the Monk’s life and that of the last royal family of Russia. She is truly a gifted storyteller and the accounts she gives create characters out of historical figures we have all read about.

While much of the novel is very well imagined and given in a abundance of fictional stories within it still lies the tragedy of the last Tsar of Russia and his family. Many of the stories told by Masha are clearly of a fantastical nature but they provide not only a enjoyable reading experience but also a deeper insight into a family lost. A relationship between Masha and Alyosha, gives  the son of Nicholay and Alexandra a life and history beyond his disease and death. Alexei truly becomes a person within this novel and that is something I have rarely seen in accounts of the Romanovs.

In the end while most of the the stories are purely fiction behind them lie real people whose story may never be able to be factually told. This novel at least gives them a past and life of some type in which to be real people and not simply notes in a history book. I thoroughly enjoyed the book from both a fictional and historical stand point. It truly flies by once you become entranced by Harrison’s unique storytelling style. I would recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction and those interested in the Romanovs specifically. I adored this novel when I first read it in 2012 and am so excited to be able to share it again with my readers in it’s new paperback release.

 Book Giveaway

Stiletto Storytime is excited to be able to offer a giveaway as part of this TLC Book Blog Tour Stop for Enchantments and a paperback copy of the book will soon belong to one very lucky reader. Giveaway ends midnight EST March 25, 2013. US/Canada addresses only please for this giveaway.

To enter: Simply share one of your favorite historical fiction authors and the time period that most appeals to you as a reader below in the comment section. I love getting new suggestions for my future reading and it seems there is always a work that I have passed by or not heard of . So share one…or share a few while entering to win a great addition to your own library.

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter. (Please leave Twitter handle in comments.)

Be/Become a Follower of TLC Book Tours on Twitter. (Please leave Twitter Handle in comments.)

Tweet or Blog about this Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)

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Filed under Adult Books, Blog Tour, Contests, historical fiction

Pride & Predjudice 200th Anniversary Party Hop

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Happy Happy Anniversary Pride & Prejudice. Can you believe it’s been 200 years? It’s amazing when you think about it that something written so long ago still has such a hold on so many individuals, still inspires such passion in our hearts and minds. I cannot tell you how excited I am to celebrate this milestone and to be able to co-host this fabulous event with author Alyssa Goodnight. Thank you to each and every one of you who are joining us and helping make the Pride and Prejudice 200th Anniversary Party Hop possible.

My love of Jane Austen is something very dear to my heart. This love is something that happened so early on in my life -it has become such an engrained part of who I am as a person and my personality that it’s hard to really remember myself before. Digging further, Pride and Prejudice is an especially personal work for me. I came to love it at the age of 13 when I first read the book…soon after I laid my eyes upon Colin Firth and my Mr. Darcy found a forever face in my mind. It’s also a very very special book for me because of it’s connection to my great great grandmother.

My Granny was a reader. As a child I often spent time with her since she lived only two houses down. She watched me while my mother worked and summers were spent in her care as well. My grandmother was a life-long reader. She owned multiple bookshelves and perusing them became a favorite past time of mine from a very young age. I loved staying up nights reading with her and making my way through her personal bookshelves knowing each book had been read and selected by her. Unfortunately around the age of ten, I was no longer able to spend time with my Granny. She began to suffer from dementia and quickly lost the ability to live on her own, take care of herself and even recognize me. To her the adult Courtney was unconceivable, she pictured me as a little girl and so I stayed away as not to upset her. Needless to say I was devastated. Although she did not pass away until my early twenties…our relationship ended too early and a large hole was put into my heart much before she left this earth. While my grandmother never shared Pride and Prejudice with me personally (I suspect she would have had I reached the age), she did encourage a love of reading that defines me and the path I have chosen in life. When she died I was desperate to revisit our special times and luckily her entire book collection became my very own. By this time I was a devoted Janeite…imagine my joy when I discovered tucked amongst her books her very own copy of Pride and Prejudice.

My Grandmother had a unique habit when she read a book. She would write her name and the year she read it within the cover. However she did not do it to every book she owned. I suspect she started in later in life so her earlier books remained blank.  When I saw that copy of Pride and Prejudice I literally burst into tears but then immediately prayed that it contained her handwritten name as well. As I opened the cover I could not contain myself, inside was her name in the handwriting I will never forget to the day I die. To this day that book is one of most prized and valued objects. It is not only one of my favorite books by my favorite author…it is a link to my Granny. A symbol that she and I are forever linked and so very similar. Though she left me too early, I know she would be so proud of who I have become. For that reason Pride and Prejudice goes so far beyond being just any book. And that one volume means the sun, moon and stars when I hold it in my hands.

