Bout of Books 17 | Stating My Intentions

That’s right, you read the title correctly – it’s Bout of Books time again!

I took part in the last round of this readathon (Bout of Books 16 funnily enough) and I thoroughly enjoyed myself, so I thought why not commit myself to it again? If nothing else this low-key readathon is very much my speed due to its low commitment nature and lack of TBR requirements – and I consider it a success when I just read during the readathon week, to be honest. For those who are unaware of the readathon, here’s a handy blurb for you:

YKdCOt4The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th 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 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

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Bout of Books 16 | Stating My Intentions

bob16It’s Bout of Books time again!

The last time I participated was in Bout of Books 11 – and I didn’t realise so many rounds of the readathon had happened since then. Life, it turns out, really does get in the way.  Bout of Books was my first concerted effort to participate in a readathon so it will be fun to see if I can repeat the relative success I had before. I do remember the sense of community and cheering each other on was really what made this readathon so much fun – as well as the daily challenges which I’m looking forward to again.

For those who don’t know, here’s a handy dandy blurb to catch you up:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th 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 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

 

So I think we’re all on the same page, this is me officially declaring my intentions to participate. As previously mentioned in my May TBR, I have quite a few library books to get through, along with some new releases from the past couple of months, so this readathon comes at a great time for me to try to clear some of that ever-growing TBR pile. Fingers crossed anyhow.

It’s always nice to have some (admittedly vague) goals for any readathon, so…

Time Devoted to Reading
I will be reading all week, for at least 40 minutes a day. I’m off Mondays, Tuesdays, and weekends, so really I have no excuse for not reading quite a bit more on those days. However, my train journey to/from work (I only work Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays) is about 20 minutes, therefore even on days when I am at work I should get at least 40 minutes read, not even including the bit of reading I usually get done in the break room whilst I’m scoffing down my dinner.

My Goals
Apart from the amount of time I wish to read every day, I would also like to participate in every one of the daily challenges.

I would also like to interact on Twitter with fellow Bout of Book-ers – I think I did a little bit of that in previous readathons but I find balancing the chatting with the actual, oh you know, reading to be a challenge sometimes!

Books to Read
You may recognise the following books as basically my May TBR – I’m nothing if not consistent in my reading goals. I obviously don’t expect to get to all of these books, but this is the pile of books I should be choosing from over the course of the week:

Boutofbookstbr

  1. Shadows of Self – Brandon Sanderson
  2. The Establishment and How They Get Away With It – Owen Jones
  3. The Gap of Time – Jeanette Winterson
  4. Shylock Is My Name – Harold Jacobsen
  5. Glamour in Glass – Mary Robinette Kowal
  6. Without A Summer – Mary Robinette Kowal
  7. The Dark Days Club – Alison Goodman
  8. Blue Lily, Lily Blue – Maggie Stiefvater

 

Like I said, there’s no possibility in the slightest that I will complete any one of those books, let alone all of them, but I like to have a variety to choose from so that selection is certainly that. If absolutely nothing else, Shadows of Self must be finished by Tuesday anyway because someone has reserved it at the library so I have to return it. That will be returned fully read, it will be – see, manageable goals!

Are you participating in Bout of Books? Have you previously? If not – consider it! Let me know in the comments if you are because I’d love to see your TBR and cheer you on throughout the week.


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#TBRTakedown 3.0

This coming week is Shannon from leaninglights’ readathon #TBRTakedown 3.0, which runs from 4th at 12:00 AM to 10th at 11:59 PM. I’m optimistic for the first readathon of the year as, hopefully, this will kick off my 2016 reading since I’ve been lingering with The Hero of Ages for what feels like forever. As seen in Shannon’s announcement video, there are some suggested challenges for the readathon and I’ll be giving them a go but undoubtedly I’ll deviate from this TBR halfway through because I’ve never been very good at sticking to plans and to-do lists, as much as I enjoy making them! But here are my hopeful picks for each of the challenges:  

  1. Book from most recent haul – The Wicked + the Divine Volume 1 by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
  2. Book on TBR shelf for a year or more – A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
  3. Book outside comfort zone – The Wicked + the Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
  4. First book in a series – A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
  5. Complete/continue a series – The Elite by Kiera Cass (or, if I haven’t finished it by the time the readathon starts, the remainder of The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson)
  6. Fire coloured book (red, pink, purple, lilac, burgundy) – Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  7. Non-novel item (poem, novella, play) – Very Good Lives by JK Rowling or Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

So, if all goes well and I somehow manage to stick to this, I’ll have finished the week having read 5 books – The Wicked + the Divine Volume 1, A Thousand Pieces of You, The EliteBig Magic, and Very Good Lives. I’m most doubtful about The Elite since it has been probably a year since I read the first book, The Selection, so I’m not entirely sure I’ll remember what happened and who everyone is, but we’ll see! The rest should be very do-able and I’m looking forward to all of them, especially A Thousand Pieces of You since I’m curious to find out if the story is as lovely as the cover itself.

