The House Cup Reading Challenge | Sign Up & TBR

Guess what everyone? I haven’t learnt from any of my mistakes in the past few months (don’t join in on multiple readathons and readalongs, folks) and I’m enthusiastically signing up for the House Cup Reading Challenge. That’s right, it’s a Harry Potter themed readathon… so you can see why I had an issue saying no, right?

The readathon is taking place from Sunday 15th October until Sunday 1st November and is hosted by Lauren of Live, Love, Read/@BetweenDPages; Alex of Book Daisy Reviews/@booksydaisy; Kelsey of Kelsey’s Cluttered Bookshelf/@Kelsenator; and Erica of Escape Under the Cover/@slychica08. The aim? Read some books based on the challenges which (you guessed it) are Hogwarts-themed! You earn points based on the number of books you complete which fulfill the Main and Bonus Challenges (20 points and 10 points respectively) and then report your points to your House’s Head Girl at the end of the readathon. Using the hashtag #housecupreadingchallenge on Twitter will also earn you 1 point per tweet (limited to 20 points total). Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

The Reading Challenges

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Victober 2017 | Sign Up & TBR

Hello lovely people! Can you believe it’s October already? Where has the time gone!? October means one thing though (aside from my birthday/Thor Ragnarok‘s release) and that is the return of Victorian reading month aka Victober. As you may be able to discern from its name, Victober is a month long readathon which takes place in October and focuses on reading Victorian novels, that is novels written by authors from Great Britain between the years of 1837 to 1901. If you want to know more about the readathon, please do take a look at the announcement/TBR videos of the hosts – Katie (Books and Things), Kate (Kate Howe), Lucy (Lucy the Reader), and Ange (Beyond the Pages).

I took a few Victorian literature classes in university, and read some of the big hitters of the period, but I didn’t manage to keep up that reading motivation for nineteenth-century novels after I had graduated and was no longer being assigned those novels. That’s a big shame because I really enjoyed some of the most unexpected of them, and didn’t see the fuss with other beloved examples, but Victober is a chance for me to get back in the game and really focus on reading some good, solid Victorian literature.

The lovely hosts of this readathon have devised some challenges to help participants devise their TBRs, but they’re guidelines and don’t have to be followed in order to join in on the fun. However, I could use some direction, so I’ll be trying my damndest to read books which complete the challenges, which are:

  1. Read a book by a Scottish, Welsh, or Irish author
  2. Read a lesser-known book (under 12000 ratings on Goodreads)
  3. Read a supernatural book
  4. Read a book recommended to you
  5. Read a book by a female author

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#TheReadingQuest | My Quest Progress

As you may know if you say my Sign-Up & TBR post yesterday, I am currently taking part in #TheReadingQuest, a readathon which is running from Sunday 13th August through to Sunday 10th September. This post is my place I will record all my progress – the books I’ve read, the challenges I’ve completed, and the points I’ve accrued over the course of the quest. I’ll probably be updating this periodically as I finish a book, as much as to keep myself accountable as anything else!

Experience & Health Points

Experience Points
For reference, everyone starts out with 10 Experience Points (EXP). For every book finished you get +10 EXP (unless it’s graphic novels/manga then it’s +5 EXP). However, if it’s a marginalised author, it’s +20 EXP for every completed book.

Once a Character Quest is complete, you earn another +50 EXP. Additional Character Quests completed before the Quest ends will gain +30 EXP. Characters level up with every +50 EXP.

Health Points
Everyone begins with 10 Health Points (HP). Every 10 pages read or 20 minutes listened to an audiobook gains +1HP (unless it’s a graphic novel/manga, it’s 20 pages to gain +1HP).

Tweeting on #TheReadingQuest hashtag or Instagram photos of books/TBR pile earns +1HP each. You can gain a maximum of +20HP from Social Media interactions.

 

Knight Challenges

Challenge completed: Read a book with a weapon on the cover
Book read: Kong: Skull Island novelisation
EXP gained: 10
HP gained: 38

Challenge completed: Book with a TV/film adaptation
Book read: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
EXP gained: 10
HP gained: 27

Challenge completed: First book in a series
Book read: A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan
EXP gained: 10
HP gained: 35

Challenge completed: Book with a verb in the title
Book read: Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops by Jen Campbell
EXP gained: 20
HP gained: 11

Challenge completed: Book with a red cover
Book read: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander/J.K. Rowling
EXP gained: 10
HP gained: 4

Side Challenges

Challenge completed: Open World: read whatever you want
Book read: Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
EXP gained: 20
HP gained: 23

+50 EXP for completing Knight quest

+20 HP for Social Media interactions (Twitter update thread here)

Overall

Level: 3
No. of challenges/books completed: 6

EXP total: 130
HP total: 158


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#TheReadingQuest | Sign-Up and TBR

What is the most sensible thing to do when you’re in the middle of doing a long readalong of a super long book AND a readathon where you read only 500+ page books AND you have a backlog of book reviews and blog posts to write? That’s right- sign up for another reading challenge! (It made sense in my head, I swear. Yes, I may be procrastinating.)

