My Reading Challenges – 2015 and 2016:

I plan to read 50 books in 2016, that’s 5 more than last year. I hope I manage to keep the ball bouncing.


2015 Reading Challenge:

Last year I managed to complete the following categories, not all books I read were in a challenge category, but that’s how I roll 😉

1- A classic romance: Lady Susan by Jane Austen

2- A book with a number in the title: 1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts by Ryan Andrew Kinder

3- A book written by someone under 30: Hypnagogic Shifters: Superposition by Penelope M. Fernandez

4- A book with nonhuman characters: The Circle of the Thirteenth Cat by Bryan Fields

5- A book with a one-word title: Fledglings by K.M.Herkes

6- A book of short stories: The Whisperer in the Darkness by H.P.Lovecraft

7- A book set in a different country: Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel García Márquez

8- A nonfiction book: Self-Publishing the Hard Way by Brian Parker

9- A popular author’s first book: Pebble in the sky by Isaac Asimov

10- A book at the bottom of your to-read list: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and David King

11- A book your mom loves: Death comes to Pemberley by P.D.James

12 – A book more than 100 years old: Flatland by Edwin Abbott Abbott

13- A book based entirely on its cover: The Spirit of a Witch by Sarah Jane Avory

14- A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

15- A book you can finish in a day: Inklings: 300 Starts, Plots, and Challenges to Inspire your Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy Stories by Leslie J. Anderson, Jarod K. Anderson.

16-A book with antonyms in the title: Mastering showing and telling in your fiction by Marcy Kennedy.

17- A book that came out the year you were born: Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C.Clarke.

18- A trilogy: Divergent, Insurgent and Allegiant by Veronica Roth.

19- A book set in the future: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

20- A book with magic: Magic Rises: A Kate Daniels Novel by Ilona Andrews.

21- A book by an author you’ve never read before: The Martian by Andy Weir.

22- A book you own but have never read: Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint by Nancy Kress.

23- A book written by an author with your same initials: He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-excuses Truth to Understanding Guys by by Greg Behrendt (Goodreads Author), Liz Tuccillo.

24- A funny book: Mecha-Tale by Sarah Jane Avory

25- A book by a female author: Mirrored Worlds by Shauna Scheets

26- A book from an author you love (that you haven’t yet read): This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress #5) by Jeaniene Frost

My top 10 books of 2015

Top Fiction Books



 1. Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

I would surely recommend this book to anyone who has read Pride and Prejudice, even if you aren’t into the Mystery genre. P.D. James is an awesome writer. This book is what I would call a “modern classic”. It is also a fun, surprising book. The kind you won’t manage to stop reading and you will feel sad when you finish because you can’t dwell longer in its world with its great characters.


 2. The Martian by Andy Weir

This book is lots of fun, its main character is one of the funniest I ever met while reading. It deserved to be the 2014 Goodreads Choice Winner.

 3. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

If you lived during the 80’s and liked games this is the golden book for you. Back then I wasn’t the geekiest around, but even though this book brought back a world of memories while having a page turning story.



4.  Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) by Ilona Andrews

This great series gets better with each new book. Kate is a kick-ass heroine and the plot is surprising, with great characters and settings. In my case it made me to stay awake until  midnight to read it. A totally fun read that hooks the reader until the end. I found this one of the best books of this great urban fantasy series.



5. The Spirit of a Witch (The Briley Witch Chronicles #1) by Sarah Jane Avory

I found this book lots of fun. The protagonist reminded me a bit of detective Monk. Briley is a different kind of hero, refreshing and fun due to being most of the time humanly uncertain, almost until the last minute, when her ingenuity saves the day. I also loved Smokey because he really sounded like a cat. I recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy stories with witches. And to anyone who understands how great is to befriend a cat.

Top writing Books


6. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne, Dave King

This is an objective, goal oriented book for revising your manuscript. The checklists are quite useful and the explanations surely helpful. I recommend it as revision reference.



7. Mastering Showing and Telling in Your Fiction (Busy Writer’s Guides #4) by Marcy Kennedy

This book is very helpful, with direct and goal oriented tips for finding balance between showing and telling in your writing. I will use it while revising my first draft and I definitely recommend it.



8. How to Write Dialogue (Busy Writer’s Guides #3)  by Marcy Kennedy

A great guide on writing and revising your manuscript’s dialogues. The “take to the page” sections are a great resource while revising.



9. Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting Dynamic Characters and Effective Viewpoints(Write Great Fiction) by Nancy Kress

This book is part of a great series on how to write a fiction book. It has detailed information on Point of View and Characters, two important aspects of fiction writing.



10. She Sat He Stood: What Do Your Characters Do While They Talk? by Ginger Hanson 

This book is a good solution against the talking-heads problem on dialogue. I enjoyed it. Writers can benefit from thinking like settings-designers and prop masters while creating their settings.

2015 in review – 770 views! Not bad for the first year

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 770 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 13 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.