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#TBRBingo Challenge

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With a to-be-read list that currently has over 1200 books on it, and is continuously growing, I’m always trying to find ways to help me work on cutting that number down to something that doesn’t seem so daunting. Thus, after seeing a variety of posts on Litsy of other readers #tbrbingo cards that I decided this sounded like a great and fun way to help me make a dent on my never ending to-be-read list.

For my first card, I have compiled a total of 24 books, with one free space available for a book that may or may not be on my TBR list. The books on my card encompass books that have been on the list for a while, as well as books that I received in either my Uppercase or Owlcrate subscription book boxes and were inevitably added to the list.

As a way to help push myself to complete this challenge and reward myself for doing so, I have decided that upon completion of the entire card, I will reward myself with a new book as well as a bookish item, such as a candle, from one of my favorite shops that I follow on Instagram, Etsy or Society 6. I’ve also decided that should this prove to be a success, then I will make another card for another set of 25 books.

Note: I created this fun bingo card at myfreebingocards.com 

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20 Books of Summer

Recently while scrolling through my Instagram feed, I came across a posting about a summer reading challenge. The challenge is to read 20 books during the summer, between June 1st and September 3rd to be exact. The challenge was created by 746books.com and I am really excited to take part in this challenge as it will be a wonderful way to work on lowering my to be read list which currently has 1190 books on it.

In order to achieve this challenge, I will need to read an average of 7 books a month, a feat which I view to be very achievable as I have been averaging that amount prior to this challenge. Although the pictured books above are the twenty I hope to make it through this year, I am flexible in my reading. I know that I will read a few books on my Nook which will count towards the twenty, I also expect to read books that I currently have a lot of hold requests in at the library as they become available. My reading selections will further be adjusted with the arrival of my monthly subscription boxes to Uppercase and Owlcrate.

Currently, my planned reading list of 20 books are as follows:

  • One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus
  • The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis by Elizabeth Letts
  • Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
  • House of Names by Colm Toibin
  • Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
  • Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
  • Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter
  • Dove Alight by Karen Bao
  • The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
  • The Crown’s Fate by Evelyn Skye
  • Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
  • Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  • Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
  • A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess
  • Hunted by Meagan Spooner
  • Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
  • The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid
  • Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore
  • Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
  • The Rise of the Dawnstar by Farah Oomerbhoy

It should be noted that I am currently reading Nyxia by Scott Reintgen on my Nook and finished One of Us Is Lying the other day. I also just received notification from the library that The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas has arrived and is waiting for me on the hold shelf. So needless to say, the list will definitely fluctuate, but I’m still planning on sticking to reading 20 books this summer.

 

How I did on my 2016 Charity Reading Challenge and What’s Next

At the beginning of the year, I wrote about my desire to take part in a charity reading challenge. My goal was to read as many books as I could and for every book I read, I would set aside a certain dollar amount (1-499 pages = $1, 500-999 pages = $5, 1000+pages = $10), to be donated at the end of the year to the charity of my choosing, Stand Up 2 Cancer, in memory of my father who passed away from bladder cancer in 2010.

As 2016 draws to a close, I have managed to read 102 books, and to set aside $131 for donation. Of those 102 books read, 96 were ones that earned $1, 5 books earned $5 and only 1 book earned $10. Although I originally planned on making a donation to Stand Up 2 Cancer, I have since then become aware of the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) and have made a charitable donation of $131 to them. My reason for this change is because although Stand Up 2 Cancer is a wonderful cancer organization, I want to donate to a cancer organization that is specifically working to raise awareness about, provide resources for, and find a cure for the type of cancer my father passed away from. Many people are not aware that bladder cancer is the 5th most commonly diagnosed type of cancer in the United States, and I want to do what I can to help raise and support that awareness.

With that being said, moving forward into 2017, I have decided to reduce my reading goal from 100 books to 75 in hopes that I will be able to read longer books and have even more money to donate at the end of 2017 to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network.

As I did with my original charity reading challenge post, I encourage all who read this to create your own charity reading challenge to benefit the charity or cause closest to your heart.

2016 Charity Reading Challenge Benefiting StandUp2Cancer.Org

It will be ten years in September 2016 that my Dad was first diagnosed with bladder cancer. As with many significant events in my life, I remember the news as though it were yesterday. I had just completed my first week of flying as a Los Angeles based flight attendant, following my six and a half weeks of initial training, when returned home to Colorado for my days off. Arriving home to my parents house, they sat me down on the couch, one on either side. My Dad, a pilot for the same airline I had just started working for, began by saying that he wouldn’t be flying for a while, that the tests he’d had while I was gone had come back positive for bladder cancer.

With tears in my eyes, I began to open my mouth, only to have my Dad stop me and say that he didn’t want me quitting my job in order to be home full time, it was as though he had read my mind. He said for me to keep flying, have fun and that everything would be all right. My Dad would be going out on a medical leave in order to have surgery and recover, and if all went as planned he would be back to flying in six months, the same time I would complete my probationary period.

Well everything did go as planned. He had the surgery, returned to work cancer free, and flew for the next two and a half years before the cancer made its return. By the second occurrence, it  had metastasized  and spread so that this time when my Dad went out on a medical leave, he had to do chemo and radiation. After months of aggressive treatment, the cancer was beaten back for a second, albeit shorter, time. It was only nine months later that my Dad’s cancer reared its head for what would be the third and final time. With a third prognosis on June 1, 2010, the cancer worked its way through his body with a vengeance until it finally won and ended the battle on July 22, 2010.

In honor and remembrance of my father, a man who could always be found with a book in his flight bag to read on trips, especially when he found himself awake in the middle of the night due to continuous insomnia, I have decided to take part in the Charity Reading Challenge. I first came across the challenge while browsing through different yearly reading challenges online. The idea behind this one is that you pledge to set aside a certain amount of money for every book read, and then at the end of the year you donate all the money you set aside to the charity of your choice.

Having looked at how many books I have read this year, 70 with the possibility of a couple more by the end of the year, I have decided to set aside $1-$5 per book read. $1 will be the average donation, but if the book is on the longer side (like any in the Outlander or Game of Thrones series, or on the more difficult side like War and Peace) then those books will warrant a $5 donation. I will then donate the total amount to standup2cancer.org in my Father’s name.

If you are a follower of this blog, or have stumbled across it in your daily internet searches, I invite you to create your own charity reading challenge for the charity that is close to your heart.