The Olympic Games reading challenge 2021

This year I am happy to participate in The Olympic Games reading challenge second year in a row. I had a lot of fun last year and I like the thematic ties with Percy Jackson universe by Rick Riordan no matter how small they may seem – anyone who did not read the books would have no trouble participating. You can check out the YouTube Challenge Announcement HERE and give Ishi Time and her channel some love and attention.

I like the mythology theme a lot! Last year I went with Hades as a patron god of choice. You can check out my thoughts and experiences for it HERE. Some of the prompts this year are a bit more tricky to fit a book in but I decided to stick with Hades once more! There is a bit less focus on the undead in the prompts this year and my choice of books is all over the place.

Hades prompt 1 – Read a stand alone

Kako ste? by Barbara Matejčić

This book has a relatively dark cover and is a stand alone. It is also my book club pick for the month of July so I’m fitting it in here as well! The theme is a bit on the heavy side and deals with life issues and stories from people who are dealing with hurt, pain and prejudice in general. I was warned of the content being hard and serious. This is definitely not a light summer read but I hope the book discussion on our meeting is worth it.

Hades prompt 2 – Read a book with a dark cover

Time Weaver (Drakon #5) by Shana Abe

The last book in a fantasy series about dragon shapeshifters. Some of the books from the series I absolutely loved and some were underwhelming. I stayed with the book series and I am hoping this last book will be a good one! The cover has a dark background with a pale hand and some dark read flower and some jewelry in the center. It looks dark enough for me.

Hades prompt 3 – Random TBR book

The Strain (The Strain Trilogy #1) by Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan

I pulled this book out of my long forgotten TBR Jar Draw. I am not that pleased with this choice but it fits the dark undead theme. I am not a fan of horror genre and this book might prove a real challenge for me in July! What worries me the most is the Croatian translation that is considered beyond bad. I might even be tempted to find an edition in English and get rid of my copy of the book permanently if I find it to be that bad.

Hades prompt 4 – Book with a character that hides their identity

Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries #2) by Martha Wells

The main character of this book series is a AI unit that has hacked its module and escaped. It refer to itself as “Murderbot” and likes to procrastinate and watch futuristic soap opera. It is unlike any other SF I have read and I liked the first part a lot! Murderbot is incognito and is on a journey across the wast space in the distant future. If anyone is to find out that its module has been hacked they would probably hunt it down and reprogram it back again. I think this fits the category of a hidden identity.

Hades prompt 5 – Book with a wealthy character

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

Of all the prompts and books for this reading challenge this one I had the hardest time choosing. In the end I went with the main characters being a king and a future queen as a point of them being wealthy. I got this book for my Kindle when it was on sale because I had it on my wishlist for a hardcover edition. The reviews are either hate it or love it mostly. I like when the books have that kind of range among audience. This book has a dark cover, is a stand alone and has what I consider wealthy characters.

Like last year there are some bonus challenges to be read after these first five books. There is only one change in prompts for them from last year. But unlike last year they are not limited to certain patron gods – last year each patron god had two offered bonus challenges and now they are all available to everyone no matter what patron god they choose.

I chose a few books that fit the bonus challenges I liked and added them to the list below. I have listed them in the order I want to read them in. I am also aware that I might not get to read all of them and will probably read them in completely different order by the time I start reading them at all…

Bonus challenge prompt: Pegasus Riding – A book published within the last 5 years

Heartstopper: Volume One (Heartstopper #1) by Alice Oseman

This book is a graphic novel created and self published as a Kickstarter project back in 2018. That was less than 4 years ago and it fits the prompt. I like seeing a Kickstarter project do so well and get published and translated like this one did. I bought the printed version and I hope I will like it!

Bonus challenge prompt: Archery – A book shorter than 200 pages

To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

I had to look hard to find a book under 200 pages on my book shelves. The one I was going to pick was just slightly over with 208 pages! Then I had another choice but in the end I went with this one since it is one of the never books on my shelf and I am curious about it.

Bonus challenge prompt: Climbing the Wall – The next book in the series

Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries #3) by Martha Wells

I decided to add another book from this series to this month! I have first four books in The Murderbot series and at this pace I might be buying some more sooner than expected!

