October Buddy Reads At RMFAO, My Bookclub

Hello, guys. Finally, we have the book picks for the October Buddy Read at RMFAO. The books that were selected by voting are If It Bleeds by Stephen King and My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell.

I you’d like to participate in either or both the buddy reads then following are the respective Threads Of Discussion for each of the books:

Buddy Read (BOTM #1): If It Bleeds by Stephen King

Buddy Read (BOTM #2): My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Everyone is invited! So do come and join us for these month-long buddy reads 🙂

Book Review: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Author: Ray Bradbury
Release Date: 1949
Genre: Classic, Science-Fiction, Short Story Collection
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 303
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Blurb:
The strange and wonderful tale of man’s experiences on Mars, filled with intense images and astonishing visions. Now part of the Voyager Classics collection.

The Martian Chronicles tells the story of humanity’s repeated attempts to colonize the red planet. The first men were few. Most succumbed to a disease they called the Great Loneliness when they saw their home planet dwindle to the size of a fist. They felt they had never been born. Those few that survived found no welcome on Mars. The shape-changing Martians thought they were native lunatics and duly locked them up.

But more rockets arrived from Earth, and more, piercing the hallucinations projected by the Martians. People brought their old prejudices with them – and their desires and fantasies, tainted dreams. These were soon inhabited by the strange native beings, with their caged flowers and birds of flame.

REVIEW

★★★★

This is my first book by author Ray Bradbury and needless to say it was a compelling read.
I felt the same sense of a constant hovering of foreboding while reading this book as I felt while reading Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov. Though the writing styles are very different I think the tones of their works are similar to each other.

Even though this book was written ages ago, the arrogance of humans, sadly, still feels precisely fitting. The need to constantly want more, the urge to explore while being completely oblivious and ignorant to how it affects others and the need to be celebrated for doing something that is important to them and them alone is reflected very aptly in this book. The lingering feel of melancholy is something that greatly appealed to my taste.

I’d recommend this book to everyone as this has a lot more to offer than classy sci-fi entertainment. Though, let me give you a heads-up – if you are not into the classic writing styles, you might have to remind yourself constantly throughout reading this book to be patient as, in the end, I assure you that this book is totally worth it.

You can also read this review on Goodreads

RMFAO 2020 Reading Challenges

Hello, dear readers. Happy New Year to you, and your families, and I hope that this new year, and the beginning of this new decade, turns out amazingly joyous and fulfilling for you all.

2020 is very special, most of all because it marks the beginning of the 6th year of my online Goodreads book club RMFAO – Reading My Frigging A** Off. While I’m at it, I would like to grab this opportunity to thank my wonderful and ever-helpful (and very, very knowledgeable co-moderators – Dagny and Cheryl. RMFAO wouldn’t have been even nearly as fun as it is today had it not been for you both, so a big THANK YOU to you guys.

For those of you who might not know, at RMFAO we host a bunch of year-long reading challenges that not only motivate the hell out of all of us members but also help us plan and organise our reads in a much simpler and fun way. It also incites us to pick random books based on recommendations and explore new authors, eras and writing-styles. Honestly, guys, it is a big fat slice of heaven and I love it to bits! ❤

As a lot of readers are not registered on Goodreads, I’ve created a trial page for RMFAO on Facebook as well. So if you are on Facebook (which I am sure you are) then do check it out – RMFAO on Facebook.

Back to the point, we just announced the 6th instalment of our most popular challenge on RMFAO – RMFAO 2020 Genre Challenge. In this challenge, we read as per the list of chosen genres. This year we’re doing it our old way by having 1 unique mainstream genre per month. The participants will just have to refer their TBRs and pick up the books of that genre for that month. This way you get to read 12 genres (some might be new to you some might be your dear old friends) in one year while finishing off your TBR – isn’t it simply amazing!
Anyway, in case if you guys want to participate, just join the group (if you haven’t already) and announce your participation on the main challenge thread: RMFAO 2020 Genre Challenge

Note: We have separate threads for separate months which can all be found here as the year progress (new thread for the next month is added a couple of days before the running month ends): RMFAO 2020 Genre Challenge Discussion Board

Here is the link tot he January thread: January 2020 – Science Fiction

The second most popular challenge at RMFAO is the Classics Catchup challenge. Hosted by RMFAO’s own Classics’ Professor, Dagny, this challenge gives you a chance to read the Classics. But the best part for me about this challenge is Dagny’s classic recommendations! I’ve read so many different classics (so much more than I’d have ever read on my own) since I started joining this challenge. She and the other classic literature aficionados have helped me explore so many great classic authors and stories that have greatly satiated my reading appetite. So if you’re a classic lover then this place is definitely for you, but in case if you’re like me who is not a lot into classics and hate the famous known classic authors then this is the best place to discover authors that are new to you!

