July Wrap-Up: Reading Challenges and Back to School Shopping

Where did July go? It just flew by for me. Work at my job and work for the Autism Society, plus getting ready for back to school for a sixth grader, eighth grader, a senior and freshman in college who will be leaving in three short weeks. Have you guys seen this neat tool that Target (click here) and Wal-Mart (click here) both have, where you enter the name of your child’s school, pick their grade and the store adds everything you need to the cart? Where the heck was this when I had four little ones in Target hanging off the cart? I will say this, though: Know your prices, because when I used this feature with Target, they put the most expensive notebooks in my cart, which I immediately took out and put in the cheaper version. I’m not an affiliate for either company, but I am the Bargain Sleuth and I thought it was a cool way to do school supply shopping this year. Choose the Drive Up feature and you never even have to walk into the store!

One of the reading goals I decided on after I picked the ones below was getting 50 reviews for NetGalley for my next badge. I think I started the year with just over 25 reviews, and I’ve currently been approved for 49, so there’s a good chance I’ll be able to accomplish that by year’s end.

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

But all that reading ARCs, my other reading has fallen by the wayside, namely my Nancy Drew books. I’m currently on #31, The Ringmaster’s Secret, which was always one of my favorites growing up. I want to make sure I’m in the mood and have the time to move forward with my reading of my favorite teen sleuth. After all, I’ve been reading my Nancy Drews since lockdown started last March, and have struggled at times with reading both the Original Text and then the Revised Text, so to make it easier I just concentrated on the OTs because I haven’t read them before. I haven’t touched Nancy in a month, other than to buy some Nancy Drew Case Files off of Etsy. I’ll get back to her, I will, I promise, because it is so fun and nostalgic for me to re-read the books I started collecting when I was 8.

As for the other challenges, I’ve made a little headway on the Library Love Reading Challenge. My goal was to read 36 books from the library, and read one this month, so I’m now at 12 books. Really, I thought I’d be hitting it out of the park with this challenge. I check out a lot of books, I just never seem to get around to them.

Next is the 2021 Audiobook Challenge. My goal was Marathoner, or listening to 50+ books. Since I can listen to audiobooks at work, this has been no problem. I just reviewed my 51st audiobook the other day so I’m done with that one.

Next is my Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2021. My goal is to read or listen to 100 books. As of today, I’m at 104. Yay, another one completed.

Next is the 2021 Reading Challenge: 52 Weeks, 52 Books There are specific categories for this one:

Reading Challenge 2021
  1. A Productivity Book (I have no idea what this means; will have to check with other bloggers doing the same challenge. I may just change this one)
  2. Book Becoming a Movie in 2021
  3. Goodreads Winner in 2021:
  4. Biography #NetGalley #ARCReview The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense by Edward White
  5. About a Pressing Social Issue’
  6. A Book About Books
  7. Set in the 1920s#NetGalley #ARCReview: Castle Shade (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #17) by Laurie R. King
  8. An Author Who Uses Initials #NetGalley ARC Review #TheLastTiara by M.J. Rose
  9. Poetry
  10. A 2020 Bestseller The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  11. Recommended by a Colleague Anxious People by Fredrick Backman (Translated by Neil Smith)
  12. With a Number in the Title: 41: A Portrait of My Father by George W. Bush
  13. Bottom of Your To-Read List
  14. Reread a Favorite Book: #AllCreaturesGreatandSmall Book and #PBSMasterpiece Review
  15. Own Voices Story #NetGalley #ARCReview: Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna by Alda P. Dobbs
  16. Published in the 1800s
  17. Local Author Being Ethel: In a world that loves Lucy by Michele Olson
  18. Longer Than 400 Pages: Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy by Larry Tye
  19. A Book Turned Into a TV Series: The Duke and I (Bridgertons) Did not review.
  20. A Book That Makes You Think
  21. A WWII Story The Last Correspondent by Soraya M. Lane
  22. A Highly Anticipated Book The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
  23. Eye-Catching Cover From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  24. A Summer Read
  25. Coming of Age Story 2021 Newbery Medal Winner: When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller
  26. Bestselling Memoir No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality by Michael J. Fox
  27. Book Club Favorite #ReesesBookClub #TheGuestList by Lucy Foley
  28. A Book About Friendship Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (Whistle Stop, AL #1) by Fannie Flagg
  29. An Audiobook The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
  30. Set in Australia When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal (Okay, so it’s New Zealand, but that’s pretty close)
  31. By a Nobel Prize winner
  32. About an Immigrant
  33. Time Travel Novel
  34. An Author You Love That Time of Year: A Minnesota Life by Garrison Keillor
  35. Childhood Favorite The Clue in the Jewel Box (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #20)
  36. Classic Read in High School #AllCreaturesGreatandSmall Book and #PBSMasterpiece Review
  37. Borrowed from the Library #ReesesBookClub Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  38.  New York Times Bestseller #ThePresidentsDaughter by #BillClinton and #JamesPatterson
  39. From an Indie Publisher #WisconsinAuthor The Weaver’s Revenge (#ChloeEllefson #11) by #KathleenErnst
  40. Fantasy Spellbreaker by Charles M. Holmberg
  41. A Sequel The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop (Whistle Stop, AL #2) by Fannie Flagg
  42. Recommended by a Librarian
  43. Psychological Thriller Mirrorland by Carole Johnnstone
  44. Book Club Pick
  45. A Book About Technology No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram by Sarah Frier
  46. Title with Three Words #NetGalley ARC Review #TheLastTiara by M.J. Rose
  47. Debut Novel of Famous Author
  48. Genre You Don’t Usually Read A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (Blood and Ash #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  49. A Book Everyone Is Talking About
  50. You Own But Haven’t Read The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
  51. Borrowed from a Friend
  52. A 2021 New Release The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Not too much progress on this challenge, but still ahead of the curve. 33 down, 19 to go.

Well, that’s it for now, I have no idea how regularly I am going to be blogging because now we’re officially into the busy season at work, and I am coordinating a walk for the Autism Society in my town and that’s in September. Somehow I managed to get quite a few reviews up in July despite the hectic schedule. Who knows what August has in store?

How are you doing with your reading challenges? Drop me a line!