Bonus challenge prompt: Sword&Shield – A book featuring a character I would not get along with

Danse Macabre (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #14) by Laurell K. Hamilton

This is a part of my second reading trough the Anita Blake book series and my attitude toward the main character is very complicated. I would definitely not get along with the main character but I do love reading this series! This book is a bit on the chubby side and I might not be bale to finish it in time or even get to it.

Bonus challenge prompt: Capture the Flag – One of your most anticipated books

Any Way the Wind Blows (Simon Snow #3) by Rainbow Rowell

Now we are threading deeply into the territory of wishful thinking! This book is coming out in the first week of July and I have preordered it. I have no clue if it’s going to even arrive by the end of the July let alone if I am going to read it by then. I just wanted to add it to the list because I could!

I hope I get trough all of the books I want to read this July. They make a really big pile and I still have to add the books from Bookopoly and my next posts! Wish me luck for I will need it!

June reading challenge 2 – Olympic Games

Second reading challenge I decided to participate in this June is The Olympic Games hosted by Ishi Time. You can check out her channel and the challenge announcement HERE. This reading challenge lasts for the whole month of June. What pulled me in to add this challenge as soon as I discovered it was that it is thematically tied to the world of Percy Jackson and I looove those books!

Here is the Camp Half Blood Letter for more details!

For my patron God I picked out Hades. I like my books a bit on the darker side and Hades fits nicely with the books I can choose from my bookshelves. To honor my patron deity I have a list of five prompts I need to read books for. Again I will concentrate only on my own reading journey and not explain other prompts and deities prompts. I love that the order I complete the books is up to me and that there are some advanced challenges after I finish the five mandatory ones! Here is what my patron Hades is all about!

Hades prompt 1. – book featuring the undead

The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, #2) by Laurell K. Hamilton

I’m stealing this book from the Make Your Myth-Taker challenge and it fits perfectly here as well!

Hades prompt 2. – reread a book

Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, #3) by Laurell K. Hamilton

I decided to reread this series long ago and this might be a good time to add another book of the series. also I kinda like how the theme fits to Hades a s well.

Hades prompt 3. – book with a dark cover

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3) by J.K. Rowling

I made a plan to make as many crossovers with the Make Your Myth-Taker reading challenge that I’m not even ashamed how well I am pulling it all off! I plan on fitting the other Harry Potter book with another prompt as well!

Hades prompt 4. – random TBR book

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vol. 1 by John Vornholt, Arthur Byron Cover, Alice Henderson

My random book of the month just happened to be a part of three different challenges this month! Since this book is actually collection of three different books by three different authors and also almost 700 pages long I will not even try to hide how well I am pairing these books to my reading challenges in June!

Hades prompt 5. – Any Hermes prompt – snake on the cover

I choose snake on the cover prompt since it gave me the most room to plan my reading this month – I was surprised when I realized this as well! There were three books I will be reading this month that have snakes on the cover! I choose this snake:

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) by J.K. Rowling

My patron Hades has two available challenges: Sword and Shield and Monster Fighting. The rule of the challenge that these are not mandatory and can be only read after the five mandatory prompts have been done already. Here are all the prompts for the advanced challenges:

Advanced Challenge 1. – Sword and Shield

The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3) by Holly Black

The prompt is to read a book with characters whom I would not get along with. This prompt is a bit tricky unless you have already read the book in question so I picked out another reread. There are so many characters in this book I would not get along with. When I first read this book I was very invested in the story and on the edge constantly. There are so many conflicts between the characters and those provoked many contradictory emotions in me. It was an emotional roller coaster all the way and it did not help that it was the last book in the series I loved reading!

Advanced Challenge 2. – Monster fighting

Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2) by Rainbow Rowell

This is a book I really wanted to include in this months reading so I picked it up for and advanced challenge here. I consider both Simon and Baz magical creatures for obvious reason – one has wings and a tail and the other is a vampire – also there is Penelope who is in a class of her own of how much magic she can wield.

My reading pile for June got a bit bigger now. But I am still looking forward to some great reading this month and hope to rise to the challenge! Both challenges actually!

Medieval-A-Thon Reading Challenge – Experience and thoughts

In the month of May I originally wanted to relax a little after the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon in April. That all changed when I spotted this challenge. You can see my first post where I choose the books and decided to participate a whole week later – HERE.

