#ShelfLove – A reading challenge for 2016

Janelle says…

I have a problem. I buy books and then I don’t read them. Because I’m too busy reading all the library books I borrow. And my bookshelves have run out of room so I can’t buy any more books! You know, the ones I won’t read anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I really want to read the books that I own. I gaze at the titles on my shelves and I get that fluttery panicky feeling of having too many books in front of me and not enough time to read them all. I want to read them all NOW. But then, I’ll find out about some amazing new book about to be published and I’ll think “I need to read it straight away!” and I jump in the library queue and then all of my library requests arrive at once and I only have a few weeks to read them and AAARRGGHHH!!!

So, obviously I need a good kick up the bum for me to stop reading library books and start reading my own books. I’m not talking an all-out library ban here, I don’t want to completely miss out on amazing new releases! I just need to prioritise my own books for reading. What’s the point of owning all these books if I can’t recommend them to others because I haven’t read them!



Mmm, some interesting books here. And I’d tell you about them, if I’d actually read any of them!

I assumed the Internet would have a solution for me, and of course I found one! I stumbled across the #ShelfLove Challenge, hosted by Bookworm Brandee, Chapter Break, and Second Run Reviews. First, you set a goal for how many of your own books you’d like to read throughout 2016. My overall Goodreads Reading goal for the year is 36 books. I’d be really happy if half of those read books were from my own shelves. So my #ShelfLove Challenge goal is:

11-20 books – pat your shelves on the back!

The challenge guidelines also talk about deciding whether or not you will abstain from buying new books to get your shelves under control. Personally, my favourite event of the year is the local secondhand book fair, and I don’t think I could live if I knew I was missing out on that, so I won’t be abstaining from buying more books for myself. This is simply a motivator to try and get through more of my own books than I have in recent years, and if the pile grows while I’m doing that, then whatever. More books = yay!

I’ll be posting here occasionally throughout the year about how my challenge is going, and linking up with the hosting blogs above, along with other people joining in the challenge from around the world. Wish me luck! Although I don’t think I’ll need it, if I do say so myself, just quietly. I’m very competitive – I love a good challenge!


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Action-packed – Fear Is The Rider by Kenneth Cook

Fear Is The Rider

by Kenneth Cook


Published 2016

Genres: Fiction / Suspense / Thriller

“There was a girl running out of the scrub towards him. The temperature was fifty degrees centigrade, there wasn’t a house within two hundred kilometres and a girl was running out of the scrub.”

Katie and John are both lone travellers, making the hot and dusty journey across Australia’s south-east corner, when they briefly cross paths in a lonely outback pub. The next day, back on the road again, they cross paths again….but this time, it’s because Katie is running for her life from the vast scrubby nothingness towards John’s car as he passes by. She’s been attacked by someone, or something, and now they will both be hunted in a terrifying and exhausting game of cat and mouse in the unforgiving desert.


Janelle says…

That line up there is the first line of Fear Is The Rider. This book doesn’t mess about. Action from the get go.

I read this book in one day. I haven’t managed a one-day read since The Deathly Hallows! Yes, this is a novella which makes it entirely possible to read in a day, but I don’t force my eyes to stay open until the AM hours to finish just any old book. This book packs a massive punch. I felt like I needed a cup of tea and a lie down afterwards just to get my heart rate back to normal.

Basically, this is about a couple being chased by a wacko through the outback. You’re probably thinking “Wolf Creek”, aren’t you? The story isn’t original, but what made this book so great was the pace (lightning fast), the timing (suspenseful), and the plot (unrelenting). And of course, the Australian desert landscape is the perfect foreboding setting for a tense, scary thriller, it’s almost a character in its own right.

I didn’t plan to stay up late and finish the book, but I just couldn’t stop! At no time did an appropriate place to place a bookmark and walk away present itself. It was just this non-stop roller-coaster ride that had me hiding behind my hands and gasping. It was SOOOOO GOOD.

