December 2014 Reading Challenge – Updates and Results

As posted originally over on Cherry Blossoms & Maple Syrup we’re having a December Reading Challenge because why not – most people have a few days off in December (if not more) and a lot of people travel. I had none of these things, but I did need to get a whole chunk of reading done, so off I went. Most of these have to be read for Aurealis judging so don’t be surprised if they’re mentioned almost 20 times.

This entry shall be updated throughout the month as I choose or change my mind on what I’m aiming to read. Bold means I’ve chosen what I hope to read – normal text means I need your help deciding! Or at least it did when I was still deciding. As of the 14th December, I have 18 different books locked in for the 20 different challenges.

✓ 1) Read a book that exceeds 450-500 pages. 

To Love a Sunburnt Country by Jackie French. One of the few books read on my list for no other reason than pure enjoyment!

✓ 2) Read a book with winter in the title, as a theme, or as a main setting. ✓

Vision in Silver (The Others #3) by Anne Bishop. Also read for reviewing from the publisher on edelweiss.

✓ 3) Read a book that has been signed by an author. 

The Godless (#1 Children) by Ben Peek. Also read for Aurealis judging – it arrived signed from the publisher rather than hunted down devoutly at a con or author event at a bookstore, but it still counts, right?

✓ 4) Read a book that has been gifted to you by a friend. ✓ 

Temeraire (Temeraire #1) by Naomi Novik, gifted to me from Alex who is far too kind! And whom I gifted The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch because that’s what I do.

5) Read a book that you’ve had on your shelf for over two years.

The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1) by Jasper Fforde. Another book read for no other reason than pure enjoyment!

✓ 6) Read a book-to-film adaptation. ✓ 

The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers because Benedict Cumberbatch, and of course it’s a book I’ve had since it came out, waiting to be read.

✓ 7) Read a book that has animals in it, either as a protagonist, side kick, or as a huge focal point. ✓ 

Clariel (Abhorsen #4) by Garth Nix – depends whether animals feature in this one as much as they do in the previous three books. Also read for Aurealis judging.

✓ 8) Read a middle grade novel. ✓ 

Akata Witch (Akata Witch #1) by Nnedi Okorafor.

✓ 9) Read a book that has travelling. 

Yesterday’s Kin by Nancy Kress, also read for review from NetGalley.

✓ 10) Read a novel with a green cover or has green in the cover. ✓ 

Clariel (Abhorsen #4) by Garth Nix. Also read for Aurealis judging.

✓ 11) Read a book featuring cultural diversity. 

Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios.  

✓ 12) Read a graphic novel or a book with pictures. ✓ 

The Tropic of Serpents (Memoir by Lady Trent #2) by Marie Brennan. Read for enjoyment! Also, have you seen the illustrations in this series? It’s so dang superb that it requires you to buy the whole series in stunning hardcover.

✓ 13) Read a book a friend has always nagged you to read. 

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater as ordered by River!

✓ 14) Read an award winner. ✓ 

It seems amusing to think of what book I could have chosen for this considering so many of the books I read were for judging purposes. Imagine if I wrote here the book I was sure was going to win the fantasy category for the Aurealis Awards :D

That would be wrong though. I’ll be sure to pick a book for this one that’s not even remotely eligible. Such as, Temeraire (Temeraire #1) by Naomi Novik which won the Locus Award for Best First Novel (2007).

✓ 15) Read a self-published book or a book from an independent publisher. ✓ 

Havenstar by Glenda Noramly (also known as Glenda Larke. Cheating a bit for this one – this is an older book of hers, that Fablecroft Publishing (who I intern for) are re-releasing this for kindle.

✓ 16) Read a book inspired by fandom OR read a book of non-fiction. ✓ 

Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz. Also read as a review book from the publisher.

✓ 17) Read a retelling of some kind. ✓ 

The Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter #1) by Megan Shepherd – inspired by H. G. Wells’s classic The Island of Dr. Moreau.

18) Start a new series!

Dreamer’s Pool (Blackthorn and Grim #1) by Juliet Marillier. Also read for Aurealis judging.

19) Read a middle book in a trilogy.

This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Also read for Aurealis Judging.

✓ 20) Read the ending of a series/latest instalment of a series. 

The Caller (Shadowfell #3) by Juliet Marillier. Also read for Aurealis Judging.


Our hashtag on twitter is #HolidayReadingMadness. I really better get started on this one! It looks like I’m trying to read 20 individual books after all, and I haven’t got anything done for the first two days in December – eek!

There’s still time for you to join in with us if you like!


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