Category Archives: bout of books

Bout of Books Readathon TBR

Bout of Books

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

 

I love it when Bout of Books happens right after (or almost right after) Dewey’s Readathon; that way, if you don’t read as much as you would have liked to during Dewey’s, or if you’re sad that the readathon has ended, there’s another chance right around the corner. Usually with Bout of Books I tend to focus on books that are fast-paced but not necessarily short in length, YA, and graphic novels; this time, I’m going to instead focus on some very short books on my TBR list that sound really intriguing. Also, I usually go with library books for the majority of my Bout of Books reading, whereas this time I’d like to ideally stick to my physical TBR shelf as I continue to try to #readmyowndamnbooks.

So here’s my Bout of Books TBR:

 

The LoverThe BeautyPull Me UnderBloodchild and Other Stories

The Lover by Marguerite Duras – This book was published in the 1980’s and depicts an affair between a French teenager and an older Chinese man in what was previously known as French Indochina (now Vietnam). I found a copy at a used bookstore in D.C. when I was there for the Women’s March; it’s only 117 pages long, and Roxane Gay gave it a 5-star rating on Goodreads. Seems perfect for a readathon.

The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley – this is a short novel, around 100 pages, about a future in which all of the women in the world have died and the remaining men are attempting to preserve their history using oral storytelling.

Pull Me Under by Kelly Luce – This book was actually my first Book of the Month pick and I keep putting it on TBRs and not reading it. It’s about a woman who was bullied as a child in Japan and accidentally kills the child who was bullying in her; I believe the novel mostly takes place when she is an adult and trying to come to terms with what she has done.

Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia Butler – Octavia Butler is one of my favorite authors, and this collection of short stories and essays sounds like it will be absolutely amazing.

 

So, that’s what I have planned for Bout of Books, which starts on Monday. As far as my reading plans go in the meantime, my main goal is to finish the books I’ve been reading for awhile prior to the readathon. This morning I was able to finish Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson, which I’ve been reading forever (it turned out to be pretty meh), and I’m about 2/3 of the way through Difficult Women by Roxane Gay, which is AMAZING so far.

Difficult WomenPerfect Little World

After that, I’d like to start one or more longer books that I will likely only be able to begin before the readathon and likely finish afterwards, although I also like having the option of a longer work to pick up during the readathon if I’m not in the mood to read only short books. These three are at the top of my list; ideally I’d like to finish them all sometime in May.

Windwitch (The Witchlands, #2)The Lonely Hearts HotelA Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)

 

Is anyone else planning on participating in Bout of Books? What’s on your TBR? Let me know!

Bout of Books Days 5, 6, and 7 Updates and Wrap-Up

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Bout of Books is complete, and I am super late with this wrap-up post! Overall, this was such a fun week of reading for me; I always love the bookish community aspects of readathons, and having more of a motivation to devote myself to books really helped with the craziness I’ve been having at work. Here’s how the last 3 days of the challenge went for me:

Day 5

  • Audiobook time: 40 minutes
  • Pages read: 249
  • Books started: none
  • Books finished: Everbound

Day 6

  • Audiobook time:  228 minutes
  • Pages read: 23
  • Books started: none
  • Books finished: none

Day 7

  • Audiobook time: none
  • Pages read: 57
  • Books started: Love Poems
  • Books finished: Love Poems

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And here are my overall totals for Bout of Books!

  • Books read: 5
  • Audiobook time: 586 minutes (about 9.8 hours)
  • Pages read: 958

I’m honestly super impressed with the amount of reading I got done; I’m already looking forward to the next Bout of Books from Jan 2-8. For more info, check out the Bout of Books site: http://boutofbooks.blogspot.com/

Bout of Books Days 3&4 Updates

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And Bout of Books continues! I’m a little late posting this update, but here’s how days 3 and 4 went for me:

Wednesday was my day off from work, so I was able to sleep in and read in bed that morning. Morning reading is such a luxury and is getting to be rare for me, so it felt really nice to just be able to delay responsibilities for a bit and focus on my book. After running some errands (and hitting a library used book sale) I read on the roof for awhile in the sunshine, another thing I haven’t done in awhile but that I absolutely love. I was able to finish both my audiobook, The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg, and Everneath by Brodi Ashton; I ended up liking Everneath so much that I stopped by the library and got both sequels (Everbound and Evertrue). I’m heavily on Team Cole, although I have a bad feeling about how it will all go down in the end. Has anyone else read these books??? I would love to chat about it in the comments 🙂

Anyways, on Thursday I wasn’t in an audiobook mood; I downloaded the Suicide Squad soundtrack and was listening to that during my commute instead. I did start Everbound, the second book in the Everneath trilogy, and am really enjoying it so far, although the beginning was frustrating as I really wanted the action to get going.

