Day 3368 – Update Of Reading Challenges – Read A New Book Month Day 30!

I decided to use the last day of this awesome month to share what I’ve read recently and to give an update on my reading goal. As I close out the 3rd quarter, me thinks 300 books is not going to happen. I’m shooting for 175 at this point, but we’ll how the next three months go. p.s. holy smokes this year has flown by!

I definitely learned a lot about having one focus on this blog for a month…in that I’m a fan (because I knew what to blog about) and not (because I knew what to blog about). My life is too varied and too many different things happen to be limited to one topic and I really enjoy the freedom of this blog to share whatever the heck I want. So, I can’t wait to jump back into the “I have no idea what I’m going to blog about today.”

Without further ado, here is my update.

Book #112 – Obama: An Intimate Portrait The Historic Presidency in Photographs – this fulfilled A book you heard about online in the Reading Bingo challenge. This was a really cool read and I recommend you check it out.
Book #113 – Practical Meditation for Beginners: 10 Days to a Happier, Calmer You – this fulfilled A book with an ugly cover in the Popsugar challenge. This was a really helpful guide to meditation and opened my eyes to different ways to meditate I’ve never tried before.
Book #114 – The Cake Therapist – this fulfilled A book with food on the cover in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge. This was a slower read for me, but fun story. lol, made me hungry every time I read. πŸ˜€
Book #115 – Cape Cod and the Islands: A Drone’s Eye View by Christopher Seufert – this fulfilled none of my challenges. I’ve added in some photography books to my reading challenges and this one did not disappoint.
Book #116 – The Wendy Project by Melissa Osborne – this fulfilled a book with a character who shares your name (there was a Jen in there) in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge.
Book #117 – The Many Deaths of Scott Koblish – this fulfilled a funny book in the Reading Bingo challenge.
Book #118 – Little Moments of Love by Catana Chetwynd – this fulfilled none of my challenges.
Book #119 – The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers by Alex Banayan – this fulfilled a book written by an author under 30 in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge. This was one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Book #120 – Me & McDuff: How a Dog Inspired My Journey to a Creative Life by Leslie Oschmann – this fulfilled a book with bad reviews in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge.
Book #121 – Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome by Robby Novak – this fulfilled Read a book you’ve always meant to read in the BCPL reading challenge.
Book #122 – Blue Sky White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus – this fulfilled a book with your favorite color in the title in the Popsugar challenge.
Book #123 – Passive Aggressive Notes: Painfully Polite and Hilariously Hostile Writings by Kerry Miller – this fulfilled a book that scares you in the Reading Bingo challenge.
Book #124 – Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz – this fulfilled a book based on a true story in the Reading Bingo challenge. I highly recommend this one. We’ve already seen big changes in our finances because of this.
Book #125 – What Do You Want to Do Before You Die?: Moving, Unexpected, and Inspiring Answers to Life’s Most Important Question by The Buried Life – this fulfilled a book of social science in the Read Harder Challenge.
Book #126 – Mother Bruce by Ryan Higgins – this fulfilled the first book by a favourite author in the Reading Bingo challenge.
Book #127 – PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives by Frank Warren – this fulfilled a book about a current world issue in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge.
Book #128 – Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability by Shane Burcaw – this fulfilled none of my challenges.
Book #129 – Great, Now We’ve Got Barbarians! by Jason Eaton – this fulfilled none of my challenges.
Book #130 – Real Estate Fast Track by David Finkel – this fulfilled none of my challenges.
Book #131 – Santa Bruce by Ryan Higgins – this fulfilled a book with non-human characters in the Reading Bingo challenge.

If you want to check out the full lists of each of the challenges mentioned, here they are:

The 2018 #BWELLREAD Reading Challenge
The 2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge
The 2018 Read Harder Challenge
The Mommy Mannegren 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge
Reading Bingo – this was one I got from my local library. It’s from Penguin Random house, but I can’t find a link to it.

What are you reading right now? I’m ALWAYS looking for book recommendations!

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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
Join the Journey With The G’s email list (bonus – you get my Epic Road Trip Budget spreadsheet)
Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget.
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
Shop on Amazon (no additional cost to you, this gives us a percentage of what you order).
Check out our resources page.
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Day 3313 – A Long Overdue Update On My Reading Challenges

It’s been far too long since I gave y’all an update on what I’ve been reading and if I’ll get close to meeting my huge goal of 300 books read in a year. My current total is 111 books read and I’m feeling pretty good about things. I’ve had to adjust a few things, such as my Goodreads goal is 175. Seeing that I’m XX books behind is a horrible motivator. I’ve learned so much already this year that has impacted my life and caused me to be a better person. The reading challenges definitely encourage me to read outside of what I normally read and that’s a great thing. I have been challenged, encouraged, and motivated. Hopefully, you find your new favorite book on this list.