So all that remains is for me to wait for midnight and then get reading. I think I’ll probably be stalking the readathon hashtag via Twitter and Instagram and updating throughout on the former. Anyone else participating? Do you have TBR posts yourself? Link me below if so, I’d love to see what others are reading and cheer on others with their reading.

Happy Reading!

Cramathon TBR & Friday Reads | 18th December

I’m tentatively participating in the 2015 Winter Cramathon, yay I do love a go readathon to make me make reading a priority! (Technically I guess this following post also counts as a Friday Reads since this is my sole reading intention for the weekend.)

For those who aren’t aware Cramathon is a 3-day readathon running from midnight on 19th December to 11:59PM on 21st December, and it’s hosted by the lovely Whitney from Whittynovels, who creates several challenges to help guide people’s TBRs and reading over the course of the weekend. The point of this readathon is in the title – cram as many books as you can into a short readathon. It tends to help if you haven’t yet reached your Goodreads goal for the year since you readathon encourages you to cram in a lot of helpful short and sweet novels or novellas or graphic novels.

However, since I’ve already met my Goodreads goal for the year (the advantages of having realistic goals of setting it at 52 books this year so a book a week), I intended to join in just for the fun of it. Because of this, I’ll be taking quite a loose approach to the challenges; I’m in the middle of some books and I won’t be putting them down in favour of reading books only because they fit the challenges. (Am I doing readathoning wrong? Probably. Oh well!) For posterity’s sake though, the challenges, and my intended picks to fulfil each of them, are as follows: Continue reading

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: On the Day

As mentioned in my Intentions post, I’m terrible at sticking to TBRs so this is just the stack of books I’ll be choosing from during the readathon:

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (x)
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (x)
Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig (x)
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (x)
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (x)
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley (x)

Updates:
1pm – Start of the readathon, my very first 24 hour readathon, exciting!

4pm – Managed to read for a full 30 mins before family obligations interrupted at 1:30pm and I have now spent the afternoon listening to a very screechy toddler. Here’s hoping for more reading later.

8pm – Finished Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo but got a tad understandably distracted by Strictly Come Dancing. Now my parents have left the house for the evening, everything is quiet, and I’m ready to move onto my next book – shall it be The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness or Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig? Choices choices!

9pm – Entered the brilliant Armchair Travelling mini-challenge, picking Manderley for the place I’d love to visit! Decided to read the Patrick Ness book – never picked up a book by him (though the Chaos Walking trilogy has been on my radar for years) so I’m hoping I enjoy this one.

10pm – Another cup of tea for me and made it to page 64 of The Rest of Us, enjoying it so far, the narrative voice is so readable and easy to fly through. I even took the time to read the first chapter aloud since it was so readable. Loving the satirical tone and when they all talk about the “indie kids” in school always being called Finn or Dylan.

11pm – Page 147 of The Rest of Us and things just got… weird, including deities with connections to cats, resurrected deer, and cops with glowing blue eyes. Well, okay, let’s go with it.

midnight – Page 242 of The Rest of Us and I think I’m starting to slow down but that’s fine since I’ve already exceeded my own (admittedly low) expectations. Will start to wind down the pace and pick the readathon back up tomorrow morning I think since I have until 1pm (well 12:59) to read in my time-zone.

But, as I go for the night, a quote I really liked:

“Please don’t.” He’s still weirdly angry. “Not everyone has to be the Chosen One. Not everyone has to be the guy who saves the world. Most people just have to live their lives the best they can, doing the things that are great for them, having great friends, trying to make their lives better, loving people properly. All the while knowing that the world makes no sense but trying to find a way to be happy anyway.” (p. 236)

11am – with only 2 hours left to go, I’ve started another book I won’t finish but have been meaning to read since I won it in a Goodreads’ giveaway: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley. I finished The Rest Of Us by Patrick Ness when I (belatedly) woke up this morning and loved it. Pulley’s book is definitely a change of tone but it’s set in Victorian London so I’m bound to love it.


Wrap-Up:

Enjoyed the hell out of myself and was reminded of that love for reading when you get cosy with a book and a blanket and don’t move out of your spot for hours until you’re done with it. A much needed reminder!

