Reading What I Have Challenge – August 2016

A few months ago I began a reading challenge to work through the books I already have. I realized that I could read for years from the books that are already on my shelf or saved on my Kindle app. My digital library contains literally HUNDREDS of books — mostly fiction, with a few self-help types. (Ever hear the term digital clutter? I’ve got it for sure!) With all of those titles at my fingertips, I made a goal to read or delete what I already have before spending money on new reading material.


Reading What I Have Challenge – August 2016 | The challenge continues: Read my August 2016 book reviews, plus updates on the reading challenge and digital decluttering progress. |

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Some months I read a LOT of books, other months I’m so busy reading other things online that I barely get into a real book. My usual goal is at least one book per week, and my original August goal was 5 books. Sadly, I only ended up reading 3 books. Yeah, I think I lost my “reader” title during August.

Check out my August 2016 #book reviews from the #TBR pile. Click To Tweet


Here are the books I read during August and my thoughts:






Prince of Time – Sarah Woodbury

(After Cilmeri Series Book 2)


Amazon Description:

David and his man-at-arms, Ieuan, find themselves alone and on the run from a company of English soldiers who’ve sworn vengeance for the recent death of their king. Meanwhile, Llywelyn lays on his deathbed from a traitor’s arrow. And once again, it is David and Anna, and all they represent, that holds the key to the survival of Wales.


My Thoughts:

I’m enjoying the storytelling in this series. I was disappointed that Anna is not still a main character, but it’s interesting to see how the younger generation is growing and taking action. Of course there are many times when the reader needs to suspend all belief, but it’s a fun read. I’m looking forward to reading what happens in the next book.

Still liking the series, and it was worth the special kindle price for the boxed set (After Cilmeri Boxed Set: Daughter of Time/Footsteps in Time/Winds of Time/Prince of Time) that was available in July.





One-Problem Writing: A Writer’s Guide To Speed-Writing Helpful Non-Fiction Books And Earning Money In 7-Days Or Less – Dennis Becker


Amazon Description:

How To Speed-Write Amazing, One-Problem Books For Profit!
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Easy, Short, High Quality Guides To Solving Problems– People Will LOVE Your Books
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My Thoughts:

This was a quick read. While the information isn’t exactly groundbreaking, the author’s style is motivating. Anything that helps me write faster is good! 😉





Outlander – Diana Gabaldon


Amazon Description:

Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages.


Scottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.

Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of a world that threatens her life, and may shatter her heart. Marooned amid danger, passion, and violence, Claire learns her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.


My Thoughts:

When I was reading reviews for Sarah Woodbury’s After Cilmeri series, I often saw comparisons to the Outlander series. It seems like everyone has read and adored this book. Plus it’s a television series now. So it has to be amazing, right? I was set to immerse myself in a great new-to-me series.

Here’s the thing though — I didn’t like it. Actually I read about 450 pages (of 850) and decided that I had read enough and this book/series simply wasn’t for me.


To be completely honest, even though I know it’s probably historically accurate, I could not handle the scene where Jamie beat Claire with a belt to “teach” her and “protect” her from the way someone else would punish her. While at first she (as a 20th century woman) was outraged, she came to “understand” why it had to be done. And somehow, the fact that Jamie did it in anger and actually enjoyed it was simply a side point.

I know that women in the 18th century had few rights, but this entire scene is why we still have an issue with the abuse of women today. We are taught to “understand” rather than fight or leave. No… just… no.

While I am aware that particular scene is not what the series is about, there were things like that which bothered me every time I picked up the book. I’m moving on, and now I don’t have to feel like I’m missing out on something by not devouring the Outlander series.




Reading Challenge Progress

This challenge began with a goal to read OR DELETE the books on my shelf and in my digital library. Honestly, when it began, I couldn’t bring myself to hit the delete button on any books. But as the months go by, I’m finding it easier.

Of course I would dearly love to read All The Books, but that’s just not possible.

Deleting digital titles takes away some of the pressure of feeling like I will never get through everything. Some of those books had been sitting there for over 4 years. You know, it’s tough to hit “delete” when Kindle asks if you really want to permanently delete a title. Yikes! But yes!

Digital title deleting progress since I began the challenge:
May – 15 titles
June – 60 titles
July – 85 titles
August – 50 titles
Total: Deleted 210 titles. Definitely making some progress.

I also remained unsubscribed from BookBub emails. It’s easy enough to subscribe again at some future point.

Now that I’m back to my part-time job, I’m setting a minimum goal of reading 4 books during September. I know it doesn’t sound like many, but lately I’ve had a hard time sitting down to read instead of working on the computer. Trust me, 4 books will be a stretch.


Reading What I Have Challenge – August 2016 | The challenge continues: Read my August 2016 book reviews, plus updates on the reading challenge and digital decluttering progress. |

What have you been reading lately? Comment with a link to your post if you’ve written about it!

15 thoughts on “Reading What I Have Challenge – August 2016”

  1. I need to read all the books I already have too! I did love Outlander and the TV series as well. At 10.000 plus pages for the series it is a commitment. I am going to try to One-Problem book- the concept is interesting to me!

    1. Hi Michele! I hope you enjoy the One-Problem book. It helped me realize that maybe I really could finish & publish a book that’s helpful to others. (Now to DO it!) If Outlander ever comes to Netflix, I’ll probably still try watching it. 😉

  2. I think you’re doing great at this challenge! It’s a struggle for all of us avid readers, I think. I join a TBR (to-be-read aka read your own books) Challenge every year. I stopped buying new books for myself about 5 years ago (though I still receive some as gifts & use the library), and I still feel like I haven’t made a dent in my TBR shelves (an entire bookcase plus another shelf, actually!). I still keep plugging away, though!

    I totally understand your reaction to Outlander – I had the exact same response to that scene, though I did finish the book (and watch the TV show whenever Starz goes free for a week 🙂 ). I agree with everything you said – historically accurate or note, Claire should not have been so understanding as a 20th century woman.

    BTW, I found you through Small Victories Sunday – we seem to have a lot in common!


    Book By Book

    1. Hi Sue! I thought your blog name looked familiar… I’ve been following you on Bloglovin’ for a while. 🙂 Yes, we do seem to have a lot in common! My bookcase of TBR books is still full — now I just don’t have quite as many books piled on TOP of the books that were already filling the shelves. I think soon I may have to make some painful choices about passing on some unread titles. I wonder if it will be harder or easier than hitting delete on digital titles? Thanks for you comment, nice to know I wasn’t the only one who reacted that way to the scene in Outlander.

  3. This is a great challenge. I also have a ton of books to read piling up. The problem is that I’m just a sucker for cheap books! I see a stack of books for under $5 and immediately my arms are full.

    1. Hi Arielle! I soooo know what you mean! I’ve had to sit in the car a few times this year while my family went to yard sales and resale shops. I know I can’t turn down cheap books!

  4. I thought I’d gotten half way through Outlander before setting it down to catch up on review books. But I have not missed it too much and I see why you didn’t finish. I did buy the entire series when it was on Kindle for $1.99 so I do still want to try and finish at least the first book. Thanks for the warning about that scene and hope you’re reading well in September!

    1. Hi Tanya! I’m sorry Outlander didn’t really click with you either. One thing I’m trying to work on this year is not forcing myself to finish a book that I don’t really like even if it originally cost money.

      See you next week at Small Victories!

  5. Oh and forgot to say my usual, I always have to say thanks for linking up! Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup and I hope you link up with our Pretty Pinterest Party too starting Friday morning. Pinning to our linkup board and hope you found some great posts to visit this week!

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