2016 Reading Challenges!

All right, heaven help me, I’m going in again! 2015 was a success, so lets hope I can build on that! I doubt I’ll be reading 260 books again this year, but 40 of whatever I do read are going to be targeted towards these challenges.

Nonfiction Challenge: Explorer Level (6-10 titles, choose any)

  1. Santa Claus Man (done, 1/18)
  2. Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire (done, 2/16)
  3. Packing for Mars (done, 2/16)
  4. Lafayette in the Somewhat United States (done, 3/30)
  5. How to Be a Victorian (done, 4/23)
  6. Hamilton: The Revolution (done, 4/24)

Same challenge as last year, but down a level. I might level up if I seem to be on a roll, but I wanted to make it an even number of books. Because that’s how my brain goes.

TBR Pile Club: A Firm Hug (11-20 titles, choose any published before 2015)

The challenge I used last year closed, so I found this one instead. I like that I’m not locked into titles, but can choose anything from my TBR list as the mood suits. I prefer freedom and really hate being told what to do, even by myself, ha. I also liked that it wasn’t limited to books I own, since I do so much of my reading plans from library books. Subgoal: half will be ones I own, half will be titles from my GR shelf.

  1.  The Other Side of the Night: The Carpathia, the Californian and the Night the Titanic Was Lost (2009) (done, 1/31)
  2.  Twilight at the World of Tomorrow : Genius, Madness, Murder, and the 1939 World’s Fair on the Brink of War (2010) (done, 3/30)
  3.  GI Brides: The Wartime Girls Who Crossed the Atlantic for Love (2014) (done, 4/23) 

Panels Read Harder comics challenge : I think this one will be the biggest challenge, as it doesn’t lend itself well to things I have an interest in. But then again, I did 10 of these last year, so I am sure that I will find ways to finish it this year!

  1. Read a self-published comic.
  2. Read a feminist comic: A-Force (done, 1/30)
  3. Read a comic featuring one or more teenage protagonists: Gotham Academy Vol 2 (done, 3/15)
  4. Read a superhero comic whose race or gender has been swapped from the original or traditional hero: All-New Captain America (done, 2/16)
  5. Read a complete run of a comic: Invincible Iron Man, 12 trades (done, March)
  6. Read a comic based on a book and the book it’s based on.
  7. Read a graphic biography: Amazing Fantastic Incredible, A Marvelous Memoir (done, 2/9)
  8. Read a comic that was originally published in a language different from your own.
  9. Read a comic set in space.
  10. Read a collected webcomic: Adventures of Superhero Girl (done, 4/15)
  11. Read a comic with at least one creator of color: Silk (done, 1/15)
  12. Read a comic set in Asia by an Asian creator.
  13. Read a superhero comic NOT by one of the Big Two: Adventures of Superhero Girl (done, 4/15)
  14. Read a slice-of-life comic not set in the U.S.
  15. Read a comic that has been adapted from a T.V. show or movie (not vice versa).
  16. Read a comic about a real-life historical event.
  17. Read a black-and-white comic.
  18. Read a watercolor comic.

Any recommendations for any of these? I know what I tend towards, and it’d be great to try new things again this year.

2015 Reading Challenges Final Update

Well, I did it!  I completed 3 of the 3 challenges I set for this year. Here’s a little known (or widely known, whatevs) fact about me: I am ridiculously competitive. I will turn anything into a competition. Which is why I raced to finish that third challenge in the final 4 days of 2015. It was niggling at me! I had to finish!

I also read 250+ books this year, because who would have guessed that I’d stumbled into a brand new genre and fall head over heels in love with graphic novels? That was a brand new direction for me, one that opened up a lot of genres and new experiences, so I guess I didn’t need the challenges after all. But they were fun to do, and I think I’m going to try them again. Even the To Be Read one, which wasn’t half as fun, ha. I think I need to do a better job picking those titles; it skewed heavily nonfiction and I think I’ll make sure to add in YA and other genres I like, too. I’m going to try for Panel’s Read Harder comics challenge, too. Stay tuned for the 2016 challenge post early next week!