Books Completed: 2 (Ruin and Rising The Rest Of Us Just Live Here)
Pages Read: 138 + 352 = 490

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: Stating My Intentions

After having known about Dewey’s Readathon for years through watching booktubers’ videos on the day, this is the first year that I’ve actually committed myself to taking on the challenge. I’m under no illusions – I will not be sacrificing sleep (it’s physically impossible for me to keep myself awake for 24 hours, I’ve tried before) so I won’t make it to 24 hours of focused reading. Likewise, family are a thing that whilst very loved are also attention-demanding (one 2-year old in particular on weekends), so I’m aiming more for 12 hours (if that) of reading over the 24-hour period.

Unlike some readathons, Dewey’s chooses to have all the participants start at the same point regardless of time zones. I’m in England so according to this handy dandy calculator the readathon for me will start Saturday 17th at 1pm which, if I’m honest, is possibly the worst time of the weekend for me to try to read since I’ll be visiting family at my aunt’s house as we do every Saturday afternoon. However, onwards and upwards, as this will definitely be an exciting experiment in how much reading is actually possible when I think it won’t be!

I’m terrible at sticking to TBRs and an impulsive reader for the most part so this is the stack of books I’ll be choosing from during the readathon:

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (x)
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (x)
Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig (x)
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (x)
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (x)
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley (x)

My base intentions are to finish Ruin and Rising, but I hope to make at least a considerable dent in one of the others from this TBR too. Who else is doing the 24-hour Readathon this weekend? Anyone have any tips for success during this short readathon? I’ll probably update throughout the day in a blog post here and also over on Twitter – I’d love to hear from other participants.

Reading Rainbow Readathon TBR

I’ve just been made aware of the upcoming Reading Rainbow Readathon which is happening throughout next week and of course because I feel like I’ve missed out (and/or failed) every read-a-thon so far this year, I’ve decided to participate. Despite the fact I’m at work more in the upcoming week and Monday/Tuesday will basically be written off due to a conference on Monday and then panicking about my subsequent feedback meeting on Tuesday. So I clearly need an outlet in which to procrastinate and really put those poor time management skills to good use – and what better than a readathon?

So, for anyone unaware, a few booktubers – including gingerreadslainey whose video alerted me to this event – have created this readathon which does exactly what it says on the tin: read the colours of the rainbow. So you have to read books whose spines include the colours red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. The slight trick, which appeals to the more realist side of me, is that you can double-up the colours so one book/spine can include 2 of the rainbow if you so wish. I do so wish, so here is my TBR for the next week:

Red + Orange – The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Yellow – The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Green + Blue – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Purple – The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente

 

 

 

Anyone reading this joining in? What do your stacks look like? Any recommendations on where to start with mine?

Bout of Books Day 7

The final update post for the Bout of Books 11 Read-a-thon, it’s day 7, aka the final day, the end, the home stretch etc. etc. I’m not sure how I feel about the progress I’ve made but I will say this has helped show me how I can blog about books and join a community of fellow book lovers on the internet. To anyone who has commented on my blog, liked my posts, or popped by even just to read, hi and thank you for the interaction – I hope to continue to talk to you once the read-a-thon is over!

Now… my updates for the day, you know the drill by this point…


Updates:

6pm – thanks to a 2-hour train journey I managed to make some progress with Notes from an Exhibition, 93 pages to be precise, which isn’t as much as I hoped but considering I was surrounded by distractions, namely drunk people whose voices are about 10 times as loud when you’re trying to read a novel about an artist and Cornwall. I hope to read some more tonight before the deadline but I’m not sure if I’ll manage to finish this novel before then. Fingers crossed though!

11pm – once it became clear I was too distracted by the sounds of my dad watching NCIS and CSI: Miami on the living room tv, I decided to end on a positive note which is participating in a wonderful read-a-thon that was perfect for what I needed for my first time participating in such an event. The challenges have made it super fun and it’s reminded me of my love for books and for reading so no matter how much I did (or didn’t!) stick to my proposed TBR/goals for this week, I think the important thing to take away from it is that I did participate and enjoyed myself doing it, despite the tricky week for reading that it turned out to be – c’est la vie!


