Monthly Wrap-Up – March 2016

March 31, 2016 Challenges, Monthly Wrap-Up 4

Monthly Challenge Wrap-Up (1)


Title links go to reviews.

Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge

I read 21 books in March toward my goal of 180 books. I’m currently at 42% of my yearly goal, or a total of 76 books — 31 books ahead of schedule! Full disclosure: this month’s total includes a picture book, a coloring book, and a long short story, so it’s not exactly 21 book-length books. (On the other hand, one “book” was actually a two-in-one, so maybe it makes up for the short story?) This month’s total also includes 7 ARCs (including the picture book and coloring book) and several re-reads. You can see my reading list here.


COYER Back-To-Basics_Winter 2015-2016

COYER Going Back To Basics – WRAP-UP

COYER ended on March 4, and I didn’t read any COYER books in March. My goal for the whole challenge was to read 12 books. For the entire COYER period, I read 15 books, 1 novella, and 3 long short stories, so I met my goal in that way, but during COYER I only wrote and linked up reviews for the 7 books below. (I was on a real review slump for a while.)  Title links take you to my review.

  1. Death and the Brewmaster’s Widow (Loretta Ross) – ARC
  2. Restoree (Anne McCaffrey) – $1.99
  3. Switcheroo (Aaron Elkins) – ARC
  4. Murder on Wheels (Lynn Cahoon) – ARC
  5. Everything She Wanted (Jennifer Ryan) – ARC
  6. The Masquerading Magician (Gigi Pandian) – ARC
  7. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend (Katarina Bivald) – ARC



Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies –  read in March

Title links take you to my review.

  1. The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer (Cathy Ace)
  2. The Cracked Spine (Paige Shelton) (review to come)
  3. “The Marriage of Mary Russell” (Laurie R. King; short story) (review to come)
  4.  A Clue in the Stew (Connie Archer)



The Backlist Reader (TBR) Challenge –  read in March

These are older titles (before 2016) that I’ve wanted to read. Title links take you to my review.

  1. All Night Long (Jayne Ann Krentz)
  2. Smoke in Mirrors (Jayne Ann Krentz)
  3. Soft Focus (Jayne Ann Krentz)
  4. Hidden Talents (Jayne Ann Krentz)
  5. Eye of the Beholder (Jayne Ann Krentz)
  6. Sharp Edges (Jayne Ann Krentz) (review written but not yet posted)
  7. Lost and Found (Jayne Ann Krentz) (review written but not yet posted)
  8. The Ladies’ Man/Some Kind of Wonderful (Susan Mallery; Sarah Morgan)



Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge – Read in March

This challenge is now over. My initial goal was 5 books from my TBR shelves both physical and virtual (books I actually owned.)  I bumped that up to 10 after a spectacular start during the first few weeks. Alas, I lost steam midway through the month, plus I had to divert to reading ARCs for scheduled tours and release dates in late March and early April.  The list of the 8 qualifying books I read is basically identical to the list under The Backlist Reader Challenge above, so I won’t repeat it here. All of the Krentz books were hard copies I had on my shelves; having read them, I’m only keeping a few that I really liked, so it helped me clear a little space.


2016 Resolutions

Bookish Resolutions
  1. Read more of the books I really want to read. Between the Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge and an Anne McCaffrey re-reading binge, I did quite well with this one. It didn’t hurt that some of my ARCs were also books I really wanted to read!
  2. Request fewer ARCs. Right, um…  I got 2 ARCs from Edelweiss (including one I had requested months ago), plus an Avon Addicts e-ARC. I received 2 print ARCs for tours. I got 3 ARCs from NetGalley, all requested during March; there are 4 more requests pending. So I guess this one is a major “Oops.”
  3. Catch up on some older ARCs and improve my NetGalley review percentage. I haven’t worked on the really old ARCs yet, but I got my NG percentage up to 75%. YAY!
  4. Build and maintain a 3-week cushion of reviews and other posts. I wrote 2 non-time-sensitive reviews to keep in reserve, and put together a few “In the Dragon’s Eye” posts about books I’m looking forward to over the next 6 months, but I still need to get further ahead on reviews.
  5. Cross-post reviews on time. I’m working on cross-posting and linking the last half of the month’s reviews.
  6. Stay on top of challenges. See number 5.


