Simon and Schuster’s Stay Warm Contest (Site here)

Stay Warm Kit Contest S&SNifty little prize pack, but of particular interest are the bookish elements. (You can enter here.)

The one that I am especially keen on is Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh, of which I’ll have more to say later this month.

But if you’re wondering what the other books are, check out the links:

The Ultimate Survival Manual (Canadian Edition) by Rich Johnson,

The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper,

The Troop by Nick Cutter,

The Best Cook Book Ever by Max and Eli Sussman,

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Wonders of Winter by Jack Canfield et al,

Octopus’s Garden by Ringo Starr and Ben Cort, and

Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants by Matthew Inman.

Winter is one of my favourite seasons, so I am keen to celebrate it: aren’t you?

The CBC Canada Reads 2014 (Site here)

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
The Orenda by Joseph Boyden
Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
Cockroach by Rawi Hage
Annabel by Kathleen Winter

This is the first year that I have actually read all of the nominated titles.

I’m really excited that Kathleen Winter’s novel is a contender for this year; I nominated it last year, when the books chosen were to represent particular regions of Canada but Lisa Moore’s February was chosen for that group instead, which I’d never complain about, because it is a beautifully written novel for sure.

However, having said that, in part years I have always felt that there were a couple of titles in which I was less invested as a reader and, this year, it’s a really tough choice.

I think I might have to reread if I am to choose a favourite.

Canada Reads

The Morning News Tournament of Books 2014 (Site here)

At Night We Walk in Circles by Daniel Alarcón
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
The Tuner of Silences by Mia Couto
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid
The Dinner by Herman Koch
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
Long Division by Kiese Laymon
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
Hill William by Scott McClanahan
The Son by Philipp Meyer
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara
[Winner of the Pre-Tournament Playoff Round]

One of the following: 
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Woke Up Lonely by Fiona Maazel

Morning News Rooster

There are too many books on this list that I haven’t read. Only Donna Tartt’s can be crossed off my list.

But, quite simply, because the only book that I have read on this list is one of my favourites books from 2013, I am compelled to charge towards the remaining titles on the list.

First up? The Luminaries. I’ve been wanting to read this since its publication, anyway: this is the perfect excuse.

Then? A Tale for the Time Being. Because some of you have insisted.

But after that? I’ve enjoyed some of Kate Atkinson’s books before.

Thematically, Jhumpa Lahiri appeals, and I’ve been wanting to read Daniel Alarcón for ages.

After that, there’s kind of a clump: books that I’ve heard vaguely good things about, but the details are lost to me.

(Herman Koch, Hanya Yanagihara and Mia Couto are beckoning from that clump.)

But I could be persuaded: which one are YOU recommending?

Winter Wishes RATWinter Wishes Read-a-thon

Sign-ups are here and updates and challenges will appear throughout the weekend of January 24-26.

I haven’t chosen my reading yet.

Part of me thinks some wintry favourites would be perfect: maybe a re-read of Joan Aiken’s The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

Another part of me thinks I should be eyeing my stacks of library loans (yes, stacks: plural): the graphic novels are particularly tempting.

And then, I think, how about that one book from 2013 that I s-t-i-l-l (even though I started reading it that summer) haven’t finished.

Okay: so I haven’t decided. What would you suggest?

And I haven’t joined any challenges officially either, but these are calling to me.

Random House Reading Bingo and YA Reading Bingo
The grids are available here and there is a GoodReads group here.

Harper Collins’ Book Pledge (hosted here)
Technically it’s the 50 Book Pledge but once you join, you can select your own pledge, and there is a GoodReads group here.

The Africa Reading Challenge 2014 (hosted here)
You can join here and link reviews here.

Postal Challenge 2014The Postal Reading Challenge 2014 (hosted here)
You can join here and there is a gateway to all related links here.

The Harlem Renaissance Challenge 2014 (hosted here)
You can join here and post reviews here.

The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Challenge – Perpetual (hosted here)
You can join here and a review site is yet to be posted.

The Back-to-the-Classics Challenge (hosted here)
You can sign up here (before March 1/2014) and links are in the sidebar.

How about you? What bookish contests, events, challenges are catching your eye?