Wrap Up:

My (admittedly tentative) TBR read as follows:

  1. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
  2. Notes from an Exhibition – Patrick Gale
  3. ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore – John Ford
  4. King Lear – William Shakespeare

 

What I actually ended up reading was as follows:

  1. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro ( 4/5)
  2. The Shock of the Fall – Nathan Filer (3/5)
  3. Notes from an Exhibition – Patrick Gale (incomplete)

Total read:
Finished 2 novels, started 1 more.
258 pages + 314 pages + 93 pages = 665 pages

All in all, when you break it down to the bare statistics, it’s not bad for a disrupted week’s reading, in my opinion of course!


Challenges:

Five Book Challenge @ Falling Down The Book Hole

It is 11:00 PM on a Sunday night. You are laying in bed thinking about all of the things you must do the next day. Tasks of the coming days consume your thoughts and while your mind is somewhere else you are caught off guard by a flash in the sky that is followed by a large wailing screech that pierces the air and shatters your bedroom window. Slowly you move to the window and what you see catches your breathe and causes you to stumble back a few steps. The aliens (at least you think they are aliens) have began to enter the city and destroy everything that is in their path. Through the window your view is consumed with destruction, screaming people and large flames that are dancing across the city at a fast pace. You notice that the creatures are heading in your direction and you realize you probably have about fifteen minutes before they reach your home. That means you have only about ten minutes to gather your belongings and escape before you are caught in the attack from the aliens invading the city.

Given the short amount of time you are only able to take 5 books with you. What books would you pick to take with you as you escape and prepare for the end of the world. Would you choose books that would help you survive in the post-apocalyptic world ,books for pleasure that would make you happy and take you to a fantasy reality or books that you can’t live without?

I’d like to think any post-apocalyptic or dystopian novels I have read would be committed to memory now (The War of the Worlds, The Hunger Games, The Road to name a few) so there’s really no need to waste precious book spaces on those now, is there? :p

  1. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – one of my favourite books and the suspense is never dampened on a re-read, I know I will always enjoy this book.
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – witty, engaging, and an easy read, I don’t think I could ever tire of the adventures of Lizzie Bennet and the trials and tribulations of her family.
  3. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien – I think technically this should count as one book since I have the movie tie-in edition that has all of them (justification over haha). I love the story, Tolkien is a genius at world building, and I think it’d be nice to escape the real-world perils for those of Frodo and the One Ring travelling through Middle Earth.
  4. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare – I felt obliged, because of my love of the bard, to pick a play but which one to pick is always going to be a struggle – seriously ask me to pick my favourite Shakespeare play and I will um and ah for hours. I settled on Much Ado purely because it’s the first Shakespeare I studied and loved.
  5. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – in the tough, post-apocalyptic world I think everyone needs a laugh and the dream team of Pratchett and Gaiman definitely deliver on that front.

Bout of Books Day 6

Another quick update post for the Bout of Books 11 Read-a-thon, day 6 is here and since yesterday I’ve done nothing more than enjoy my visit to Liverpool. On reflection, perhaps this week wasn’t the best week in which to do a read-a-thon but a low-key, low-fuss read-a-thon like the Bout of Books is perfect because you can still fit reading in around your commitments for the week – not that visiting some lovely people is exactly a ‘commitment’ or an ‘obligation’. In either case, it’s definitely made me remember how much I love books/reading which is a win, really, in any case.


Updates:

4pm – spent a lovely morning/afternoon in Liverpool, visiting Liz, BBQ tonight with university friends here so maybe I should get a bit of reading done in the lovely afternoon sun whilst chilling at Liz’s house. I accidentally on purpose bought three books in Oxfam book shop – Bill Bryson’s Shakespeare, Dave Boling’s Guernica, and Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. Ooops? Except not really, since I did restrain myself from buying about four different Penguin Clothbounds in Waterstones (and I could’ve bought practically every Penguin edition I could get my hands on) so I think that’s a suitable level of restraint, right?

10:30pm – after a brilliant BBQ (courtesy of Liz and her parents), I settled down to read The Shock of the Fall, curled up at the end of her living room to the sounds of Kisstory and The Hits – along with the occasional “oh tuuune” exclamation – which makes for interesting background noise to say the least. I have now, however, finished the book. I think I liked it, I’m not quite sure, I feel a little bit unsettled by it but I can’t deny it was a gripping story. Now, onwards? To Notes from an Exhibition methinks.


Challenges:

Spell It Out @ Kimberly Faye Reads

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Emma by Jane Austen
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Mad World by Paul Byrne
Archangel by Robert Harris

(All books courtesy of Liz’s dad’s bookshelf, one hell of a collection!)

 

 


How’s everyone doing this week? Almost the home stretch and yet I still have a book to finish and another one to complete if I can say that I’ve vaguely ‘done’ this read-a-thon well enough for my own liking.