Personal Resolutions

My “Daphne” scarf in progress (yarn: Zitron Polo)

  1. Find time and the discipline to write. Not a thing this month — again.  *sigh* Either I don’t really want this, or I’m really, really inhibited.
  2. Clean and revamp my study. Umm… not so much. 
  3. Exercise more. I was all set to start back up, then got sick, and then fell and banged up my knee. It’s healing, but I decided to give it a little while longer before I start stressing it. But I hope to head to the gym on Monday!
  4. Be more consistently disciplined about my freelance work. *grimaces*
  5. Make more time and space for the things I love to do: I finished kitting the cowl I began in February, and started two new projects — a mindless moss-stitch scarf for TV knitting and conversations, and a more intricate leaf-pattern lace scarf for a challenge. Robin was home for Spring Break, and later in the month we flew out west to celebrate my mom’s 80th birthday with her. And I truly love singing the Holy Week and Easter services — music feeds my soul. So that’s all good.


I think I did reasonably well this month, given life circumstances over the last few months. And I’m feeling encouraged for April – I always feel optimistic in the spring!

4 Responses to “Monthly Wrap-Up – March 2016”

  1. Daniela Ark

    42% of my yearly goal, 31 books ahead of schedule is a great place to be Lark! 🙂 even if they are not exactly book-length books. I hope it gets even better now that you’ll read more of the books you really want to read. Let me know how you manage to request fewer ARCs! I have a serious problem with that [with some seriously major oops] needing intervention 🙂 Is there a NetGalley %??? [lol in denial here]
    good luck with the exercising more too!
    Daniela Ark recently posted…Writing tips: Get it done! Camp NaNoWriMo Machiavellian PlanMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Thank you, Daniela! I’ll let you know if I manage to cut back on requesting ARCs — I was doing pretty well last month, but this month I requested more than I wanted to. I’m trying to keep it to no more than an average of five per month, based on their release dates. But at least most of the books I’m requesting are books I would be reading regardless — buying or borrowing from the library, I mean. So I’m not sure how to balance that out. It’s a work in progress.

  2. Rita @ View From My Home

    So many challenges, and congrats for doing so well! I dislike starting challenges because I have my attention wander and then I wind up not completing them in a timely fashion… or at all. That bums me out, affecting my reading mojo. You might be saying, ah what an excuse– lol, but it’s true, unfortunately!

    I wish I’d thought to make a book and personal resolution on my blog. Well, maybe just a book one since I’m not doing well with the eating– I do eat healthier foods majority of the time, but can’t resist a little snack here and there and don’t exercise enough yet. Big sigh…

    I find it too difficult to restrain myself from borrowing and requesting. I do better with not buying because our monthly budget has been tightened due to necessity of a new car this month. As long as a challenge allows me some freedom in how I acquire books, then I can do better.

    I see a Jayne Ann Krentz theme going on above…
    I read all your review links– nice. The only book I also read was The Readers of Broken Wheel. I accidentally reviewed it a long time ago when I received it. I truthfully didn’t enjoy it that much. I found the writing stilted but the idea behind the plot was wonderful.

    Beautiful scarf– the pattern and the dusty rose color. Just gorgeous; you are so talented!
    Rita @ View From My Home recently posted…Month in Review: March 2016My Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I know what you mean about challenges. To be honest, I’m not great at them myself. I tend to get distracted and not do well. This year I’ve kept myself to only three year-round challenges, two of which I’d be doing anyway: a cozy mystery challenge, a personal challenge to read more backlist books (stuff I’ve been wanting to read, or authors I like but haven’t read everything yet), and a challenge to read the older review copies I haven’t gotten around to. That’s the one I probably wouldn’t do if it weren’t for the challenge, and I’m failing it miserably so far. The others have been short-term, and I try to keep my goals very reachable and not lock myself in too much, but even so, it sometimes feels like too much. I might swear off challenges entirely next year.

      Pulling back on requests (if I can manage it) goes hand-in-hand with my desire to read more of what I want to read, when I want to read it — and read more of the books on my to-read list. Can’t do that when I’ve got a mile-long list of ARCs to read! I do let myself request ARCs of books or series that would be on my to-read list regardless of how I got the book. And I’m trying to pay attention to how many I take on for any given month. But it didn’t go too well this month! NG is like a candy store, and it’s awfully hard to resist.

      Thank you for the compliment on my knitting! It feels good to have gotten back to it.