01 August 2009

Monthly Wrap Up: July 2009

Total Books and Current Status

Since January 1, I've read 62 books and left 3 books unfinished. I have posted 59 full reviews and 8 mini-reviews and I have 3 reviews left to write. I am currently reading A Separate Country by Robert Hicks and listening to Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll.

What Did I Read?

Here's what I read in July. Click on the link to see my review; the letter in parentheses is my rating.

Dead As a Doornail by Charlaine Harris (B)
Every Last Cuckoo by Kate Maloy (A-)
The Castaways by Elin Hilderbrand (B)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (A)
Death Qualified by Kate Wilhelm (C-)
Rapture in Deathby J. D. Robb (B)
Delectable Mountains by Earlene Fowler (B)

I was heavily into mysteries in July because I had two challenges that called for them. I love mysteries of all sorts (especially series), so that's a good thing. Unfortunately, I find it very difficult to write reviews of mysteries: I don't like to reveal any spoilers, so it's pretty hard to come up with good review material. The Hunger Games lived up to its hype, and Every Last Cuckoo was a nice winner.

Mini Reviews

I posted two mini reviews of books I read before I started blogging.

Plainsong by Kent Haruf
Imperium by Robert Harris

And I posted one mini review of a book I didn't finish.

A Kiss of Shadows by Laurell K. Hamilton

Author Interviews

I conducted no author interviews in July.

Beth Fish Out and About

Rebecca at Just One Page invited me to take a walk with her in June as part of her Virtual Walking Tour feature. Thanks so much, Rebecca!

Did I Complete Any Challenges? Join Any New Ones?

I completed the 2009 Themed Reading Challenge with only one day to spare! I also completed two categories in The Library Thing 999 Challenge.

I joined two new challenges: the Harry Potter Challenge and the Random Reading Challenge. Both look fun and easy.

Although it wasn't really a challenge in the usually sense, I also completed my Game On Diet competition.

There is still time to join the first challenge I've ever hosted: The Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge.

What's New and What's Coming in August

I don't think I made any major changes to my blogging routine or my blog itself in July. I am thinking about the Thursday Tea meme and would love to have feedback. On the one hand, I love having the chance to highlight my current audio in an informal manner, but on the other hand I wonder if many of my readers think it's just too gimmicky. So would you rather I just highlight the book and be done with it or do you like the tea idea? I'm on the fence.

August is going to see more action for BBAW in preparation for the big week in September. Please nominate blogs for the categories, suggest new categories, and promote the event. Donate or find sponsors for prizes. Think of a way to get involved.

Two new features are coming up on Beth Fish Reads. First, is the Literary Roadtrip which will spotlight Pennsylvania authors. I already have several authors lined up. I am really excited about this project. Second, I'm experimenting with some author guest posts. These are authors who have something to say that interests me, and this is a separate feature from the Literary Roadtrip.

The Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge is off to a great start and in just one month we have almost 75 reviews. Click on the "Sookie" tab under my banner photo to learn more about the challenge and to see the review links.

How was your July? Did you meet your reading goals? Are you caught up on your reviews? Are you making changes? And please let me know your opinion of the Thursday Tea meme.


Sandy Nawrot 8/1/09, 7:34 AM  

I think I am at exactly 62 books as well at the end of July! You are on a good path! Things are going to slow down here for me though, as I still have two Outlander audios to start and finish, and they are monstrously huge.

I like your Thursday Tea meme! Its clever! I don't think it is the least bit gimmicky.

Julie P. 8/1/09, 8:06 AM  

What a month!!! You are much more caught up then I am as far as reviews go. I'm staring at a huge pile of books that I need to review ASAP. For some reason, I just want to read and not write! :)

Tam @ Bailey's and Books 8/1/09, 9:15 AM  

Looks like you had a very successful month.
I just posted my July wrap-upas well. It was an OK month reading-wise, although I had hoped to finish up a few more. I also got a few reviews up, but still playing a little catch-up. I also joined three new challenges, including your Sookie challenge. In August, will hopefully do more reviews, also want to add a few more features, and trying to start a challenge for September.