I could not resist joining in with this one though because it looks like SO MUCH FUN and has a pretty gameboard and challenges and side quests and I’m basically a sucker for anything like this. “This” is #TheReadingQuest which was created by Aentee from @ Read At Midnight. All the amazing artwork that accompanies this challenge was created by CW of Read, Think, Ponder. Be sure to check both of them out because they have great blogs! The readathon runs from tomorrow, Sunday 13th August until Sunday 10th September – so we’re in this one for the long haul, guys.

The Reading Quest Sign Up Post

The readathon is based round a challenge board, a bingo board if you will, and you pick a book to complete each square on your chosen path across the board. ‘But how do I chose my path?’ I hear you ask – well, you pick which Character Class to play as, and you start off on their quest path accordingly. There are 4 to choose from (Knight, Rogue, Mage, and Bard) and the challenges on each path reflect the chosen character type – i.e. on the Mage path you read books about magic and mythology. Just like the very best video games you can also branch off and complete side quests to earn extra points during the course of your quest. And once you’re done with one character’s path, you can then move onto the next one, and continue questing onwards! You earn experience points and health points as you go along – for a full run-down of these I’d advise everyone to go check out Aentee’s original post because she explains it better than I ever could!

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Tome Topple | August 2017 | TBR

It’s that time again – it’s Tome Topple! Apparently this is my fourth Tome Topple?!? Where does the time go? Seriously though, guys, where does it go? And how did I manage to participate (loosely) in all three previous rounds of Tome Topple? Yay for consistency!

If you don’t know already, Tome Topple is a fortnight-long readathon created by Sam aka Thoughts on Tomes and this round of the readathon is taking place from midnight in your timezone on 4th August until 11:59pm on 17th August. The aim of this readathon is to read big books aka books over 500 pages aka “tomes”. What is unique about this readathon is that it’s all about the number of pages read rather than the number of books read – this is something that greatly appeals to me as I don’t tend to have small books to read, as are favoured by a lot of other readathons. What is brilliant about Tome Topple is that there’s an incredibly supportive community all getting together at the same time to read and cheer each other on as we make our way through intimidating books. Because we all know big books can seem a chore sometime, but it feels so much better if people are recognising your efforts and cheering you on to finish that tome that’s taking you so many weeks to read. It’s so great, you guys!

If you haven’t been around these parts long enough to see my previous forays into the readathon, with varying levels of success, then please do check out my Tome Topple tag to see my previous successes/failures! Likewise, if you need more info, you can watch Sam’s announcement video or check out the readathon Twitter page and/or the Goodreads group. If you’re considering doing the readathon, I’d definitely recommend you give it a go, what have you got to lose?

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24in48 Readathon | Wrap Up

As you may or may not have seen from my sign-up post, this past weekend I took part in the 24in48 Readathon and I had a blast. Well, tradition requires me to wrap-up my weekend of reading like a good book blogger and let you know how I did generally, as well as what I thought of the books I read during that time. I’ll try to keep it as short as I can!

Let’s start off with the Big One – did I read for 24 hours? Nope. Not even close, to be honest. But I did get closer to 24 hours than I managed the last time I participated in this readathon back in January so I’m calling that a success. I read for 16 hours which is way more than I anticipated and I’m very happy with that! I’ve come to realise that for me, a person who likes sleep and WILL NOT sacrifice that unless it’s for a very, very good cause on her weekends off, I simply don’t prioritise reading enough to make myself sleep deprived. I also like to do sensible things like take a long shower and get dressed. So I don’t full commit enough to really squeeze every moment of reading out of the 48 hour period – so it’s no wonder I don’t make it to the 24 hour target but, you know what? I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m proud of my 16 hours.

