Monday, January 23, 2012

Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge 2012

I've never participated in an official reading challenge before (and I had concerns that the last year of my postgraduate study- my Masters year- may not be the best time to include more activities in my multi-tasking schedule). However, once I get hold of an idea, it's hard even for me to change my mind. So, here I am, announcing that I am participating in my first ever reading challenge on my blog- the "Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge" hosted by the lovely Missie at The Unread Reader (a blogger who I've followed and gotten to know a little in the past year and I believe that she's one of the friendliest- and funniest- blogger's I've had the good fortune to know) along with Kelly from Reading The Paranormal (a new-to-me blogger and blog, but one I'm sure I'll love just as much as Missie's).

The reason I'm participating in this challenge is because ever since my dad surprised me with a Kindle in December, I've been downloading every single FREE book off Amazon that looked even remotely interesting. Thus far, I have accumulated close to 2000 free books on my Kindle and have only read maybe 2 of them. I keep telling myself that I need to start on a few of them that I've been meaning to read for a very long time, but I've been juggling so many books recently, that I haven't had the chance to sit down and decide (of course, it doesn't help that my mum has taken over the Kindle and spends every free moment with it- leaving very little opportunity for me to grab it and hide in a corner for a while). So, I've been saving to buy my mum a Kindle and I'm pretty close to reaching my goal (I think- since Amazon charges a higher price plus import taxes and delivery charges for international customers *sigh*). Anyway, I'm hoping that if I don't get my mum her own Kindle soon, I can keep her busy with some physical copies off my bookshelf (she goes through that bookshelf so fast! I wish I could read at her speed!). So, I plan on trying my very best to read at least 12 of the 2000 free books downloaded on my Kindle and I even have an idea of what books I'd like to read. But first, let me share with you the details of this challenge (as posted on Missies's blog. The post can be found HERE):

Here is how it works:
  • Should you choose to participate in this challenge, your goal is to read at least twelve (12) legally obtained FREE e-books. While twelve is the minimum there is no maximum limit.
  • Anyone can join. You don't have to be a blogger, and you don't have to live in the United States.
  • Any E-Reader will work for this challenge, including: iPad, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader, enTourage.
  • Please Note: If you don't have an e-reading device, you can still join in with Amazon's Free Kindle Reading Apps which you can download for your iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, Blackberry and more.
  • The challenge runs from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012. You can join at anytime.
  • e-books in ANY genre count for this challenge as long as it was FREE at the time that you downloaded it.
  • Every month in 2012, I will make a post for the Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge 2012 so you can link your reviews. Based on participation, monthly link ups may be combined.
  • Those that link their reviews will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a different prize each month, such as an Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card, a bookmark, or a GelaSkins for your e-Reader.

Challenge Guidelines:
  • If you have a blog, create a post announcing your participation in the challenge. Please include a link back to this post.
  • Non bloggers: participate by linking up your profile URL from the site you plan to post your reviews on such as Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.
  • When you post your book review, you MUST reveal how you obtained the free & legal download. Please make your source clear.
  • You can list your books in advance or list them as you read them.
  • Crossovers to other reading challenges is acceptable, but ARCs/galley e-books DO NOT count. Again, this is a Reading Challenge to read as many of the FREE e-books legally offered for your e-reader. To get started, check out the Top 100 Free books on Amazon, or the Free e-books on Barnes & Noble.
  • Any linked reviews that do not meet the guidelines will not be entered into the monthly drawing for the prize of the month.

Coupon Clipper: 12 Books
Penny Pincher: 24 Books
Super Saver: 30+ Books

Please visit this post to sign up for the challenge: Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge 2012!

The level I'm aiming for is the lowest:

Coupon Clipper: 12 Books

(I don't want to be too ambitious in my first reading challenge, but Im hoping that I can go beyond the 12 books and maybe even reach the Super Saver level).

Okay, so now I'm going to show you just some of the books I have in mind for this challenge:

1. The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna
This book was first brought to my attention by Missie. It's apparently been optioned by a movie production company. You can read her review HERE.

