#tometopple | Updates Post

As you might have seen on my recent TBR post, I’m participating in the Tome Topple Readathon hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. You can find all the information about the readathon via the aforementioned blog post or pop over to Sam’s channel to see her announcement video for the readathon.

Since it lasts for a fortnight, it seems a good idea to have a single update post I can come back to and edit periodically so this is that post! It will be a nice neat way to collate all my (hopefully daily) updates about my reading so stay tuned if you’re interested…

Day One – 5th June

11am – Unfortunately I haven’t done much reading at all so far today. I did finish reading Assassin’s Apprentice this morning since I had some 50 pages of that left before I could even think about starting one of my TBR books, Royal Assassin, which is the sequel. Truth be told, I’m not sure whether I’ll be continuing with the series – Assassin’s Apprentice was nice enough but a few niggles I have about it make me think I should leave this series for a while instead of trying to force myself onto a roll with it by immediately reading the second book. So, my TBR might be about to change slightly already, but we’ll see if I feel any different tomorrow.

6pm – My parents and I went to an outlet shopping place this afternoon and then my 3-year old nephew appeared so that makes for quite an unproductive day thus far since my last update. However my parents are going out for the night so I’ll probably take being home alone as a great excuse to get snuggled up with a book, provided I don’t accidentally stumble onto Netflix and watch more Reign. I think I might go back to A Game of Thrones since it’s quite the page-turner and it is a re-read for me so I’ll probably be able to get a good chunk of it read tonight. That’s the plan, anyway!

Day Two – 6th June

1pm – I ended up not doing a whole lot of reading last night, but I did write a review for Assassin’s Apprentice which you can find here, if you’re interested. I also finally finished off my review for The Improbability of Love which I read last month and really enjoyed – I’ve scheduled that ready to post tonight whilst I’m out.

3pm – Since I’m going out for a meal tonight (nothing special, just a not-so-cheeky Nando’s with some friends) I should get some reading in now and absolutely not go on YouTube, Netflix, or anything that lets me watch videos instead of reading! I did a reading sprint that was hosted on the Tome Topple twitter a little early and managed to get about 27 pages read of Game of Thrones, I’d forgotten how much fun the jousting bit of the Hand’s tourney is. Also how horrifying – I vividly remember that bit of the TV show where a knight gets a lance speared right into his throat… lovely.

Day Three – 7th June

12pm – Predictably I did not do much in the way of reading since my last update, but I did eat a lot of chicken at Nando’s and catch up with friends, as was much needed. Today we are looking after my nephew at our house so even though I’m far from the main focus of his attention (he sure loves his grandma, you see), he’s still very much… present, loudly so, and it doesn’t make for the best of reading environments. We visited the grandparents this morning too so it meant I was actually awake and up before midday which is always good! I’ll definitely sneak some reading in today.

7pm – I somehow ended up reading not my TBR books, not the book I need to read for review, but Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl which I have on loan from the library. Why? I don’t know. But I basically read it in one sitting, even if that sitting was quite a few hours this afternoon. I can’t really say I have much to say about it – it was pretty good, entertaining at least, and there’s a few bits I connected with, but mostly I feel like this book was for Lena Dunham fans and no one else. And I haven’t seen Girls, or even really had the burning desire to do so. Like, she was funny, yes, in that way that Caitlin Moran is… but I at least understand Caitlin Moran’s frame of reference a bit more given that she’s English. That sounds like a silly point of distinction but never underestimate how easily American pop culture references can so not resonate with those outside of the US.

So, good, a solid 3-star read, but couldn’t help but think I would have loved it so much more if only I knew more of her work rather than having only seen her once on a chat show: Graham Norton, for what it’s worth, when she was advising an audience member how to respond flirtily to a text message – something I, admittedly, found hilarious. But yeah, nice enough read, and entertaining for a sunny afternoon relaxing read, but nothing profound or SUPER AMAZING OMG!!1

Let’s see if now I can actually stick to reading books that fit with the whole point of this readathon…

10pm – Unsurprisingly I just watched Reign instead of reading. Whoops? Might get a couple of chapters in before I fall asleep tonight though.

Day Four – 8th June

3pm – I have done nothing resembling reading today, never mind anything productive. I did pop into a couple of shops in town and get some really cheap stationary – hey, I know where my priorities lie – and then I got my Amazon order which, surprise surprise, contained a few books, specifically A Girl of Ink and Stars, This Savage Song, and High-Rise… the, um, movie tie-in edition. I already own a much nicer edition of High-Rise but it was only 80p for some unknown reason, I guess they were trying to shift the stock? Anyway, I couldn’t really pass it up for 80p and if worse comes to worst I’ll just cut off the cover and frame it to hang up on my wall instead. I can’t wait to read the other two books, both recent releases – but I should wait until I’ve finished this readathon and got through a few more library books first.