So, I always do this thing where I tell myself I’m going to #readmyowndamnbooks during readathons, and then I end up getting hooked on a new series and reading a bunch of library books instead. I tend to get quicker reads (especially YA) from the library rather than buying them because it’s hard to justify spending money if I’m going to read something so quickly and am not planning on re-reading it. I’m trying not to feel guilty about abandoning my goal; I’ll have plenty of time to #readmyowndamnbooks after I finish this trilogy 😉

Here are my stats:

Day 3

  • Audiobook time: 73 minutes
  • Pages read: 314
  • Books started: Luckiest Girl Alive
  • Books finished: The Underground Girls of Kabul, Everneath

Day 4

  • Audiobook time: none
  • Pages read: 109
  • Books started: Everbound
  • Books finished: none

 

I hope everyone’s Bout of Books is going well! I’m hoping to get a bunch of reading done this weekend and finish strong.

Bout of Books Days 1&2 Updates

Have I mentioned how much I love Bout of Books?

I had such a stressful week last week, and so far the readathon has really been helping me to relax after work. I’ve been listening to an audiobook during my commute, and last night, although I went for a walk with some friends after work (OK, fine, we were hunting Pokemon) I ended up getting a bunch of reading done anyways.

 

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On Day 1, I was able to finish Everything is Teeth by Evie Wyld, which I really loved–I’ve always been into sharks, and I loved how her graphic memoir dealt not only with her literal shark obsession but also with sharks as a metaphor for dangers lurking below the surface of things. I also started Everneath by Brodi Ashton, which is a YA book that I had actually started reading a year or two ago and had put down, I can’t remember why. During my recent BookTube binge-watching, I saw that Thoughts on Tomes had mentioned she’d read it, and although she wasn’t a huge fan, I was reminded that I’d liked the plot idea and decided to give it another try.

On Day 2, I spent a lot of time listening to my audiobook (The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg) and only a little time reading physical books. This book is at times devastating, but I’m also amazed by the strength of the women that Nordberg writes about. I started Pretty Monsters, a short story collection by Kelly Link, that night, but didn’t get very far as I was super sleepy. The fact that I fell asleep was not at all related to the awesomeness of the story, which is about someone digging up the wrong grave.

Here are my stats for the first two days of the readathon:

Day 1

  • Audiobook time: 58 minutes
  • Pages read: 190
  • Books started: Everneath, Everything is Teeth
  • Books finished: Everything is Teeth

Day 2

  • Audiobook time: 187 minutes
  • Pages read: 16
  • Books started: Pretty Monsters
  • Books finished: none

Wednesday is my day off, so hopefully I’ll be able to get a lot of reading done then. How is everyone else’s Bout of Books going so far?

Bout of Books Sign-Up and TBR!

Bout of Books

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, 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

I’ve become a big fan of readathons, especially low-pressure ones; it’s a great way for me to devote more time to my TBR and get inspired by all of the wonderful bookish things on social media. This will be my third time doing Bout of Books (here are links to my first  and second times doing the challenge) and I’m excited for a reading-focused week. Work has been super stressful lately, so I think focusing on bookishness will be a perfect antidote.

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Goals for this Bout of Books:

  • Read at least 4  books
  • Finish 1 audiobook
  • Track my audiobook time and number of pages read

Here’s what I’m planning on reading during Bout of Books:

Love PoemsEverything Is TeethThe Bone KnifeThe Story of the Lost Child (The Neapolitan Novels, #4)

I’m in the middle of two books right now; one of them (Nobody is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey) I don’t think I’ll read during Bout of Books; I’ve been using it as a right-before-bed book and prefer to keep it that way. I might read some of The Story of the Lost Child, my other current read, during the readathon, but I also feel like it might work better to save it for afterwards; I tend to prefer shorter, quicker reads during challenges.

For that reason, I picked out a good variety of books that I’d like to get to this week: a short collection of poetry (Love Poems by Pablo Neruda), a graphic memoir focusing on sharks (Everything is Teeth by Evie Wyld), a fantasy ebook short story (The Bone Knife by Intisar Khanani), a YA fantasy with a love triangle and alleged references to Greek mythology (Everneath by Brodi Ashton), a short dystopian science fiction novel (Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World by Donald Antrim), a collection of slipstream short stories (Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link), and a long-awaited fantasy sequel novel (The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin).