You can participate in the Classics Catchup challenge here: RMFAO 2020 Classics Catchup

Apart from these two widely popular challenges, the third challenge that is really starting to pick up and is becoming the new favourite of a lot of members is the Audiobook Challenge. OMG, you guys we have a member, Fran, who read 100+ audiobooks last year! How totally awesome is that! I am telling you, this challenge is really crazy and the participants are totally insane. But that doesn’t mean you have to be listening to so many audiobooks to participate. No. We have readers who listened to only one or two audiobooks last year. So it is open for all. The main thing is these challenges are for you to challenge yourself and not to compete with others. If you completed 1 book last year then you will be motivated to complete 2 books this year. That’s the main thing about these challenges. They encourage you to read more and break your own limitations.

You can participate in the Audiobook Challenge here: RMFAO 2020 Audiobook Challenge

And lastly, we have the Series Challenge, which is for the utterly dedicated reads focusing on completing book series. You can either complete a series your started earlier and never got around to finishing it somehow, or you can start a new one and try to finish it within the year.

You can participate in the Series Challenge here: RMFAO 2020 Series Challenge

New members are always welcome to join any time of the year, so don’t forget to drop by and have a look around! Also, feel free to share information and graphics related to these challenges with your friends and reading buddies on your social media channels. And if you do participate then give me a shoutout at CrazyCatWriter (I’m there on all the major platforms.) Remember, the more, the merrier.

Ciao ❤

Monthly Updates: February’19

And finally, I’m doing the monthly Updates post after a long, long time. I loved doing these posts before and I’m really excited to do it now. To be honest, these update posts help me in knowing exactly where I stand in terms of my writing and helps me plan ahead serving as the much-needed motivation.

February was a good month for me, not only as compared to January’19 but also as compared to all the months in the last year. I did have some good writing days last year, especially in the second half where I edited a lot and wrote a considerable number of words, but my muse only came in bursts of 5-7 days at a time and then faded away for good. But this February, I not only wrote consistently but was also able to work on posts for my blogs. This makes me feel like I’ve finally reached the headspace I wanted to be in order to complete the projects I’ve been working on for a while now.

Health-wise, it was a good month for me. I even started visiting with my dietician again and slowly getting back into my morning walk routine. Though Eva, my 1.5-year-old cat, got a liver infection probably because of the cat tree we got in January (it happened due to some chemical and we cannot think of anything else as the source.) She had to undergo a very extensive IV therapy which lasted more than a week. 4-5 days into the treatment and the poor girl started running away and hiding from Vishal and me whenever we tried to get close to her in the evenings thinking we might put her in the crate and take her to the vet. She continued doing this even after her treatment was over for around 1 full week. It was disheartening and I’m just glad that now we all are back to our merry old selves.

Anyhow, moving on here’s what I was able to do this month:

Writing Updates:

  • Wrote around 10K words, not counting the scenes I wrote while plotting my projects
  • Plotted and planned the contemporary fiction novel I started working on last year. I call it the Unnamed Project (UP.)
  • Got a new story idea, a really good one! It’s more on the lines of slasher fiction – pure, mind-numbing gory fest. I have already written 8 chapters for it, which is big for me because it has been a long time since I wrote with such fierceness.
  • Learned new ways of plotting and story structures and will try and implement these in March for the projects listed above.
  • I didn’t work on Sinister Town this month as I was trying to distance myself from it in order to figure out an issue I’ facing with one of the characters and it seems like I’ve figured out what the issue is so distancing myself from it paid off. I’m planning to work on Sinister Town in March.

Reading Updates:

  • Read 2 very disappointing reads: Stillwater Girls by Minka Kent and The Nightmare by Lars Kepler. I had big expectations from both these books: Stillwater Girls had a great blurb (because of which I requested it off NetGalley) and The Nightmare is the sequel to Hypnotist, a book I fell in love with. But both turned out to be very dissatisfying reads and I had to mark them as DNF reads, much to my dismay.
  • Read 4 decent reads by the authors I know: The Afterlives Of Doctor Gachet by Sam Meekings, Treading The Uneven Road by L.M. Brown, The Memory Tree by John A. Heldt and The Curse Of Time by M.J. Mallon. I’ve reviewed all these books on my book blog, The Reading Bud, so do check out my reviews there.
  • Apart from these, I read a book that completely changed the definition of Classics and Cosy Mysteries for me – The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katherine Greene. My very good friend and co-moderator of RMFAO, Dagny, introduced me to this author and after reading her book and biography, I’m totally blown away by the fact that I never heard of her before and that she is so underappreciated. I’m presently reading another one of her books, That Affair Next Door, and it even better than the one I read for Feb.
  • Overall, I read 7 books this month. Out of these, 3 were for RMFAO 2019 Genre Challenge‘s Mystery-Thriller month.