The Wedding Gift

2. Angel in the Shadows by Lisa Grace
I came across this book on the author's website while visiting during a blog hop. The author informed readers that the book was available as a free download and that the book has also been optioned for a movie.

Angel In The Shadows (The Angel #1)

I acquired my copy during a blog hop held by the Indie Book Collective (a great blog hosted by amazing indie authors and it should be visited). Despite having acquired it as part of the hop, this book still qualifies for this challenge as it is also currently a FREE Amazon download, so hurry over there and get your copy.

The Trouble With Spells (Of Witches and Warlocks, #1)

I acquired my copy the same way as the first. A Smashwords coupon was sent to all participants in the hop at the end of the hop. I was impressed with the author's friendliness, generosity and good spirit in e-mailing us and responding to my e-mails personally and promptly.

The Demon Kiss (Of Witches and Warlocks, #2)

5. The Childe by C.A. Kunz (The Childe #1)
I acquired this free download off Amazon as it was available for a limited time (and may till be available) in order to promote the book while the promotional Book Tour for it is making its way through the blogosphere. This mother-son writing team have come up with a winner, if mot reviews I've read are to be believed, so I look forward to reading this very soon.

The Childe (The Childe, #1)

6. Hollowland (The Hollows #1) by Amanda Hocking
I've heard so much about the self-published legend Amanda Hocking and her novels, so when I saw this available for free download on Amazon, my heart skipped a beat. The book appears to still be available for free download so get over there and download your copy.


I've been intrigued by the premise of this book and, with all the hype surrounding it, I'm sure it will make for an enjoyable read.

Jenny Pox (The Paranormals, #1)

This was another free download off Amazon, I got the sequel for free off Smashwords and won the third book, Bleeder, from a blog giveaway.

Space Junque (Apocalypto, #1)

This was another free Amazon download which the author informed readers about after a lovely interview hosted by Kathy at the "I Am A Reader, Not A Writer" blog. I think it may still be available for free download.

Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out

This was one of the first few books I downloaded for free off Amazon and I recently won another book in the series and downloaded two others, so I'm thinking it's about time I got started on reading this series.

A Bride for Tom

Another free download off Amazon and the second in Ruth Ann Nordin's Nebraska Historical Series, I'm thinking that I should at least give the first two books a try before pronouncing the verdict on this series.

A Husband for Margaret

12. Irish Moon by Amber Scott
Anything with "Irish" in the title (or anywhere in the book) has got my attention, so I look forward to reading this one. This was another free Amazon download.

Irish Moon

If I manage to make it beyond the 12 Books mark, I would also like to read:

13. What She Doesn't Know by Tina Wainscott
The blurb seems interesting and it' still available for FREE download right now!

What She Doesn't Know

14. Head Cases by Scott Nicholson
Another free Amazon download, this book's blurb claimed that the book contained things your shrink did not want you to know. Very intriguing, indeed!

Head Cases

15. Fated by Carolyn McCray
Another free Amazon download, this title comes highly recommended from author Amber Scott.


16. Injustice is Served by Reena Jacobs
I love Reena Jacobs! She's truly one of the nicest, friendliest authors I've ever known and I've already reviewed her previous book, I Loved You First, on this blog and now I can't wait to read her latest release.

Injustice Is Served

Okay, so I'm going to stop right there before I get carried away and start adding a whole load of books that I'll never be able to read in one year. However, before I leave you to comment on this post with news of your favourite free downloads, your reading goals, recommendations or whatever else you might want to say, there's one more freebie I want to inform you all of. I've just been made aware of this great news!

The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1)

(one of my favourite reads of 2011)

is currently available for FREE on Amazon!

Here's your chance to grab a great read for FREE (or as we say here in South Africa, for "MAHALA!").

You can click HERE to grab you free copy!

Enjoy! :)


Missie, The Unread Reader

Yay Sarah! Thanks so much for joining us for this challenge! That is quite a collection of freebies and I hope you like them. I've heard nothing but good things about Jenny Pox and thanks for letting me know about the Vincent Boys, I just grabbed it for myself. :)

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