Let’s take a look at what I intended to read:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer [audiobook/PB]
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee [audiobook]

And what I actually read was the following:

106 pages of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
315 pages of Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
78 pages/23% of The Art of Asking [audiobook] by Amanda Palmer
224 pages, Stardust by Neil Gaiman
120 pages, Ms Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

= 843 pages

Not too shabby at all! All in all, I’d say that’s a success. I was very aware going into this readathon that I needed to make sure not to burn out during it because I’m currently participating in a War and Peace Newbies Readalong which, whilst only having a low page count to read each day, does require you to read every single day. I didn’t want to burn out and then end up falling behind with War and Peace because I’d over-read books during the weekend. But I think I’m good! This past weekend helped me to realise that I can read ahead with the W&P schedule and use my freed-up time to read some other books too, so that I don’t feel too disheartened with not having completed many books this month. Definitely something I’ll do more often during this readalong.

As far as the books I read during 24in48 went, I thoroughly enjoyed everything I read. I suspected that I’d deviate from my TBR and I did – I know myself well! I blame The Art of Asking entirely for that because I was listening to Amanda Palmer and she mentioned her husband and then that got me thinking that I really wanted to read something Neil Gaiman soon – a few minutes later and I’d picked up Stardust. The other outlier, in the form of Ms Marvel was  picked up due to necessity – I was out of the house at a BBQ on Sunday afternoon but I downloaded Ms Marvel Vol. 1 onto my phone via Amazon’s Prime Reading service so I read that in fits and starts during the afternoon. How’s that for maximising your reading time? All in all, a resounding success, huzzah!

(I am yet to find a situation I cannot illustrate with a Parks and Rec gif. Sorry/not sorry.)

Did you participate in the 24 in 48 Readathon? How did you do?
Comment below or link progress posts if you have them – I would love to hear about your weekend’s reading.


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24in48 Readathon | Sign-Up & TBR

Hello, welcome on this rather gloomy Friday, I bring you an exciting readathon sign-up/TBR post. For those unaware, the next round of the 24in48 Readathon is happening this weekend – that’s right,  for the 22nd and 23rd July, for those 48 hours, the ultimate goal is to try to read for 24 hours out of that time.

(For more information, you can check the readathon website or see my previous 24in48 post.)

Last time, back in January, I really enjoyed the readathon and managed to read what seemed like a ridiculous of amount of books, even if I didn’t manage to read for the full 24 out of 48 hours. This round, I’m hoping to do better than last time. I’m still skeptical I’ll be able to make it to 24 because I need to leave the house on Sunday afternoon and that eats into valuable reading time, buuut I’m going to try my hardest anyway.

(Side note: last time the 24in48 readathon happened I was trying to get through War and Peace and completely failed to do so because the 24in48 readathon reminded me how nice it was to actually, you know, finish books instead of slaving away at a tome for weeks on end. Now it’s the second 24in48 of the year and I just so happen to be trying to read War and Peace at the same time again – weird conincidence but I really hope this readathon doesn’t kill my progress with it!)

So this is my official sign-up post and also I thought I’d mention a few books on my TBR because that seems relevant:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom 
by Leigh Bardugo

The Art of Asking 
by Amanda Palmer [audiobook/PB]

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue 
by Mackenzi Lee [audiobook]

& I’ll probably completely stray from that TBR and end up reading something completely different too.

I’d like to say that I will try to keep my blog updated at various points during the weekend but, since I enjoy sleep, I really do need to be reading for every moment of my weekend in order to try to get to 24 hours. The upshot of that is that blogging takes up too much valuable reading time and I’ll likely forget to update here with my progress. However, I’ll definitely be periodically posting status update tweets on Twitter and annoyingly frequent page count updates via Goodreads though, so be sure to follow me over there if you’re at all interested in seeing how I do! And until then, I’ll see you on the other side, folks…


Are you talking part in the 24in48 readathon? Then please do pop in and say hi below and we can cheer each other on in this weekend of reading!
If you’re not taking part, what are your plans for this weekend? What book are you planning to read and/or currently reading? Let me know below and let’s chat books!