And, on that note, maybe I should get back to actually reading A Game of Thrones… 

Day Eight – 12th June

6pm – You may have noticed – I seemingly dropped off the face of the earth after updating day four to say I should probably do some reading. It was at that point that I realised I had some books that simply couldn’t wait, but that didn’t fit the #tometopple goals. I had a copy of Lara Williams’ Treats for review, due 13th June, so obviously I had to prioritise reading that, even though it’s a short-story collection of some 120 pages – hardly a tome! However, I was excited to read it given the good reviews I’d hear and I’m so glad I requested it for review because it was very #relatable for me, a twenty-something graduated floating around not really sure what to do or where to go now the shiny world of university is over. I finished my review earlier today and sent it off for editing so hopefully they’ll like my review and I’ll be able to link to the finished thing on the site Cuckoo Review.

7pm – My mum just looked at how many pages of A Game of Thrones I have left (about 150, for the record) and scoffed that I’d never finish that tonight. Challenge accepted.

11pm – Challenge smashed. Finished A Game of Thrones tonight. Can’t help but think that my mum’s disbelief that I could read 150 pages before bedtime was actually what spurred me on. She should scoff at me more often!

Day Nine – 13th June

12pm – I’m at work on my own today and very little is happening – to say stuff to do is coming in drips and drabs would probably be under-exaggerating, actually! Still, even though there’s not that much to do and I could read a little at the desk thanks to Kindle Cloud Reader, I’m anxious about being on my own all-day and messing up something (I usually work with at least 1 other colleague on reception) so it doesn’t make for brilliant concentration.

Still, I started another book that’s debatably not a tome – a re-read of V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic because I really want to move onto the sequel A Gathering of Shadows which is a tome. Am I really getting the point of this readathon, do you think? Not wanting to continue with the Farseer trilogy has really thrown off my plans, but I was in the mood for some V.E. Schwab. Maybe if I quickly re-read A Darker Shade of Magic, I’ll want to move straight onto A Gathering of Shadows and so get back on track for finishing a second tome?

9pm – For some unknown reason I’ve started another book, Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air which is just… emotional doesn’t seem to be the word. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Paul was a doctor finishing up his residency in neurosurgery when he himself was diagnosed with lung cancer. The book is his reflection on life and coming to terms with death, from first his point of view as a doctor and then as a patient himself after being diagnosed. Having previously studied literature and human biology, Paul had such an interesting mind that was a blend of science, literature, and philosophy and boy, he really knew how to write. (I had to go back and edit that last sentence because I’d written it in the present tense and Paul sadly passed away last year whilst working on this book – yeah, it’s that kind of emotional read.)

But anyway I’ve finished half of this book today, the first section where he talks mainly about his life and education before the diagnosis, his responsibilities as a doctor, what it’s really like to be a med student etc. etc. and I’ve really enjoyed that look into his educational background because, I must admit, hearing he got BAs in both literature and Human Biology I was a little like what?! (I’m not even sure it’s possible to do that where I am – England – since we choose our A Level subjects based on what degree we want to go and study so it’s highly unlikely someone would start off as a literature student and then manage to also do enough science A Levels to be admitted to university to study biology. But I digress…)

Day Ten – 14th June

12pm – I read a little bit more of When Breath Becomes Air on my morning training journey and a little bit more during a hastily scoffed-down lunch since I’m manning the reception desk alone again. Up to about page 156 now and even though, at this stage, Paul appears to be on the mend and returning to surgery, the fact he passed away when working on the book means he must get worse or the cancer must have returned. I know the next 100 pages are going to be tough; I have some family experience with cancer and I’m a little worried it’s going to strike too much of a chord. But we’ll see…

11pm – Yep, that was an emotional read, I think I need to let that sink in.

Day Twelve – 16th June

3pm – Guess who keeps forgetting to update? Oh, it’s me. I’m here at the library waiting for my mum to be done at her appointment so we can go home. It’s been an hour. At least I had the foresight to bring the book I’m currently reading (A Darker Shade of Magic) so I didn’t get distracted by yet another book in the library.

Challenges:
1. Read more than one tome (500+ pages)
2. Take a graphic novel break (doesn’t need to be over 500 pages!)
3. Read a tome that is part of a series
4. Read over 500 pages in one week
5. Read an adult novel

Total Pages Read: 1706

Books Read:
Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb (finished book, 49 pgs)
Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham (Does it count? Not a tome but I could substitute it for a graphic novel!) (265 pgs)
Treats by Lara Williams (Does this count either? Again, not a tome but I could substitute it for a graphic novel seeing as how I’m clearly not in the mood for them) (125 pgs)
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (801 pgs)
When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi (225 pgs)
A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab (started book, 241 pgs)


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