Just Mom 8/1/09, 9:40 AM  

The Literary Roadtrip sounds very interesting. I'll have to go read the link to see if it is part of a bigger project. I'm the wrong person to ask about the tea thing as I am not a tea drinker. But I think, if it makes you happy and you enjoy the thought process, you should keep doing it. Your blog is your own creative outlet - do what you love.

Stacy 8/1/09, 11:01 AM  

I am really looking forward to the Literary Roadtrip. I don't find the tea gimmicky in the least. I am not big on tea but I still enjoy seeing what you are reading and drinking. I have the same difficulty with the spoiler issue but with all my books. Sometimes I want to have a full-on discussion about the book instead of my usual book review but I don't want to ruin even the smallest detail for a reader who is thinking about reading the same book.

Bonnie 8/1/09, 11:17 AM  

You've had a successful month! I've read 49 books so far this year and wish that I could read faster! I've been struggling with the writing aspects of my reviews to make them more concise. I'm going to check out the Virtual Walking Tour feature...that sounds like fun! I've joined a few challenges including your Sookie Stackhouse challenge and have the first book in the series to read. I like the Thursday Tea Meme idea and have thought about participating but haven't yet. It is nice that you use it to feature your audiobook reading. I'm partial as I am a tea lover so I think that you should keep it.

Anonymous,  8/1/09, 12:44 PM  

Looking forward to hearing more about my neighbor to the east in the literary roadtrip. And you know I love your tea meme, always gives me ideas for my next tea purchase :)

Lenore Appelhans 8/1/09, 1:07 PM  

I like reading about what tea you are trying out. But then, I am a tea lover!

Unknown 8/1/09, 1:24 PM  

You've had a good month! I'm looking forward to your literary road trip too!

I have to admit that I'm not a fan of the tea, but that may be because I don't really drink it!

Anonymous,  8/1/09, 2:38 PM  

You had a great month! And tea is good - I say keep the tea meme!

Penny 8/1/09, 9:47 PM  

My vote is for the tea meme to STAY! I enjoy hearing what you have to say about each of the teas. I only participate sporadically, but when winter gets here, it will happen more often. Where do you get all your wonderful teas?

Jess 8/2/09, 9:07 AM  

You had a great month. In my opinion, the Thursday tea meme is not my favorite as a reader of blogs. I am not really a tea drinker, but you should do what you like for your blog posts.

Darlene 8/2/09, 11:56 AM  

Good month of reading! I'm not sure where I'm at, I have to do my wrap up for July first. What I do know is I have to get my butt in gear on my challenges. lol.

Meghan 8/2/09, 3:57 PM  

I also vote for the tea meme to stay! I love reading about what you're drinking. Maybe that's weird, but I'm always curious.

Jenners 8/2/09, 8:12 PM  

Just wanted to tell you I finished "Plainsong" and thought it was wonderful. I'll be working on my review soon. Great recommendation.

And as for the tea thing, it isn't my thing but if it is something you enjoy doing, then you should do it.

Melody 8/2/09, 9:09 PM  

You've a great reading month!

I too vote for the Thursday Tea meme to stay! I love hearing what you read and drink.

Melissa 8/4/09, 12:48 PM  

I find mysteries hard to review too. I hate spoilers and it's hard to say much new without giving things away...

Carolyn@Book Chick City 8/5/09, 8:25 AM  

I think that if you have a lot of positive comments and people coming back to read Thursday Tea then I would say that was a success and needs to stay!

My month in review is HERE

It looks as though you had a great month. I'm into challenges too and have joined far too many...

Carolyn@Book Chick City 8/5/09, 8:25 AM  

I think that if you have a lot of positive comments and people coming back to read Thursday Tea then I would say that was a success and needs to stay!

My month in review is HERE

It looks as though you had a great month. I'm into challenges too and have joined far too many...

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