Movies & Series:

  • 8 episodes of the 6th season of Orange Is The New Black. It was good as usual.
  • Cargo on Netflix. Not good at all. They totally ruined a potentially good concept.
  • Tidying Up with Mari Kondo on Netflix. It was kind of a life-changing event and I will be doing a blog post soon on how I’ve adapted the Kon Mari method in my life and home.
  • In new releases, watched Gully Boy and Uri – two of the best movies till date in Bollywood.

Apart from this, I hosted a lot of guests (well, the same guests over and over a couple of times) and was busy in taking care of Eva. So the month went by in a flash. I’m just glad that I was able to get some writing done.

Hope February treated you all well. I’d love to know how you spent your month and what progress you made in your writing, reading and other aspects of life. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Ciao ❤

RMFAO Buddy Read: Strange Weather by Joe Hill

First off, I’d like to share a good news that we’ve crossed first 500 members at RMFAO! For those of you who don’t know what RMFAO is, it is a book club/group on Goodreads where book lovers from all over the world share their latest reads and reviews and participate in exciting year-long challenges and buddy reads.

Coming back to the topic, for the month of October this year, we’re hosting a buddy read for Strange Weather by Joe Hill at RMFAO. The buddy read would be lead by Cheryl, one of the moderators at RMFAO.

I’ve been waiting to read this book since its release last year! I got the hardback copy of it as a birthday gift from Vishal in December itself, but then we planned to have a buddy read for this book in October, so I saved it for later and finally, after a long and arduous wait, October is here and I’m super thrilled to read this book! The best part is that this book fits in the Horror genre so it makes it easy for all of us who are participating in RMFAO 2017 Genre Challenge (October – Horror) challenge to count it in.

If you want to read this book or like horror fiction or want to explore it then come along and join us. This is a month-long buddy read so you can join in anytime as long as you finish the book by the end of the month.

You can find the main discussion thread for Stange Weather buddy read here.

If you want to know more about RMFAO then you can check out this page: RMFAO

Ciao ❤

RMFAO 2018 Classics Catchup

Want to read more classics? Re-read an old favourite? A book you missed by a favourite author? Or just browse and discover a forgotten author? This year we are moving the general guideline up to pre-1950, but there are quite a few later books (mainly from the 1960s) that are also acceptable.

A wonderful bonus advantage for this Challenge is that it is easy on the budget since so many are available free in numerous formats (including audio!) from such sites as Project Gutenberg, ManyBooks and LibriVox. You do not need to choose your books ahead of time, you’ve got all year. Late-comers are welcome.

Please note that Classics Catchup was created and is run by RMFAO’s first moderator, Dagny. You can find here on Goodreads here or at her amazingly bookish blog, Vauquer Boarding House

We have different yearly levels for which you can go for. These are listed below.

Levels:

  • Level 1: Casual Reader: 2 books
  • Level 2: Frequent Reader: 3 – 5 books
  • Level 3: Bookworm: 6 – 8 books
  • Level 4: Scholar: 9 – 11 books
  • Level 5: Professor: 12 or more books

Who’s joining? All you have to do is post here saying you plan to participate. You can choose the Level you hope to achieve now, or wait and see how it goes. Don’t know what to read and need suggestions? Just ask!

RMFAO 2018 Classics Catchup Thread

Other challenges that you can participate in are:

If you’re as crazy about reading and books as we are then go wild combining all or any challenges to spice up your reading lists!

One of the coolest things about this challenge is that the mods are so awesome that they even tell you the sources and links to obtain free books available online legally. What else can a bookworm ask for!?

Join RMFAO

In order to participate, simply announce your participation on the main board of RMFAO 2018 Genre Challenge. Or if you have a blog just do a simple post announcing your participation and sharing details of the challenge (you can freely copy and paste from here with a due credit or reblog this post.) Don’t forget to leave a link back here.

RMFAO 2018 Genre Challenge

We are here with the 4th instalment of the most amazing reading challenge on this planet *drumroll* – RMFAO 2018 Genre Challenge.