My favorite books of 2015:

Ms Marvel, vol 4:  The whole run is fantastic, and clearly you can’t start with vol 4! But this was the best of an amazing four books, and I am so impressed with the absolutely perfect way they wrapped up the series. I can’t wait for the next one.

The Martian: The movie is better (the book excelled in space, less so on Earth), but the book is still a crazy awesome adventure. I could not put it down — I found myself carrying it from room to room as I walked and did other tasks.  There are a few extra character scenes I wish had made it into the movie (Beck and Johanssen, for example), but I love both madly.

Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye (vol 1, 2, 3, 4): This is the run that made me fall in love with comics. It finished up its 3 year run in July, and it was pitch perfect. The art is amazing, with some of the most gorgeous colorwork out there, and the story shines. I love Clint Barton, but Kate Bishop is my Hawkeye forever. I love how they get equal billing and equal importance in the narrative.

(Noticeably, none of these were challenge titles, ha. I enjoyed most of those, but didn’t love them.)

GoodReads came up with my year in review with some fun stats, too. And now we move on to 2016 plans and challenges — I already have 20 checked out, heaven help me.

22 and 23 January 2015: Color

Last week was weird. My routine was thrown all off and even my two regular work days weren’t at all regular. A little less thought than usual went into my outfits.


JCrew button back tee, H&M cardigan, Old Navy sweetheart skinnies, brooch, Up Adventure Book necklace, Crown Vintage booties

I mostly wanted to pair purple and green together. Which then looked good with the simply adorable brooch my mom found for me on Zulily. And then I got the Up necklace, which goes with nothing, but it made me smile. When you open it, there’s a picture of Ellie and Carl, with Ellie’s message about the next adventure. LOVE. I’m debating wearing my yellow polka dot dress and white cardigan with the necklace and Grape Soda pin and being Ellie at Disneyland this spring.

Or just wearing it with the dress I really want to wear, which is 50s style and therefore Ellie style anyway. We’ll see.


Bar III dress, Old Navy tights, vintage key necklace, purple flower necklace, Bass heritage boots

Basic Lizzie Bennet outfit. I wanted something super comfortable for a 3 hour discussion of the best books of the year. It was time for our annual Mock Newbery and Caldecott day, and I was in charge of the Mock Newbery portion again. Below were our results:


If Brown Girl Dreaming doesn’t win the real thing, people will revolt in the streets. We called the next three down honors, and the final four were nominated but didn’t get the points. Technically, El Deafo (another amazing one) ought to have been the only honor, I suppose, but I was in charge and I really love Greenglass House. So.

Friday appeared to be the day to ditch Christmas trees around town. I saw a car dragging one behind it like a trailer, and then came across five in a row in the street:


This weekend, I worked on sewing my mom’s next table runner – red for Valentine’s Day on one side, green for St. Patrick’s Day on the other. I have to say, I love the flower sprays on the green side best. But I think it came out pretty nice.



Outfit posts are coming! I’ve been reading up a storm this week, which means less time on the computer for blogging.

I’ve finally managed to update my current jam, hurrah. I’ve also added links to my sidebar – I totally dig Rue La La and Zulily, and think you guys might, too.

I also added a link to my GoodReads account. As my blog title says, I am a librarian. It’s actually a pretty big part of who I am –  sometimes that informs my clothing choices (no short or a-line skirts on storytime days!), hee – but I’ve been thinking that it might be nice to add a little bit of my other passion, books, here as well. I’ve recently been able to start getting advanced copies of new titles, before they’re available for sale, and I’d love to share some books I recommend (or, you know, don’t), too.

Fashion is clearly the driving force behind this blog and always will be, but let’s test it out and see if these two big interests of mine can co-exist. A little experiment.