Bout of Books 19 | Stating My Intentions

It’s that time again – it’s Bout of Books 19! Those of you who have been around the blog for a while may remember I participated in the last few rounds (check out my BoB 18, BoB 17, or BoB 16 updates posts for how I did) but for those of who you don’t know about Bout of Books here’s a quick overview:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

As you can see, it’s a very low-key readathon which is my kind of readathon since there are very few challenges and/or expectations of you other than to simply read. That’s the kind of readathon I can do (hopefully anyway). However, I still have a few books in mind that I’d like to get to so this is my tentative TBR for the upcoming week ahead:

  1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
    I’ve started this and I’m really enjoying it so it makes sense to carry on reading it for the readathon. Plus the TV show (which I’ve been highly anticipating) premiered last week so I’d like to start watching it asap before I miss too many episodes. So, yeah, I need to finish the book itself asap because it looks amazing.
  2. Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny
    I got an eARC of this through NetGalley since I’d heard Sam Missingham from Harper Collins raving about it over on Twitter. Honestly, though? I don’t think I’m the right audience for this (since I’m not middle aged and/or married) but it’s entertaining enough. I don’t know if I will actually finish it but a readathon would be a good way to shift through it and make sure I finish it so I can review it.
  3. Spellslinger by Sebastian de Castell
    Again, another eARC I got through NetGalley, but this one sounds much more promising. I mean, for a start, it’s fantasy. Secondly, these phrases are included in the synopsis “Magic is a con game” and “perfect for fans of The Dark Tower, Firefly, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ben Aaronovitch and Jim Butcher”. Why yes, I am that easy.
  4. Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott
    I’m going to copy and paste this book’s synopsis too (sorry/not sorry): “The town of Rotherweird stands alone – there are no guidebooks, despite the fascinating and diverse architectural styles cramming the narrow streets, the avant garde science and offbeat customs. Cast adrift from the rest of England by Elizabeth I, Rotherweird’s independence is subject to one disturbing condition: nobody, but nobody, studies the town or its history.” I mean, come on, of course I want to read that. Plus I have an eARC and it’s released soon so, you know, I need to get on this right now.

I’m sure I’m going to end up reading precisely none of these books, as is the tradition with readathons, but it’s always nice to have a plan in mind. Over the course of the readathon my main hope is just to read as much as I can, prioritising that as an activity over watching a TV show or a film. I also would like to try to interact with other BoBers via Twitter, Instagram, and on here of course. I think that’s a pretty damn achievable goal so watch this space…

If you want to keep up with my (admittedly sparse) updates during the course of the readathon, I’ve started a Twitter thread of my updates.

Are you participating in this round of Bout of Books? Comment below if so, I’d love to chat books and we could help cheer each other on during the readathon. 


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Tome Topple | Updates Post

Hi folks, this is my Updates Post for round 3 of Tome Topple. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please do refer to my TBR post which has all the information. Basically, there’s a readathon happening for the next fortnight where you have to read tomes (i.e. books over 500 pages), and I’m going to try to not suck at it. This post will be updated at a regular intervals and is mainly my way of keeping myself accountable and hopefully reading more than I ordinarily would. Let’s see how that goes, shall we?

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Tome Topple | TBR

Some of you may remember that I participated in Tome Topple back in November (take a peek at my TBR and Updates from then, if you’re interested) and it’s back again, for Round 3! This round is taking place from midnight (in your timezone) on 7th April to 11:59pm (in your timezone) on 20th April! The basic rule is that all books read must be 500+ pages. There are some optional challenges too:

Challenges

  1. Read more than 1 tome
  2. Read a graphic novel (that’s over 500 pages)
  3. Read a tome that’s part of a series
  4. Buddy read a tome (use goodreads and twitter to find buddies!)
  5. Read an adult novel

For this round I’ll be foregoing challenge 2 completely since I don’t have any graphic novels that are even close to 500 pages, but I’ll be trying my best to complete the other challenges – everyone loves a trier!

TBR

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (#3)
  • A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin (#3, #4, #5)
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman (#5)
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (#3, #5)
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (#3)
  • The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens

As you may be able to guess this is less a TBR and more of me looking through my bookshelves and finding tomes that I might vaguely consider reading over the next fortnight. Undoubtedly I’ll actually end up reading something I never intended. I do need to finish Order of the Phoenix though because I’ve been listening to it on audiobook for a couple of months now and it’s getting faintly ridiculous that I haven’t yet finished it, so I’ll be switching over to the physical hardback and counting it for Tome Topple. Liz is potentially reading A Feast for Crows too so that’s the motivation (and potential buddy read) to try to read that again since I DNFed it sometime last year. As for the others, who knows what mood I will be in but hopefully I will pick up one of the above tomes and join in with all the Tome Topple goodness!

If you’re interested in Tome Topple, check out the Goodreads group, Twitter, or founder/host Sam’s video.

Are you participating in Tome Topple? What are you planning to read? Let me know down in the comments or link your post below!


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