For those who are new to this challenge, for Genre Challenge, we read one genre (sometimes even two when we have the alternate-genre month) every month. We post the genre list in advance (for this year’s genre list see below) so that we can plan our reads in advance. The focus of this challenge is not only to read more books in the genre you love but also to give you a chance to explore new, unfamiliar or lesser known genres. Not to mention the joy of reading with other book lovers and exploring new titles that they love and adore.

We don’t want to burden or restrict the participants by specifying sub-genres because that creates a set of problems that comes in between the actual reading. You can pick the sub-genres as per your convenience.

Another perk of this challenge is that don’t have to buy new books to participate in this challenge; all you have to do is go through your own books and organise your TBR-list as per the genres for this challenge. Simple!

One of the coolest things about this challenge is that the mods are so awesome that they even tell you the sources and links to obtain free books available online legally. What else can a bookworm ask for!?

[button size=”” color=”primary” url=”https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/147920-rmfao-reading-my-frigging-a-off?ref=nav_bar_discussions_pane_group” text=”Join RMFAO”]

In order to participate, simply announce your participation on the main board of RMFAO 2018 Genre Challenge. Or if you have a blog just do a simple post announcing your participation and sharing details of the challenge (you can freely copy and paste from here with a due credit or reblog this post.) Don’t forget to leave a link back here.

[button size=”” color=”primary” url=”https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/19118345-rmfao-2018-genre-challenge” text=”RMFAO 2018 Genre Challenge Thread”]

And now it’s time to unveil the Genre List!

RMFAO 2018 Genre-List:

‣ January – Science-Fiction
‣ February – Mystery-Thriller
‣ March* – Women’s Fiction or Westerns
‣ April* – YA or Graphic Novels
‣ May – Classics/Literary
‣ June – Non-Fiction
‣ July – Dystopian/Apocalyptic
‣ August – Contemporary Fiction
‣ September – Humour
‣ October – Horror
‣ November* – Historical or Steampunk
‣ December – Adventure/Fantasy

*Alternate-Genre Month - For these months, we have 2 genre options. You can pick and do either of the two or both!

Monthly Levels:

  • Level 1: Casual Reader: 1 book (easy)
  • Level 2: Frequent Reader: 2 books (moderate)
  • Level 3: Bookworm: 3 books (mildly strenuous)
  • Level 4: Bibliophile: 4 books (strenuous)
  • Level 5: Bookiopath: 5 books or more (challenging)

You can announce the level you’d be going for each month on the respective discussion threads.

Also, don’t forget to mention what type of books you’d be reading:

  • HB: Hardbacks
  • PB: Paperbacks
  • EB: E-Books
  • AB: Audio Books

PLEASE READ (especially for new members):

  1. You can read any number of books for the respective genre each month in one particular month.
  2. Take your time and go through your entire TBR-list before deciding the books to read.
  3. You can join the challenge at any stage (in any month.)
  4. You can drop out of the challenge any time you like.
  5. You can select different levels every month.
  6. Use this discussion board to share your reads with other members of the group.
  7. Please be active and don’t hesitate to ask questions or recommend books.
  8. We encourage social shares, so if you’d be sharing or mentioning this challenge on your social media, don’t forget to tag – #RMFAO and @thereadingbud

Other challenges at RMFAO:

If you’re as crazy about reading and books as we are then go wild combining all or any challenges to spice up your reading lists!

For any queries, you can post a comment below or send a message to the group or the mods on Goodreads any time. We’d love to hear from you!

Ciao ❤

RMFAO Buddy Read: On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers

This month for RMFAO we’re having a buddy read for On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers. So far we have 4 people reading the book and the reading is going great. I’m presently halfway through the book and enjoying it so far.

One of the main reasons why I was so eager to start reading this book was that it is the inspiration behind the 4th instalment of Pirates Of The Caribbean movie series – Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The other reason was that I have never read any book with pirates at the heart of it, so I was quite intrigued when a fellow member and one of the RMFAO’s moderators, Cheryl, suggested this book for December’s buddy read. Also, this book fits in the adventure-fantasy genre so it makes it easy for all who are participating in RMFAO 2017 Genre Challenge – December – Adventure/Fantasy to count it in.

If you like pirate novels or want to explore one then come along and join us. This is a month-long buddy read so you can join in anytime as long as you finish the book by the end of the month.

Here’s the discussion thread for On Stranger Tides buddy read: Buddy Read: On Stranger Tides

My next reads are going to be Beneath the Skin (The Witchbreed Series #2) by R.L. Martinez and A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin.

What are you reading for this month?

Hope you guys are having a great bookish festive season!