Jane Austen Journal Giveaway

Join the Pride & Prejudice 200th Anniversary Party HopPlease remember to join in and travel to all our wonderful participants in this hop…some may even have goodies up for grabs. Speaking of goodies, I wanted to give away something Austen themed for this very special occasion. So the lovely Jane Austen journal below will be finding a home with one of you dear readers. I own one myself and love to jot down quotes that jump out for me and even after over 15 years of Austen, I still come across lines that make me think, laugh and smile. So want to add this journal to your collection of Jane Austen items? It’s very easy to be entered…just share a Pride and Prejudice moment or memory with all of us as we share and celebrate on this very special 200th anniversary. Happy Anniversary Pride and Prejudice…here’s to 200 more years and once again “Bravo” dear Jane.

Giveaway ends midnight EST on January 29, 2013. Open internationally. Winner will be notified via e-mail address.

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Filed under Contests, Events, Jane Austen, Movies, Reading Fun

The Offical 2012 Book Challenge Wrap Up

Wow…I’m quite late on the official 2012 wrap up post for my book challenge results here at Stiletto Storytime. It feels like I have been constantly playing catch up in my life and especially in the blogging/reading/reviewing sector for the last year or so. A main course of kicking autism’s butt daily and focusing on returning your child to a full and  healthy existence with a side of stress induced auto-immune disorders for yourself will do that for you. It will knock you down but I have not let it knock me out. At times I have wished I could simply put out the above sticky and be done with it.There were even times in the last year when I will admit I have considered ending Stiletto Storytime which has been a labor of love over the last six years of my life. In the end luckily I decided I simply couldn’t do it. Reading has always been my most cherished escape and at this time in my life I truly need that escape more than ever. So here’s to looking forward to a fantastic year of books and blogging in 2013 but before we march on into a new year, let’s check out what I did achieve in 2012…..

Level I – Read 5 books from the 2011 Book Blogger Recommendation List

1.) Delirium by Lauren Oliver

2.) Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

3.) Paper Towns John Green

4.) An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

5.) Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Read any 10 books by a Debut YA or Middle Grade Author

1.) Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

2.) A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont

3.) The Selection by Kiera Cass

4.) Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame

5.) Partials by Dan Wells

6.) Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

7.) Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

8.) Cinder by Marissa Meyer

9.) Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

10.) The Murmurings by Carly Anne West

The Fun size YA Reading Challenge – Read 20 Young Adult novels

1.) Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

2.) Crossed by Ally Condie

3.) Promise the Night by Michaela MacColl

4.) A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (Re-Read)

5.) Girl Meets Boy Edited by Kelly Milner Halls

6.) Faery Tales and Nightmares by Melissa Marr

7.)  Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin

8.) A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont

9.) The Selection by Kiera Cass

10.) The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

11.)  2108: Eyes Open by K.L. Glanville

12.) Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame

13.) Fallen by Lauren Kate (Re-Read)

14.) Torment by Lauren Kate (Re-Read)

15.) The Haunted by Jessica Verday (Audiobook)

16.) Cinder by Marissa Meyer

17.) Partials by Dan Wells

18.) Mothership by Martin Leicht & Isla Neal

19.) Delirium by Lauren Oliver

20.) Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

21.)  Stork by Wendy Delsol (Re-Read)

22.) Frost by Wendy Delsol (Re-Read)

23.) Flock by Wendy Delsol

24.) Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

25.) Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

26.) The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

27.) Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

28.) Paper Towns John Green

29.) The Murmurings by Carly Anne West

30.) An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

31.) Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Read Books of Historical Fiction at Level: Struggling the Addiction: 10 books

1.) Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

2.)  By a Lady by Amanda Elyot

3.) Enchantments by Kathryn Harrison

4.) The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig

5.) Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame

6.) The Taker by Alma Katsu

7.) The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones

8.) Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

9.) I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits

10.) The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe

11.) The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

12.) Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

13.) Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Read 3 books about South Asia or written by a South Asian writer in 2012 

1.) The World We Found by Thrity Umrigar

2.) Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil

3.) And Laughter Fell from the Sky by Jyotsna Sreenivasan

4.) The Color of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe

So how did I do? While I did complete all my reading challenges, I must admit to dropping down a few levels in some when allowed. I read a total of 81 books last year which I must admit is not much for me personally. I read 143 books in 2011 and 186 in 2010. Taking those numbers into account I had set a goal of 150 for 2012 but what can I say…life happens. So for this next year I am going to set the goal of 100 books. I have every reason to believe that this coming year will be one of healing and focus for myself and our family. That being said I will never forget those individuals and organizations that have stood by me and been such a pleasure to work with in the book blogging and publishing community. I truly learned over the last year who cared beyond books. I will never forget how those people have lifted me up and made me believe in myself when the world around me made me question everything. In closing if I missed a deadline, if I did not respond to your book pitch, if I did not get a certain review out…I apologize from the bottom of my heart. It has been the hardest year of my entire life but I survived and that gives me great pride and hope for 2013.

So how many books did you read in 2012? What was your goal? Are there any reading challenges that I simply cannot miss for 2013? I am making my list now and would love to hear of any great challenges out there. So let’s share and get the reading started…

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