End of the Month Review – MARCH 2017

Wow! Where has 2017 gone?! I cannot believe it’s April already.  Time to review the month of March and all the things that happened on this blog!

During the month of March, I read 14 books and participated in 5 blog tours. I wrote 12 reviews (including one for a book I finished in February), 1 author interview, 1 book spotlight post, and 1 general book post. Of the 14 books I read, I read 10 cozy mysteries, 2 romance, and 2 children’s books (1 picture book and 1 middle grade fiction). I did not review either romance book (tho’ I’m still considering adding a review for one of them) and I did not review 1 of the cozy mysteries. The other 9 cozy mysteries and 2 children’s books have reviews up on my blog.

I’ve made some progress on some of my reading challenges as well:

  • Goodreads Challenge – I’m up to 50 books actually because I finished one yesterday (April 1, 2017). At the end of March I was up to 49 books out of my 175 goal.
  • Pages Read Challenge – I read a total of 3434 pages during the month of March bringing my total to 13,590 pages out of my goal of 60,000!
  • Blogger Shame Challenge – I completed 1 more book out of the Netgalley books I’m behind on, bringing my total to 3 out of my goal of 12.
  • Read It Again, Sam Challenge – I read 1 more during the month of March, bringing my total to 7 out of my goal of 16+ re-reads.
  • E-books Challenge – I read 7 ebooks this month bringing my total to 23 out of my goal of 50 (which I may raise to 75).
  • Beat the Backlist Challenge – I read 7 books off of my “to read” list in March bringing my total to 12 out of my goal of 50.
  • Library Love Challenge – I read 6 books from the library this month, bringing my total to 23 out of my 50+ goal.
  • Craving for Cozies Challenge – I read 10 cozy mystery books this month, bringing my total to 32 out of my goal of 80.


Looking Ahead to April

Here are the books/reviews I know I’ll be completing during the month of April:

Book Cover: Of Books and Bagpipes - A Scottish Bookshop Mystery by Paige Shelton: Teal plaid with white lettering, a drawing of a castle on a hill with a messenger bag, stack of books, and small brown/black dog in foreground.


Of Books and Bagpipes by Paige Shelton – I just finished this book yesterday (April 1) so I will be writing up a review for it in the next few days.  It will be released this Tuesday, April 4, 2017.



Dying on the Vine book cover - Bride dressed in a white sleeveless bridal gown, holding a wine glass - book cover is edged with grape vines, grapes, bees and wine glasses


Dying on the Vine by Marla Cooper – I recently did a spotlight on this book for a blog tour. I’m in the middle of reading it now and hope to have it done shortly so I can also get a review up!



Book Cover: The Moonlight Serenade by Ava Miles - The Dare Valley series - Background has a field under the moonlight so it's all in dark blues and teals. The lettering is on top in white.

The Moonlight Serenade by Ava Miles – This is the newest book in the Dare Valley series and it will be released on Wednesday, April 5, 2017!




Book Cover: Cat Got Your Cash by Julie Chase - Shop decorated for fall in background - counter with money, scissors, cash register and 2 siamese kittens sitting on it in foreground


Cat Got Your Cash by Julie Chase – This is my only blog tour for the month of April and it will include an interview with the author!



Book Cover: No Charm Intended - A Cora Crafts Mystery by Mollie Cox Bryan - Front of a house with pots of flowers sitting on the steps. A tabby cat is sitting in the foreground.

No Charm Intended by Mollie Cox Bryan – This is a book that I’m reading for review from the Cozy Mystery Review Crew group I’m a part of on Facebook.



Outside of these 5 books, I’m hoping to tackle more books on my “to-read” list and more of my backed up titles from Netgalley. I’m also hoping to maybe get a title or two read out of my goal of 7-12 books that have been banned/challenged in libraries and schools. Stay tuned to see what actually gets done!