Ciao


RMFAO 2017 Reading Challenges

Hey, everyone. 2017 is almost upon us! It is December, the most magical time of the year, and more so because this is the month we decide and announce the RMFAO Reading Challenges for the coming year!

If you don’t already know, RMFAO is my reading group on Goodreads and it is co-moderated by my very dear friend, Dagny. We have quite a few reading challenges there and have around 300 members. We talk about books and reading related stuff and recommend absolutely amazeballs books to each other. It is a place to be for all the book lovers as you’ll meet some serious bookaholic bibliophiles there.

Back to the point, we just announced the 3rd installment of our most popular challenge on RMFAO – RMFAO 2017 Genre Challenge. In this challenge, we read as per the pre-decided Genre-List that changes every year. This year we’re doing it our old way by having 1 unique mainstream genre per month. The participants will just have to refer their TBRs and pick up the books of that genre for that month. This way you get to read 12 genres in one year while finishing off your TBR.7

The participants will just have to refer their TBRs and pick up the books of that genre for that month. This way you get to read 12 genres in one year while finishing off your TBR. Most of the times we end up reading the new recommendations and our TBR pile grows more than ever, but that’s how the life of a book lover is, isn’t it?

Anyway, in case if you guys want to participate, just join the group (if you haven’t already) and announce your participation on the main challenge thread. It can be found here: RMFAO 2017 Genre Challenge.

Apart from this, we have other fun Challenges too:

  • Classic Catchup:
    Hosted by RMFAO’s Classics’ Professor Dagny, this challenge gives you a chance to read the Classics. But the best part for me about this challenge is Dagny’s Classic recommendations. I’ve read so many different classics (so much more than I’d have ever read on my own) since I started joining this challenge. So if you’re a classic lover then this place is definitely for you, but in case if you’re like me who is not into classics and have no clue what to read, then is the place to start.classics-catchup
  • RMFAO 2017 Series Challenge:
    This challenge focuses on completing book series. You can either complete a series your started earlier and never got around to finishing it, or you can start a new one and try to finish it within the year.
    To participate all you have to do is drop by the thread (click the name of the challenge above) and announce your participation.series
  • RMFAO 2017 NetGalley Challenge: This challenge needs no explanation. If you are on NetGalley then you should definitely check this one out! The challenge will help you finish all those books that you requested and were accepted for once upon a time, and as a result, it will help you improve your Ratio. It can’t get better than this, can it?!netgalley

New members are welcome to join any time of the year, so don’t forget to drop by and have a look around! Also, feel free to share about these challenges with your friends and reading buddies. The more, the merrier.

Ciao ❤

RMFAO Buddy-Read #1: Pet Sematary

Hi guys!

I hope you all had a great weekend!

As most of you know that I’ve created a group on Goodreads, RMFAO (if not, then read about it here or visit the group on Goodreads here.) In November we’ll be having our first buddy-read. Being a huge Stephen King’s fan I wanted to begin the buddy-reads with one of his books and the book that got selected through poll is Pet Sematary. Pet SemataryIf you are interested in reading this book with us in our buddy-read then you are most welcome! There are total 10 people so far who’ll be reading in this buddy-read. You just have to let me know and obviously be prepared with the book by 1st Nov’14.

As everyone already has tons and tons of books to read, we’ve planned to read a single book in the entire month (this way you can participate in this buddy-read without affecting your schedule.) We’ll discuss the pages we read everyday, so feel free to drop by anytime (even if you aren’t participating.)

You can also participate in the discussions if you’ve already read the book.

Lemme know if you have any queries (lol! like this is an exam notice….psssttt…), still lemme know if there’s anything! Visit the discussion board of Buddy-Read#1: Pet Sematary here.

PS: Currently I’m running a poll at RMFAO for deciding the genre for Buddy-Read #2 (Dec’14). If you wish to participate in that then drop by and vote for your favourite genre! Vote here.

Have a great week ahead!

Keep blogging ❤

RMFAO (Reading My Frigging A** Off)

Hi friends!

I’ve created my first group on Goodreads: RMFAO (Reading My Frigging A** Off)Isn’t the name amazeballs!

DSC04973

I’m really, really excited and would love to invite you all to join it. I’m planning to have a lot of buddy-reads and a hell loads of Read-a-Thons! I’ll be posting about them here, on The Reading Bud as well so that whoever is not on Goodreads (which I highly doubt!) won’t miss out on anything fun.

Please feel free to share with me any ideas you have that can the RMFAO more fun. I’m really happy and would love it if you can be a part of my group 🙂

Have a a great day 😀