I’ve linked to some books that I thought were truly amazing, that I read more than once, or I think could help others. Those links are affiliate links, so if you decide to purchase them, I’ll get a small commission, as always, I only share links to things I’ve read and think are worth sharing.

Book #64 – Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: Rise of Alpha Flight – this fulfilled A book by two authors in the Popsugar challenge.

Book #65 – Captain Marvel Vol. 2: Civil War II – this fulfilled A sci fi novel with a female protagonist by a female author in the Read Harder Challenge.

Book #66 – The Mighty Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: Alien Nation – this fulfilled A comic written or illustrated by a person of color in the Read Harder Challenge.

Book #67 – The Mighty Captain Marvel, Vol. 2: Band of Sisters – this fulfilled A short story in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge.

Book #68 – The Best Advice in Six Words: Writers Famous and Obscure on Love, Sex, Money, Friendship, Family, Work, and Much More – this fulfilled An essay anthology in the Read Harder Challenge.

Book #69 – The Canadian Rockies: Rediscovered – this fulfilled A book by a Canadian author in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge.

Book #70 – Don’t Bullsh*t Yourself!: Crush the Excuses That Are Holding You Back – this fulfilled A book that challenges your viewpoint in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge.

Book #71 – Wishful Drinking – this fulfilled A celebrity memoir in the Read Harder Challenge.

Book #72 – Steve Jobs: Insanely Great – this fulfilled A biography in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge.

Book #73 – Zen Science: Stop and Smell the Universe – this fulfilled none of my challenges.

Book #74 – Darth Maul – this fulfilled none of my challenges.

Book #75 – In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It – this fulfilled none of my challenges.

Book #76 – Captain Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Hero Vol. 1 – this fulfilled A book about time travel in the Popsugar challenge.

Book #77 – A Thousand Pieces of You – this fulfilled A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, or South Africa) in the Read Harder Challenge.

Book #78 – You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth – this fulfilled a book recommended by a friend in the BCPL reading challenge.

Book #79 – Ten Thousand Skies Above You – this fulfilled An adventure / espionage novel in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge.

Book #80 – Just Shut Up and Do It: 7 Steps to Conquer Your Goals – this fulfilled none of my challenges.

Book #81 – A Million Worlds with You – this fulfilled A book set in the Middle East in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge.

Book #82 – Darth Vader Omnibus Vol. 1 – this fulfilled A book set on a different planet in the Popsugar challenge.

Book #83 – From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – this fulfilled A childhood favourite in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge. I have to say, reading this as an adult, I didn’t like it as much.

Book #84 – Love Unleashed: Tales of Inspiration and the Life-Changing Power of Dogs – this fulfilled none of my challenges.

Book #85 – From Twinkle, with Love – this fulfilled A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you in the Popsugar challenge. This was a fun read. I loved her book – When Dimple Met Rishi.

Book #86 – Audubon, On The Wings Of The World – this fulfilled none of my challenges.

Book #87 – Captain Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Hero Vol. 2 – this fulfilled none of my challenges.

Book #88 – Flight Plan: The Travel Hacker’s Guide to Free World Travel & Getting Paid on the Road – this fulfilled A book by a local author in the Popsugar challenge. This was a great read because I love to travel, it had some good advice, and the author is one of my friends. πŸ™‚

Book #89 – Captain Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Hero Vol. 3 – this fulfilled none of my challenges.

Book #90 – Saturn Could Sail: and other fun facts – this fulfilled none of my challenges.

Book #91 – Think and Grow Rich for Women: Using Your Power to Create Success and Significance – this fulfilled A book about feminism in the Popsugar challenge.

Book #92 – Someday, Somewhere – this fulfilled a book about music in the BCPL reading challenge.

Book #93 – Your Best Year Ever: A 5-Step Plan for Achieving Your Most Important Goals – this fulfilled none of my challenges.

Book #94 – Gratitude – this fulfilled none of my challenges.

Book #95 – Darth Vader Omnibus Vol. 2 – this fulfilled none of my challenges.

Book #96 – Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World – this fulfilled none of my challenges.

Book #97 – Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave – this fulfilled a book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion than your own in the Modern Mrs. Darcy challenge.

Book #98 – Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World – this fulfilled none of my challenges.

Book #99 – A Wrinkle in Time – this fulfilled A children’s classic published before 1980 in the Read Harder Challenge.

Book #100 – Be Unstoppable: The Art of Never Giving Up – this fulfilled A book about travel in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge. This one could fit under a bunch of categories and was a really inspiring read. It’s by the surfer girl who lost an arm in a shark attack and kept surfing. It’s full of photos and inspiring quotes from her surfing around the world.