I don’t know what else really needs to be said about this book. To me, there was no moral to the story, no commentary on this or that, no theme….it was just pure, adventurous fun. And I really want you all to read it! It’s out on 27 January 2016 – what a great way to recover from your Australia Day festivities!



Did not like it  –  It was ok  –  Liked it  –  Really liked it  –  It was amazing

*I was provided with an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review*

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Our 2015 in books, and reading goals for 2016

2015 was a GREAT year in books, and for our personal reading adventures! What could be more fun than reliving it, with a little wrap-up and a forward glance at our bookish 2016.




Janelle’s wrap-up

How many books did you read in 2015?

37 – which is teeny in the grand scheme of book bloggers and lovers all over, but it was a huge reading year for me!

Did you complete your Goodreads challenge?

And then some – boom!

final greads challenge

Best book/s you read in 2015?

That’s so tough, what a mean question! Going back through the books I rated the highest on Goodreads in 2015, I’d say my favourites were The Girl Who Slept With God, Tiny Beautiful Things (review on its way soon), A Walk In The Woods, Bird Box, and The Magician King (Magicians Series #2).

Book/s you liked the least in 2015?

Go Set A Watchman. It wasn’t just the book itself, but the disappointment in not liking it after all the hype and excitement in the lead up to its release, I was really hoping it was going to be something. But given the nature of the book and the facts surrounding its release, I can’t blame Harper Lee for my not liking it.

How many books will you aim to read in 2016?

My new Goodreads Challenge is to read 36 books. I would usually try and capitalise on the amount I read in the previous year, but this year I plan to read some books that are more on the chunky side that will take me longer to finish.

What are your other reading aims for this year, or what do you hope to get out of your reading in 2016?

I want to read more of the books from my own shelf rather than giving into temptation and requesting library books on a spur of the moment. I own way too many books that I haven’t read!

I’d also like to finish off or at least continue with some series/collections that I’m in progress with – namely the Stieg Larsson “Girl With The” series (I’ve only read the first book, and I’m not interested in reading The Girl In The Spiders Web, technically it’s not by Larsson and that just irks me for some reason), Dan Brown’s books, and Stephen King’s Gunslinger series.

I’d also like to make a conscious effort to read some Australian fiction, I have some titles in mind already and I can’t wait.

High priority books to read in 2016?

All of the books. All of them! I’m currently reading Shantaram, which is a 930-page giant, so finishing that will be a major milestone for me as that book has been intimidating me from my bookshelf for years! There are plenty of authors who I’ve never read before and would like to try in 2016 – Terry Pratchett, Ursula Le Guin, Donna Tartt, Marilynne Robinson, and Liane Moriarty, to name a few.

As for individual books which have my interest piqued right now – The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood, The Bone Clocks and Slade House by David Mitchell, The Trees by Ali Shaw, and Rain: A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett.


Mel’s wrap-up

How many books did you read in 2015?

I read a total of 21 books this year, which was a huge step up from previous years, while I was a full time university student!!

Did you complete your Goodreads challenge?

Sure did! Completed and surpassed it by 1 book! 21/20 *smiley face*

Best book/s you read in 2015?

Oh MAN!! Let me see; Bird Box, The Rosie Project, The Farm, The Magicians, Gone Girl….ok, I’ll be here all day.

Book/s you liked the least in 2015?

The two flops for me were Annihilation and The Fever. I had high hopes for both and was sorely disappointed.

How many books will you aim to read in 2016?

I have set my 2016 reading goal at 15 books, which is lower than last year as I am expecting my first baby in April, so from what I hear, my solo bookish days are numbered….sigh

What are your other reading aims for this year, or what do you hope to get out of your reading in 2016?

I hope to broaden my reading horizons once again, with introducing new genres into my reading and new authors. I am excited to see where I end up, book wise, by the end of 2016.

High priority books to read in 2016?

Ooh….my husband bought me a bunch of books for Christmas (best husband EVER!) and amongst those are The Divergent and Maze Runner series, so I am eager to read both. Also, Illuminae and the newest Gregory Maguire book, After Alice. Watch this space for the reviews!


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