Reading Challenges for 2017

Perhaps you’ve seen in the menu, the new page called “Reading Challenges“. I’ve decided to tackle a whole bunch of different reading challenges this year. Some should be fairly easy, some will be a serious challenge, but they all should be fun!

The new page has a list of all of the challenges I plan to undertake, along with links to a new page specifically for that challenge and links to the sites that are hosting the challenge. Most of the challenges will only last a year, but two challenges will be multi-year challenges.

Here is a brief list and explanation of some of the challenges I’m taking on:

Agatha Christie Reading Challenge – This is one of the two multi-year challenges. The goal is just to read every novel and short story that Ms. Christie has ever written. I’ve read about 8 so far and I’m loving them!

Banned/Challenged Books – I feel as a librarian I do not read nearly enough of these books that have been challenged and even banned, so my goal is to read 7-12 banned/challenged books in the next year

Beat the Back List – This is a challenge to help pare down that “to-read” list that we all have. My goal is 20 titles off of my “to-read” list, which is a good start for me!

Blogger Shame Challenge – This is a challenge formulated to get people motivated about overdue reviews. I got a little overwhelmed with things last summer, so I have about 12 overdue reviews. I’m hoping to get caught up on all of them

Craving for Cozies – Basically, trying to read as many cozy mysteries as possible. I’m currently shooting for the “Ravenous” level of the challenge – 61 to 80 cozy mysteries. Since cozies are my favorite genre, I’m confident in being able to read that many.

Cruisin’ Thru Cozies – Another cozy mystery challenge, but this one has categories that you’re supposed to read from, such as a cozy based on a hobby or a historical cozy. I’m shooting for 40 on that challenge (the highest level) which shouldn’t be a problem given my goal for the other cozy challenge!

E-book Reading Challenge – A lot of my “to read” list consists of e-books that I’ve found for free or at least very cheap and I haven’t gotten around to reading them. Also, many of the books I read to review come as e-books, so I’m shooting for 50 e-books for 2017. I may move up to the 75 e-books level, but 50 is a good start.

Follow the Clues Mystery Challenge – This challenge requires you to follow an “evidence trail” for a certain amount of books, meaning that your previous book should have something in common with the next book, etc. I’m looking forward to this one a lot!

Goodreads Challenge – This year, I decided to go back to just a running tally of books for my Goodreads Challenge, meaning both new-to-me and re-reads will count. I’m hoping to read 175 books over all this year.

Library Love Challenge – This is a challenge specifically focused on utilizing your library for your books instead of buying them. I’ve chosen a relatively small number to start out the year with – only 24 books. I think that’s reasonable since so many of my “to-read” books are e-books or favorite authors that I buy.

Non-Fiction Adventure Challenge – This is the other challenge that will take more than one year. In fact, this one will take 10 years to complete! But the goal is to choose at least 50+ non-fiction books that you’ve wanted to read but kept putting off and then starting working towards reading them all.

Pages Read Challenge – I’ve always wondered how many pages I read in a year on top of how many books I read. This challenge is designed to help you figure that out! I’m aiming for between 24,000 and 36,000 pages this year!

Read it Again, Sam – Anyone who knows me knows that I re-read books, a LOT. So I’m not anticipating any problems getting to the top-level of 16+ books that I’ve re-read this coming year.

Retellings Reading Challenge – This challenge involves the retelling of fairy tales. They can be set in modern-day or historically. They can be in a fantasy world or the “real” world. Whatever. As long as it’s based on a fairy tale. I love fairy tales and retellings, but since I’m joining so many challenges this year and I have so many books to read for review purposes, I’m only choosing the middle rung on the ladder right now – 5 to 8 retellings. Maybe I’ll read more than that, maybe not. Who knows?

If you’re interested in following my progress on these challenges this year, go to the Reading Challenges page and click on a link to each individual challenge’s separate page!

** Also, stay tuned as there should be not one, but TWO reviews coming up in the next week! **