Book #101 – Dream Big Dreams: Photographs from Barack Obama’s Inspiring and Historic Presidency – this fulfilled Political Book in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge.

Book #102 – Into the Water by Paula Hawkins – this fulfilled A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place in the Popsugar challenge. – I saw someone reading this in an airport after stalking all the readers. Ha ha, I’m sure I looked pretty funny trying to scope out what folks were reading. This was a really fast read for me.

Book #103 – A Unicorn in a World of Donkeys: A Guide to Life for All the Exceptional, Excellent Misfits Out There – this fulfilled A celebrity memoir in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge. This was SUCH a fun read. It could fit under a number of categories. Haha, if this title speaks to you, the book definitely delivers.

Book #104 – You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth – this fulfilled A book recommended by a friend in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge. This was my third time reading this book….this year (haha, so I’ve been able to put it in multiple other reading challenges). If you have ANY hang-ups about money, want to get past money blocks, or enjoy someone who can make money relatable, this should be on the top of your list. It has honestly changed my life (I started a new business and realized I had some deep issues with money because of this book). The audiobook is read by the author and I recommend listening.

Book #105 – Can You Survive Antarctica?: An Interactive Survival Adventure – this fulfilled a book set in a cold climate in the BCPL reading challenge.

Book #106 – The Maui Millionaires: Discover the Secrets Behind the World’s Most Exclusive Wealth Retreat and Become Financially Free – this fulfilled a book of non fiction in the Reading Bingo challenge*.

Book #107 – The Final Six – this fulfilled the first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grad series in the Read Harder Challenge.

Book #108 – Shackleton’s Journey – this fulfilled A book set on a different continent in the Reading Bingo challenge.

Book #109 – Think Small: The Tiniest Art in the World – this fulfilled a book that teaches you something new in the BCPL reading challenge.

Book #110 – The Girl on the Train – this fulfilled a book from a celebrity book club in the Popsugar challenge.

Book #111 – OUTRAGEOUS Multi-Step Marketing Campaigns That Are Outrageously Successful: Created for the 99% of Business Owners Who Want to Change Their Good Business Into a GREAT Business! – this fulfilled a book published this year in the Reading Bingo challenge.

The 2018 Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge
The 2018 #BWELLREAD Reading Challenge
The 2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge
The 2018 Read Harder Challenge
The Mommy Mannegren 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge
* Reading Bingo – this was one I got from my local library. It’s from Penguin Random house, but I can’t find a link to it.

What are you reading right now? I’m ALWAYS looking for book recommendations!

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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
Join the Journey With The G’s email list (bonus – you get my Epic Road Trip Budget spreadsheet)
Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget.
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
Shop on Amazon (no additional cost to you, this gives us a percentage of what you order).
Check out our resources page.
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Day 3114 – 19 Days Into 2018 – 13 Books Read – 300 Books In A Year Status

Alright, confession time….I may have set the bar a little too high. Last year, I read 300 books, but 200 of them were children’s picture books. Seriously, what was I thinking? But, I am not about to give up so soon. I noticed that I was reading out of obligation and it was really really really not enjoyable. Oh my friends, that cannot be. For me, reading is a balm to my soul. It encourages me to see the world through another’s eyes. It makes me think about things I normally wouldn’t think about. It challenges me to grow. So, I press on. Even if I don’t meet my goal of 300, I’m still going to read and not see this as a chore. At one point I felt like I was back in school, reading the things I didn’t want to read.

One thing I’ve increased this year is photography/art books. This helps increase my read count, but honestly, it has already pushed me out of my normal read zone. Last night I finished A Beautiful Ghetto by Devin Allen. His work is stunning, it gave me a deeper love for a city so close to home (being a born and bred Marylander), further opened my eyes to struggles right next door, and a reminder of things that aren’t normally talked about.

A new thing I started this year was joining Facebook groups for some of the challenges. Oh friends, I did not know what I was missing! Getting to chat with others who love reading as much as I do AND sharing recommendations? Ah, joy. It has also helped keep me motivated to carry on.

Without further ado, here are my last 10 reads! All of the reading challenges will be linked at the end of the list for ease of reading. Titles marked with an * are Amazon affiliate links. That means we’ll get a small percentage of your order if you order something. I only link to things that I personally stand behind and have read/seen/tried/etc. myself.

Book #4 – Dog Years: Faithful Friends, Then & Now by Amanda Jones – this fulfilled a book with an animal in the title for the Popsugar challenge.

Book #5 – The Princess Saves Herself in this One* by Amanda Lovelace – this fulfilled a book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection for the Modern Mrs. Darcy challenge. I really really really enjoyed this book. Poetry isn’t something I regularly read and when I do, there are only certain types that I really enjoy. This was one of them. I absolutely loved the progression, the style, and the content. Highly recommend.

