Tag Archives: challenge

Read for Maui read-a-thon

#ReadForMaui: A Read for Maui Read-A-thon

Please note that, though I intend to participate by buying and reading books by Hawaiian authors, I am not involved in running or organizing this event. I am merely sharing the public information to help with reach. Please address any questions to queercollective.booktok@gmail.com and maybe join along.

Read for Maui Read-a-thon on Storygraph

Please read entire information below prior to signing up:

TikTok has created miracles for many. Booktok alone has encouraged people to read, created a space to promote indie authors, and aided diverse communities in times of need (See #TransRightsReadAThon in the news). Booktok is a space that brings together many readers of different backgrounds (at times).

If you have seen the news lately, you might have seen apocalyptic wildfires scorching various districts of Maui. Ancestral lands, royal history, Hawaiian artifacts, families, businesses, and priceless ecosystems have been impacted by the wildfires. Many people have been displaced from their homes, many separated from their families—as well as those for whom their whereabouts are as yet flower-42957_1280unknown. Even though 80% of the wildfire in Lahaina is contained, the aftermath of the fires has and will continue to devastate the island.

Our goal is to use our booktok platforms and/or online presence to garner support, solidarity, awareness, and raise monetary donations to help the people who have been affected by one of the largest natural disasters Maui has seen in recent history.

The Maui Relief Effort Read-A-Thon will start August 14th-28th (participants can join at any time during the timeframe). We will be encouraging readers to donate to trusted local organizations recommended to us by people on the ground, on Maui, as well as those from Hawaii.

flower-42957_1280Please note – We realize the Read-A-Thon is super soon. This is because many cannot wait for help. Government aid often takes days, and certain criteria have to be met in order to receive assistance. Many had to flee quickly to survive with their lives. However, not everyone carries vital paperwork on their person. Other losses like that of key documents, government identification, insurance, registration, etc, are not to be overlooked. We are doing our best to heed the suggestions and ideas of Maui people and aid them whenever and wherever possible.

If you want to join or participate in the Maui Relief Effort Read-a-Thon, please read our guidelines and fill out our Google form:


flower-42957_1280Before August 14-

  • Circulate graphics for Maui Relief Effort Read-a-Thon by liking, commenting, sharing, reposting, posting, etc.
  • Announce your intentions to participate in the readathon by using our hashtag #ReadForMaui on whichever online platform of your choice.
  • How you want to set up the donations is completely up to you! We just ask that you research and confirm the organization of your choosing will DIRECTLY aid Maui. We will have a list of suggested organizations and individual fundraisers from which you are welcome to choose.
  • PLEASE BE CAUTIOUS of SCAMS. We are endeavoring to help Maui directly and will do our best to do so, but we are not infallible. Do your own vetting at all times.
  • It is important to note that there are many ways to help! Your support efforts may land across someone’s FYP or feed that can help financially. Honestly, just showing that we care and hear Maui’s need for help may just make someone’s day.
  • Do you want to support Hawaiʻi authors in general? We have lists available! Hawaiian authors 

flower-42957_1280August 14th-28th

  • Content is key, baby!
  • Feel free to post resources, uplift Hawaiian content creators, book reviews, etc!
  • The read-a-thon is NOT ABOUT US. It is about HELPING MAUI.
  • If you are unsure if your content is insensitive to the situation, it may be best to ask someone how to improve or skip the idea for now.
  • Utilize relevant hashtags to boost content, such as #ReadingForMaui.
  • Keep followers updated on fundraising efforts (only if you are comfortable sharing). Anything helps! Whether it be $1 or $50! How you want to structure your Read-A-Thon is up to you! (Pledging by chapters, word count, or number of books).



  • We highly suggest that if you and your followers donate to an org/family of your choice, that receipts are submitted to our email queercollective.booktok@gmail.com!
  • Please omit any personal information(card number or bank numbers). We just want to see the org/family you’re choosing and how much was donated!
  • At the end, if you opt to share your email in the form,  we will let our participants know how much was raised for Maui orgs/families across the board to share with followers????????!
  • Post Readathon
  • We would love to see your conclusion videos/posts to see how you felt during the read-a-thon and a wrap-up of all the books you read (favorites, if any new auto-buy authors, books that brought in new information and perspective, etc.)
  • Read diversely all year round and encourage followers to do the same.
  • Remember that even though news outlets may find new stories and various online platforms/niches, attention spans may be long gone, Maui will still continue to hurt. Please keep your heart open to additional fundraising efforts in the future <3

flower-42957_1280Lastly, dear participant,

Thank you for all that you are able to do. We love you for it. And we love Maui! #ReadForMaui #MauiStrong #MauiReadAThon #AidForMaui

If you have any questions, concerns, or any items/suggestions you want addressed, please contact us at queercollective.booktok@gmail.com!


Huge thank you to the Queer Collective on Geneva, all in Maui Relief Effort – queer collective group chat on WhatsApp, @simbooktokbadly flower-42957_1280on TT for paving the way for Read-A-Thons on BookTok, @kahaulaauthor on TT for reading over our mission statement/guidelines providing us with feedback and suggestions relating to cultural sensitivity, @prblyreadingrn on TT & IG for sharing Maui Resources while on the ground, and to the countless other bookish folks who made this effort a reality.