My goal for this challenge was to become an Empress and in order to do that I had to read at least seven books in May. The story of a a great Empress started with an awesome outfit to fight dragons with so I can impress the people before I cant truly become their leader!

First book I’ve read for this challenge answered to the prompt –

Dragon on the cover!

The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2) by Rick Riordan ★★★★

This was a friendly dragon and while its role in this book was not so big I truly enjoyed reading about it! Festus, whose name translates to “Happy” is an automaton bronze dragon originally created by the children of Hephastus. I will not make spoilers about what happens to Festus in this book but I will just say that my journey to become an Empress has been more amazing since I read about him! I had some trouble in starting to read this book and this reading challenge helped me with it! With this positive energy my quest to become an Empress began!

Second book I’ve read for this challenge helped me not to act like a snob and be more humble – the prompt for this book was

to read a book under 300 pages!

Incubus Dreaming (The Incubus, #2) by A. H. Lee ★★★★★

This was the best book I’ve read in May! It is the third book in a trilogy and the fact that I finished the book series was an added bonus of positive energy as well. While somebody else would probably use this prompt to take it easy I choose a book that just barely fits the requirement as it has 299 pages total by Kindle account! My goal in sight and my standards still set high I moved on to the next book.

The third book I read for this challenge allowed me to grab some weapon training

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The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark, #2) by Veronica Roth ★★★

The first time I saw this challenge I knew I wanted these weapons! Training to fight with two weapons at once is as hard as reading a book that is part some of your not favorite genre. This book has been on my TBR plan for a very long time and the first book I read years ago. Sci Fi nature of this book as well as some rich cultural and original details made it harder to read but the reward of finishing another book series I was logging around for a long time was as rewarding as getting those two daggers and learning how to use them properly!

Next book brought me some companionship in the form of my favorite animal and by the prompt

A book that begins with a “C”

Carry On (Simon Snow, #1) by Rainbow Rowell ★★★★

I knew I was going to like this book and I wanted to like it! I was looking for an excuse to add this book to my reading and had several choices for it. Pairing it with a cat companion fit nicely. Cats are perfect companions for an Empress – they hint at luxury but are very resourceful and independent as well. Every household can find cat useful and these animals are fiercely loyal and territorial which are the atributes I hold very important.

Book I decided to read next added some royal wardrobe I could really shine in and the prompt was

A shiny book

The Testament of Loki (Loki #2) by Joanne M. Harris ★★

This shiny book was another one from my bookshelf that was weighing on me to finish a book series. As it turned out I was more of a fighter than a parading ruler or a dancer at a ball. The book did not blew me away – it was just OK. A shiny book and a shiny outfit were just OK but did not speak to me the way some other books or outfits did.

An Empress in the making that did not enjoy her shiny dresses has turned again to more unladylike ventures by acquiring her own horse to travel her kingdom and the reading prompt for this one was

A tall hardcover

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan, John Rocco ★★★★

I was a bit miffed by the prompt so I decided to get the biggest hardcover book I had on my bookshelves other than an encyclopedia. At first I was very happy with my choice. But as it turns out with serious rulers and kingdoms some things are not as easy as they look! This book proved very hard to read since it was too heavy to hold for longer periods of time and its bulkiness proved a problem. Traveling a kingdom did not prove to be an easy picnic either.

This next book proves that friends can be found in the unlikliest of places as I befriended a goat! The prompt for this one was

A book high on my bookshelf

Death of a Darklord (Ravenloft #13) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★

This prompt was a bit confusing for me at first. I reached out to the top of my bookshelf and found one book on it that I did not read while all the rest I have at least partially read! The prompt was perfect and I was actually wondering if this could be maybe a scary book prompt as well. Befriending a goat was as interesting experience as reading this book – not exactly good or bad, just a little different!

With all my seven books read I have reached a status of an Empress with three different outfits: one a plate of armor for battle, one casual suit for adventuring and mingling with normal people and one shiny severe dress for formal functions! I got a perfect cat companion that compliments my personality and learned to ride a horse while trained to fight with two weapons to a satisfactory degree. And last but not least I have befriended a goat on my travels through the kingdom. With the bonus of three more books I have read in May I managed to befriend a Knight to accompany me on my journey of being a good Empress! In the last five days of the challenge I read more than 700 pages which was enough to repel any outside forces that wanted to mess with my empire!

May your own stories be as interesting as was mine and I hope to participate in this challenge next year as well!

May Book Wrap Up 2020

Monthly reading review – May 2020

This May I have read:

The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo #2) by Rick Riordan ★★★★

Incubus Dreaming (The Incubus, #2) by A. H. Lee ★★★★★

Indiscretions (Scandalous Seductions #2) by Madelynne Ellis ★★★★

The Testament of Loki (Loki #2) by Joanne M. Harris ★★

The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark, #2) by Veronica Roth ★★★

Death of a Darklord (Ravenloft #13) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★

A Most Unsuitable Earl (Marriage By Scandal #2) by Ruth Ann Nordin ★★★★

Carry On (Simon Snow, #1) by Rainbow Rowell ★★★★

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan, John Rocco ★★★★

Cable Volume 1: Shining Path by David Tischman, Igor Kordej ★★

1. How many books have you read last month? Are you happy with the amount you read? 

This month I have read ten books altogether. Three were in digital form and the other seven can be seen on the picture above. I am happy to keep my reading in double digits!

2. What was the best of all the books you’ve read in May? Any scenes or characters that made a lasting impression?

There were a lot of good books I read in May but the best for me was Incubus Dreaming (The Incubus, #2) by A. H. Lee. This kind of blend of traditional fantasy setting and some urban elements matched very well with erotica. I wish I could find more books like this one. Anything that is mainstream fantasy is mostly PG13 and most of all who have erotic elements turn out to be nothing but smut written by fanfiction type writers who are annoyed by the lack of sex in the fantasy books in general. This book has it all I and I loved that!

3. Were there any not so good books for you last month? What made it hard or not enjoyable to read?

There were two books this May that kinda fell flat for me: The Testament of Loki (Loki #2) by Joanne M. Harris and Cable Volume 1: Shining Path by David Tischman, Igor Kordej. For The Testament of Loki I just could not seem to find a character that I could connect with. Loki seemed a bit watered down to me and the rest of the characters could have used a bit more backstory and depth for me to start caring and get myself more immersed into the story. The ending of the book seemed a bit psychedelic and kinda bland at the same time. The whole book in general seemed like an interlude to something else and not very good on it’s own. And in case of Cable Volume 1: Shining Path the story was good. I had some problems with following all the action. I kept feeling like I was missing something and had to catch up. I have some issues the artwork. Kordej’s works are very recognizable with chunky characters and muscles. What bugged me the most was actually the coloring and I really did not like how it looked with illustrators firm and dark lines.

4. How did the books you were reading last month fit in your reading plans if you had any?

For the month of May I decided to try out the Medieval-A-Thon reading challenge for the first time – you can check out my original post for it HERE. I will write a more detailed post about my experience with it soon but it is safe to say I am happy with how it all went.

5. Any updates on the series you are reading or are you starting any new series?

I am actually very pleased with the reading I have done in finishing and continuing some book series in May! I finished two book series and one of those was a long time coming. I finally made some progress with The Trials of Apollo book series and I can hope to get to the next book soonish as well. I started out one new book series I plan to continue and that would be Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell.

6. Would you like to recommend any books or authors you’ve been reading this last month?

Instead of the books I would recommend the author Rainbow Rowell for her quirky yet relatable writing style and a reading challenge as creative as Medieval-A-Thon. I loved little updates on Instagram and opportunities for some extra rewards and story plots to further my reading!

Final thoughts on May 2020 reading

At first I thought May was going to be a slow reading month after doing the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon in April but after finding Medieval-A-Thon reading challenge I was hooked and a bit scared how will I manage it since I started a week later. I managed to exceed all my expectation and have fun reading some books that were on my TBR for a very long time. I’m glad for challenging myself this way. Only thing that is curbing my enthusiasm right now is that I made zero progress with my book club assignment which is due next week.

Looking forward to a fun a and more relaxed reading in June 🙂

Medieval-A-Thon Reading Challenge in May

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After I finished O.W.L.s Magical Readathon in April I thought I could use a break and some slower book reading time.

Aaaaand then I found THIS video!

The video was a nice surprise and it gave me a big shot of reading energy for May. I actually jumped about glancing at my bookshelves looking for books that fit this challenge. I love the visual format of the prompts! Here they are:

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This first picture shows the amount of books you need to read to get the status you want. The highest number of seven books is motivating and doable for me.

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Just like you would customize your character in a game you get to pick out your wardrobe by using the prompts for the books. The wardrobe choices are simple and fit the medieval theme nicely.  Seeing a prompt “A pristine book” made me intrigued. The approval of getting freaky when choosing the best looking copy of the book in a bookstore made me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.

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To keep with the times there is a selection of prompts that provide you with weapons. As soon as I saw them I knew which ones I wanted even though the completionist in me wanted them all! Again the prompts are motivating and interesting. I wanted some more clarification on the “A heavy book” prompt though and decided to settle on 500+ pages book for that one.

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The part of choosing one’s companions was very interesting to me and the most problematic. I am glad I’m not a dog person since I don’t really have a buddy to read books with anyway. Some of the prompts I needed clarification for. “A book high on my bookshelf” refers to a book that is on top of the TBR list or is stored on the highest shelf you have at home or in the library. “A tall hardcover” is simply a big format book in hardcover binding.

At first glance these are the books and prompts I picked out right away. First three books are wardrobe related prompts. The fourth book is weapon related prompt. And last three books are companion related!

Dragon on the cover 

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The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2) by Rick Riordan

This book I just missed out on the April challenge and it is a great opportunity to get myself to read it! The dragon on the cover is mechanical but it is still a dragon! The outfit this prompt comes with is cool looking and I like it.

 

A book under 300 pages

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Incubus Dreaming (The Incubus, #2) by A. H. Lee

This is the third and final book in the series and I was meaning to finish it soon anyway. I was looking for a prompt to pair it with and finding out it has 299 pages made it perfect for this prompt. The outfit for this prompt are okay for a working clothes when going undercover or something.

 

A shiny book

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The Testament of Loki (Loki #2) by Joanne M. Harris

For this prompt I had a few options and then I decided to go with this one. The cover has some nice shiny decorations and I really like the design. I read the first book not that long ago and I liked it enough to push this book higher on my TBR list. I really love the outfit for this prompt it looks severe and cool and I kinda like that right now.

 

Start or finish a duology

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The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark, #2) by Veronica Roth

It has been a really long time since I’ve read the first book of this duology! When I got the perfect prompt to include this book I could not stop grinning! I was apprehensive about reading this book because I feel unsure if I will be able to get into it since too much time has passed between now and the first book. This is my only weapon prompt and it is for the dual wielding swords! I knew I wanted them right away.

 

A book high on my bookshelf

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Death of a Darklord (Ravenloft #13) by Laurell K. Hamilton

This book sits atop of my bookshelf and it is one of the rare unread books there. I am fascinated by Ravenloft setting and I love other book series by this author. I’m kinda scared what this book will be like. As a prompt for the companion a goat was not my first choice but I know how fierce those animals are!

 

A book that begins with a “C”

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Carry On (Simon Snow, #1) by Rainbow Rowell

I had few options for this prompt and was pleasantly surprised when I realized just how many options I did have. I could use this book for other prompts as well – I have kinda high expectations from this book and there is a dragon on the cover, also the color on the cover is one of my favorites. I am a cat person so a cat companion prompt was a must!

 

A tall hardcover

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Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan, John Rocco

“A tall hardcover” got me a bit confused. I had to look it up just to be sure but right away I choose one of the biggest hardcover books I had that were not encyclopedia type of a book. My boyfriend got this book for me on one of hist travels and I was super happy about it. The horse companion was a must so I was glad I could cover this one!

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I loved the prompts and how easy it is to pick a doable number of books and prompts to achieve a result. After the books I read in April this challenge looks like a great way to keep my reading numbers up. I had to stop myself at picking only seven books for the title of Empress even though I wanted to add some more books that I could connect to the prompts. This speaks just how delighted with this reading challenge I really am! I am so thankful and happy to the Medieval-A-Thon creator Holly Hearts Books for making such a wonderful reading challenge! Give her YouTube channel some love HERE.

I’m going into this challenge almost a whole week late so wish me luck!