Everneath (Everneath, #1)Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better WorldPretty Monsters: StoriesThe Obelisk Gate (The Broken Earth, #2)

I also like to have an audiobook option for readathons, and right now I’m in the middle of The Underground Girls of Kabul (so far it’s so interesting and very well-written). I’m anticipating finishing it this week, in which case I’ll pick up Luckiest Girl Alive, which just became available from my library. I own a physical copy of this book too, but I feel like the fast-paced plot would be good on audio.

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in AfghanistanLuckiest Girl Alive

 

Who else is participating in Bout of Books?? Feel free to link me to your sign-up posts!

Bout of Books Day 7 Updates and Wrap-Up

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Bout of Books is over! But apparently the next one is August 22nd to the 28th, which seems very soon, so I’m OK with it. My Bout of Books didn’t go exactly as predicted, but I had a really good time and read some awesome books.

 

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The weirdest thing for me about the reading challenge was how much audiobook time I got in. I’ve posted before about how I really struggle with paying attention to audiobooks, but I think I’ve finally found my niche–nonfiction. For whatever reason, it’s much easier for me to pay attention to nonfiction than it is to follow a storyline of a novel. I finished 2 audiobooks this week and started a third, which is crazy for me, as I usually get through one a month at most. I also was really surprised that I only read a little bit of A Court of Mist and Fury; I had really expected to either binge-read it prior to the start of Bout of Books or have it consume my readathon.

First, here are my Day 7 updates:

Books finished: Not That Kind of Girl, My Brilliant Friend

Books started: Citizen: An American Lyric, The Story of a New Name

Pages read: 107 pages of My Brilliant Friend, 18 pages of The Story of a New Name

Audiobook time: 1 hour of Not That Kind of Girl, 43 minutes of Citizen

Not bad for the last day!

 

And here are my overall Bout of Books stats:

Books completed: 4

  • Death My Own Way by Michael S. A. Graziano – 4 stars
  • Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Kznizhnik – 3 stars
  • Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham – 3 stars
  • My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante – 5 stars

Death My Own Way

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned"

My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1)

Books read, but not finished: 3

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

Citizen: An American Lyric

The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels #2)

Favorite book I read: My Brilliant Friend, which became my 4th 5-star read this year. Seriously, I know I keep talking about it, but you all really need to read it. Then we can talk about it. Especially the ending because OH MY GOD.

Total pages read: 471 pages

Total audiobook time: 9 hours and 38 minutes (if my math is right?)

 

I probably could have read more, but work has been super crazy and I’m very happy with the amount and quality of reading that I got done. The most exciting thing for me is that I’ve been reading books that I’m really loving instead of wasting my time on books that are only OK. I can’t wait for the next Bout of Books, but I also can’t wait to get back into all of the fantastic books I’m reading right now, which is a very good feeling 🙂

 

How did everyone’s Bout of Books go??

Bout of Books Updates: Days 4, 5, and 6

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I may not be reading quite as many books as predicted during this Bout of Books, but the important thing is that I’m absolutely loving all of the books I’ve been reading. And that’s rare for me, because I’m picky! In the last few days, I’ve finished the audiobook I was listening to, Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Khnizhnik, and was both inspired and blown away by the life of the Supreme Court justice. I started a new audiobook, Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham (apparently nonfiction has really been working for me in audiobooks!) and went in with low expectations which were totally exceeded. I do watch Girls, but find it inconsistent, with some episodes that are amazing and seem to be making such great insights into twenty-something life, and other episodes that are really unenjoyable.I also thought that Lena Dunham was way too young to be writing a memoir. But Lena’s memoir is hilarious and self-aware, and I love that she reads it herself.

My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1)

My main physical book is still My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, and it is still so good and immersive. I’ve been wanting to read it slowly and savor it, even though there are still 3 other books in the series; at the same time I can’t wait to see where the story goes next. I’ve also started obnoxiously promoting this book to everyone I talk to and insisting that they read it immediately.

So here’s my reading breakdown: (I’ve never really counted the time/pages of reading before, it’s interesting to see what I can get done in a week)

Day 4:

Books finished: Notorious RBG

Books started: Not That Kind of Girl

Pages read: 27 pages of My Brilliant Friend

Audiobook time: 45 minutes of Notorious RBG and 70 minutes of Not That Kind of Girl

Day 5:

Pages read: 35 pages of My Brilliant Friend

Audiobook time: 3 hours of Not That Kind of Girl

Day 6:

Audiobook time: 1 hour of Not That Kind of Girl

Mini-Challenge: Freaky Bout of Books for Friday the 13th

 

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As you can see, the bunnies are having a great time reading a lot of vampire literature. I hope everyone is enjoying their Bout of Books!