Book #6 – The Two-Second Advantage: How We Succeed by Anticipating the Future–Just Enough by Vivek Ranadive and Kevin Maney – this fulfilled a book you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t got to. I’ve had this bad boy on my phone as an audiobook for a really really really long time. Happy to finally finish it!

Book #7 – Ready Player One* by Ernest Cline – this fulfilled a book that was made into a movie in the BWellread challenge. I know it’s not in the theaters yet but I DID ask BCPL online and they said it fits. Woo! I love this book and it was just as enjoyable the second time through.

Book #8 – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander, J.K. Rowling, Albus Dumbledore – this fulfilled a book made into a movie you’ve already seen for the Popsugar challenge. Oh man, this was THE hardest book to read. Oy. Now, if I had Jim Dale read it to me, I might have had a different opinion.

Book #9 – Signs of Hope: Messages from Subway Therapy by Matthew “Levee” Chavez – this fulfilled a book you can read in a day in the Modern Mrs. Darcy challenge. As a deep lover of post-it notes, it was a joy to read this book.

Book #10 – Life’s Journeys According to Mister Rogers: Things to Remember Along the Way by Fred Rogers – this fulfilled none of my challenges. It could have fit into a book you can read in a day (this is on a few of my challenges), but I started it one day and finished it on another, so I didn’t feel right about putting it on one of those. Thankfully, my challenges only add up to 150 books, so that leaves me with 150 “freebies.”

Book #11 – Wild and Crazy: Photos from the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards by Paul Joynson-Hicks, Tom Sullam – this fulfilled a book that makes you laugh out loud in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge. Oh man, this was a FUN book. Definitely made me (and Bret) laugh out loud.

Book #12 – A Beautiful Ghetto by Devin Allen – this fulfilled a book about a problem facing society today on the Popsugar challenge. See my thoughts above.

Book #13 – Mean Streets: NYC 1970-1985 by Ed Grazda – this fulfilled a book with the letter “Y” somewhere in the title in the Mommy Mannegren 52 books challenge.

The 2018 Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge
The 2018 #BWELLREAD Reading Challenge
The 2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge
The 2018 Read Harder Challenge
The Mommy Mannegren 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge

There you have it, I’m still powering through, with a renewed focus on just enjoying the journey. What are you reading right now?

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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
Join the Journey With The G’s email list (bonus – you get my Epic Road Trip Budget spreadsheet)
Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget.
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
Shop on Amazon (no additional cost to you, this gives us a percentage of what you order).
Check out our resources page.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

Day 3098 – How To Read 300 Books In A Year

Last year, I read 304 books. 200 kids books (picture books) and 104 “adult/full length” books. I was super proud of myself and learned a lot about a lot through reading so much. My previous year, I read 75 books. I like challenging myself to do more, so this year, I am planning on reading 300 books again, but all or very nearly all “adult/full length” books. I know I will read, I have to, but having a big goal is helpful. And a big shout out to Goodreads in helping to keep track of my goal….and telling me if I’m off track.

So what do I do to set myself up for success in this area?

I set aside several times a day to read. My morning tasks include reading through a book on book marketing/blog marketing/etc and reading through Tribe of Mentors. This helps me to chip away at 2 books. My evenings I want to read a little out of a non-fiction and read a fiction book as well. Since we just got back from being away, there are things to catch up on, so my evenings aren’t as open as they normally are, but in the future, I hope to spend an hour or two reading.

I keep track of my progress in Goodreads and on a sheet of paper. This serves as a double check to make sure I’ve recorded all of my books, and an easy way to count up adult vs. kids.

I use reading challenges to expand my options of books. Last year I started two challenges but they fizzled out by February. I’m not sure if I’ll complete any of the ones I’ve chosen this year, but they really help my options. This year, I’m hope to attempt the following:

The 2018 Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge
The 2018 #BWELLREAD Reading Challenge
The 2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge
The 2018 Read Harder Challenge
The Mommy Mannegren 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge

There are some fantastic ideas in there (in order of the lists above):
a classic you’ve been meaning to read
a book with a one-word title
a book that was being read by a stranger in a public place
a comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC, or Image
a book with bad reviews

I listen to audio books during my longer commutes.

But most important, I won’t beat myself up if I don’t meet my goal. The reasons to read are many (authors should read a lot, reading gives you many perspectives, etc) and just the act of reading and learning new things elates my soul.

Are you doing a reading challenge this year?

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Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
Join the Journey With The G’s email list (bonus – you get my Epic Road Trip Budget spreadsheet)
Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
Shop on Amazon (no additional cost to you, this gives us a percentage of what you order).
Check out our resources page.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel