24 in 48 Readathon Wrap-Up

That’s a wrap on this round of 24 in 48! I had a great weekend of reading, even though I of course didn’t finish my TBR (I never do) or read for 24 hours (again, I never do). Here’s how my readathon went:

Books finished: 3

Books started, but not finished: 3

Audiobook time: 7 hours 35 minutes

Pages read: 400 pages

On Saturday, I had to work in the morning, so I kicked off my readathon with some audiobook time with Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell during my commute. Then I was able to grab some lunch and some time with The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson at a coffee shop before I got my hair cut.

After my haircut (yay, my hair looks decent again for a bit!) I read for a little while longer, did some cleaning, and met up with a friend for dinner. When I got back, I got completely sucked back into A Million Junes by Emily Henry and ended up finishing the book Saturday night.

On Sunday, I had a lot more free time to read, and I also had a lot of things I wanted to get done around my apartment, so I ended up finishing Eleanor & Park while doing tons of laundry. Because I still had some cleaning to do, I started another audiobook, Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham (Lorelai from Gilmore Girls!). After that, I started getting a bit distracted with my reading; I had trouble focusing on The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe (even though it was great!) until later on in the evening, but once I did, I really ended up loving the weirdness of the story. I was sort of at a loss for what to pick up next; I didn’t really feel like I had enough time to finish another book completely, even a novella, so at first I picked up Phantom Pains by Mishell Baker, which I’d gotten in the mail the day before and was totally tempted to pick up even though it wasn’t on my TBR.

Then, after only a few chapters, I was suddenly and totally in a short story mood. So I ended up finishing my readathon by reading the title story of Bloodchild by Octavia Butler, which was amazing and disturbing, and I’ve been thinking about it all day today.

Books started, but not finished: Talking as Fast as I Can, Phantom Pains, Bloodchild

Books finished: A Million Junes, Eleanor & Park, The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

Amount read: 5 hours 20 minutes of Eleanor & Park, 165 pages of The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, 175 pages of A Million Junes, 27 pages of Phantom Pains, 33 pages of Bloodchild, 2 hours 15 minutes of Talking as Fast as I Can

A Million JunesEleanor & ParkThe Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

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#24in48 Readathon TBR

So this weekend is another round of the 24 in 48 readathon, which is one of my favorite bookish events. 24 in 48 is a readathon where you ostensibly try to read for 24 hours over the course of a weekend, although it’s really low pressure and a lot of people (like me) just read as much as they have time for without attempting the full 24 hours. You can find more information and sign up here.

I actually did really terribly during the last round of #24in48 in January, because I was in D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington. So, failing at the readathon for a good cause!

This time around, I do have to work on Saturday, and then I have plans to get my hair cut and get dinner with a friend. So I’m planning on squeezing in some audiobook time on Saturday when I can and maybe also sneaking in a few pages at night. Sunday will hopefully be a day full of reading, hopefully outside if it’s nice!

As far as my TBR goes, I’m currently reading two books that I’d love to either finish or make significant progress on during the readathon:

A Million JunesEleanor & Park

Emily Henry’s A Million Junes was my Book of the Month Club pick for June and I’m currently about halfway through; I’m absolutely LOVING it so far. I’m continuously surprised by how much I like this book, just because it’s not exactly my typical YA read: it’s more contemporary/realistic than scifi or fantasy, which is what I tend to go for in my young adult reads. But it’s just so well-written and it has ghosts and wonderful local mythology and a fantastic main character, and it’s becoming one of my favorite YA reads of the year.

I also recently started Eleanor & Park, which is actually the only published Rainbow Rowell novel that I hadn’t read yet. I’ve actually had this on TBRs for readathons before but never actually started it; my library had an audio copy available, though, and I’ve been dnf-ing audiobooks left and right so I was desperate for a new one. So far it’s sad and sweet, and a bit better than expected, but I’m very early in the story.

I also have three shorter books that I would love to get into during the readathon. Of course, I’d love to finish all three of them, but I don’t know that that’s super likely; we’ll see!

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt BoeDusk or Dark or Dawn or DayBloodchild and Other Stories

I have two Tor novellas that I found on Book Outlet, The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson and Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire; I love novellas in general, but especially during readathons, since they’re short and generally pretty absorbing and faster-paced. And I also have set aside Bloodchild, a short story collection by Octavia Butler, one of my favorite authors.

 

Who else is participating??? Feel free to tell me what your TBR is or link me to your post!

(Belated) June Reading Wrap-Up

As far as reading months go, I think June was the best I’ve had all year.

I don’t know what it was! I think it was a combination of letting my mood reading tendencies take over and the fact that I went on a long road trip, which meant lots of audiobook listening. Basically, though, I read a whole bunch of really wonderful, enjoyable books, and only a few disappointing ones. (And yes, this wrap-up is super late–I’ve been out of town a lot and totally lost track of the fact that we’re already well into July!)

Here are my stats:

Number of books read: 10

#readmyowndamnbooks: 7

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge tasks completed: 2

✓ 7. Read a book published between 1900 and 1950.
Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

✓ 20. Read an LGBTQ+ romance novel (From Sarah MacLean, author of ten bestselling historical romance novels)
The Seafarer's Kiss by Julia Ember The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

When did I buy the books I read? March 2016 (North and South), February 2017 (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes), April 2017 (Marlena), May 2017 (Roar, The Seafarer’s Kiss), June 2017 (Herland)

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond FearRoar by Cora CarmackMarlena by Julie BuntinNorth and SouthHow to Be a WomanThe Seafarer's KissSmoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin DoughtyHerlandThe Hate U Give by Angie ThomasHunger by Roxane Gay

So, here’s what I read in June! I didn’t rank them from least to most awesome like usual; instead, here they are in the order I read them:

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (3 stars) – this was a very quick, inspirational audiobook listen. I’ve never read Eat, Pray, Love and am not interested in doing so, but I did really enjoy how passionate Gilbert is about integrating creativity into your life.

Roar by Cora Carmack (4 stars) – if you like romantic YA fantasy (meaning YA with a romantic emphasis, like Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses series), you really need to read this book. It centers on Aurora (Roar), a princess who’s never developed the storm-harnessing powers that those in her world depend on their rulers for. Her world is one ruled by powerful natural disasters, and those without the ability to harness these storms are forced to live and die at their mercy–or integrate themselves into one of the powerful kingdoms. Promised in an arranged marriage to an intimidating prince from another kingdom, Aurora instead runs away to learn about obtaining power from storms in a different way by joining a band of mercenary storm hunters. It’s fast-paced and fun with interesting world-building (I happen to love weather-related magic systems) and a romance of course develops between Roar and one of the storm hunters.

Marlena by Julie Buntin (4 stars) – if you like books for adults with teenage narrators, or stories about female friendships, I’d definitely recommend this one. It’s set in poverty-stricken Northern Michigan, with meth labs and a sinister air pervading every chapter, and partially told in flashbacks by a teenager and partially in present-day New York where she works for the library system. The book centers on the friend that our narrator makes when she and her family relocate to this desolate town, Marlena, an enigmatic girl forced to grow up too soon and who the narrators sees succumb more and more to the atmosphere around her. It’s dark, evocative, and engrossing.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (4 stars) – this is the book that officially broke me out of my long classics slump! I’d actually watched the BBC miniseries a few years ago and loved it, and had been meaning to read the book ever since. It’s about Margaret, a strong-willed and intelligent but naive girl from the South of England whose family relocates to the manufacturing-centered North and is forced to confront her worldview and prejudices.

How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran (2.5 stars) – I laughed out loud several times while listening to this memoir, but I wasn’t overly impressed by the writing. It’s definitely funny and a quick audiobook listen, but it doesn’t achieve a lot of depth.

The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember (4 stars) – I’m one of those people who has loved the ocean and mermaids since childhood, so when I saw this mermaid-themed book at BookCon, I had to pick it up. The Seafarer’s Kiss is a retelling of the Little Mermaid myth centered on Ersel, a mermaid aching to break free of her patriarchal, childbearing-focused iceberg kingdom. She’s not quite sure how she can find the courage to leave her community and see the world until she meets Ragna, a shipwrecked badass Viking girl and ends up making a deal with Loki, god of lies, to help her. As we all know, this sort of thing never goes exactly as you’d expect, and all sorts of issues develop from there. I loved the way this book combined fairytale elements and Norse mythology, and I loved the romance between Ersel and Ragna.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty (3 stars) – Unfortunately, this memoir ended up being somewhat of a disappointment for me. It’s not that it wasn’t good, but I have just read so many glowing reviews that I was expecting something amazing, while what it actually was was just interesting. It’s the memoir of a young woman who starts working as an assistant in a crematorium/funeral home in her early twenties and begins to develop different ideas of how she feels death should be handled based on her experiences; it definitely gives a lot of behind-the-scenes insight into funeral homes and what happens to bodies after death, but I wasn’t impressed by the writing or the structure of the book.

Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (2 stars) – I gave this book a very low rating, but I’m still glad I read it, since it’s an early feminist classic. Basically, it’s about three men, all sexist but in different ways, who “discover” a civilization comprised entirely of women, and attempt to learn about and from this new world, with varying degrees of success. It’s an interesting premise, but I just…didn’t like it very much.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (4 stars) – this is one of those books that I’m really grateful that the Bookternet has been promoting all over the place, because as someone who almost never reads YA contemporary, I don’t know that I would have picked it up otherwise. It’s powerful and yet accessible, and I’m so glad that it’s being so widely read.

Hunger by Roxane Gay (5 stars, or more like 10 stars) – I have no idea how Roxane Gay had the courage and the ability to write this book and to write it the way she did. She is incredible. I cannot recommend this highly enough. It’s essentially a memoir, but I guarantee it’s more powerful and honest than any memoir you’ve ever read. Roxane Gay discusses her body and also how society views bodies like hers in a way that will absolutely gut you. Just read this book. Trust me.