Books I purchase from the above list

Odd Blood, by Azalea Crowley
Green Eyed Wolf, by Kahaula
The Mea Lupus series, by Kahaula
Wings Once Cursed & Bound, by Piper J. Drake
flower-42957_1280Weird Fishes, by Rae Mariz

Edit: I also happened to come across this that I thought I’d share:

“Romancelandia is raising money for the Maui Wildfires.
Check out the 400 great offerings from and for the romance community. ”

It looks like there are some awesome books/swag up for auction.

Creating Some Shelf Space

I am creating a new reading challenge for myself, a two-part one. I have several long-term ones running at the moment. So, what I obviously need is one more. But I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, and it’s time.

My physical book shelves are out of control; completely overflowing their bounds, and this is entirely my own fault. I am really bad about putting a book on the self and then—out of sight, out of mind—totally forgetting about it. I end up reading almost entirely from newer books that are fresher in mind and older books sit around getting older.

So, what I did this morning was pick out five of the oldest books I’ve won over the years (be it from Goodreads, author websites, twitter, whatever). Some of them I’ve owned long enough to have packed and shipped them to England AND BACK with our international moves. It’s time to get them read and reviewed.

This turned out to be:

five oldest won books

  • Nikolai 2, by Roxie Rivera (I reviewed book 1 here)
  • A Weak American in Russia & Ukraine, by Walter Parchomenko (which seems especially timely given the state of Russia and the Ukraine right now)
  • Broken Point, by Donna K. Childree & Mike L. Hopper
  • Noughts & Crosses, by Malorie Blackman
  • The Angel of History, by Rabih Alameddine

Then, since physical shelf space is what is lacking, I grabbed the longest, most epic of epic books on the shelf. I accomplished this with the super scientific method of looking at the shelves and pulling out the fattest ones.


For the epic stack I pulled out six books. (I suppose, technically, Nikolai could cross over and fit either stack.) But the six I’m counting here are:

  • The Black Prism, by Brent Weeks
  • Dragon Mage, by M.L. Spencer
  • The Icewind Dale Trilogy, by R.A. Salvator
  • Macbeth, by Jo Nesbø
  • The Empire of Gold, by S.A. Chakraborty
  • The Newcomer, by Mary Kay Andrews

And of course, The Empire of Gold is actually 3rd in its series. So, I’ll need to read the previous books first.

This is obviously a challenge that will take a while. I can’t even dive into it right away. I’ve committed myself to several reviews with deadlines that I have to get done first. But I’ve pulled the books from the anonymity of the general book shelf, which means I’ll hopefully remember to grab them when looking for my next read.

Plus, I’ve been reading a lot of short stories lately. Which Goodreads just counts as a book. So, I feel like my Goodreads Challenge numbers are inflated. Reading some epics will balance the scales a little. Right?

I figure this aught to keep me busy for a while and free up a collective 2-foot, or so, of space. Success!

Edit: I’ve decided to simply add links to the reviews as I finish these books, rather than do a separate wrap-up post.

13 best fantasy romance books banner

The 13 Best Fantasy Romance Books of All Time Challenge

Dear Imaginary Book Recommenders,

Earlier today I stumbled across the 13 Best Fantasy Romance Books of All Time post (even updated for 2021, apparently). Now, this wasn’t a random blogger’s opinion of what qualifies as the best fantasy romance books. Instead, Most Recommended Books took a survey of other best-of lists and condensed them into one. (I think this is they’re shtick, what they do, essentially. And I’m not taking issue with it.)

13 Best Fantasy Romance Books of All Time according to Most reccommended booksHere’s their method in their words:

Our goal was to create the best list of Fantasy Romance books on the internet.

To remain objective and unbiased, we looked at the 5 most popular “best Fantasy Romance books” articles online (we chose 5 because anything more than that diluted our quality).

Our rationale was simple: If a book only appears in one article, it’s probably just the journalist’s opinion, but if it appears in two or more, it’s probably worth checking out!

And all of that would have been fine, except that of the 13 (what an odd number of choices, btw), I’d read 4 (and own one more that I’ve not read yet). 4! I’m a 200-300 books a year reader, mostly in the Fantasy/fantasy romance genres and I’d read 4 of what they deemed he best of fantasy romance. What’s more, of those 4, 1 I basically hated and the other 3 were passable, in my opinion. Not rave-about-them bad, but not best-of material either.  So, I was a bit shook by this list.

I realize that my tastes don’t always align with other readers’. And many of the books on the list have been quite popular. I also acknowledge that several of them are Young Adult and I’ve become increasingly picky in which YA books I read because, at 44, I’ve outgrown enjoying a lot of the angst many of them center on. But still, I was intrigued in a horrified sort of way; wondering what the rest of the books might be like if my opinion of the 4 I’ve read so was vastly different from others’.

If you’re curious, here are my reviews of the 4 I’ve read.

Book Review of A Promise of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles #1), by Amanda Bouchet

Book Review: The Awakening, by Nora Roberts

Book Review of Graceling, by Kristin Cashore

Book Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely, by Brigid Kemmerer

What makes this a challenge, instead just a generalized post, is that I’m going to make a concerted effort to read the other 9 books on the list. It’s too late in the year to think I’ll finish this challenge before the new year. So, I’m not putting any sort of time frame on this. It’s pretty open. But I’m going to prioritize reading these whenever I’m not focusing on something else. We’ll see if I agree any more once I’ve read the rest of the list.


Mystified in Missouri