Category Archives: readathon

Bout of Books 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, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th 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 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

 

It’s almost time for Bout of Books, one of my favorite readathons!

August has been a super readathon-ish month for me. Usually I do only one readathon per month, or more usually none at all, but this month I’m going straight from Tome Topple, which focuses on reading books longer than 500 pages, to Bout of Books, during which I typically focus on reading several short books. This round, I’m really hoping to read at least 3 physical books and 1 audiobook. I think that’s a solid goal. I’m planning on posting updates throughout the week here and on my Instagram account.

Here’s my TBR:

 

Heating & Cooling by Beth Ann Fennelly (ARC) – I received an Advance Reader’s Copy of this collection of micro-memoirs from the publisher (W.W. Norton) at BookCon. It’s very short and I know very little about it, but I like the idea of jumping into something new during a readathon. I’ve never even heard of a “micro-memoir” before, but I like the idea!

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire – all I needed to know about this one was that it’s a Seanan McGuire novella about ghosts. Done.

Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor – I read Binti for a previous readathon, and found that the pacing, plot, and the fact that it’s YA made it a perfect quick read. This sequel is longer and focuses on Binti’s return home to Earth after attending school on another planet, something that’s forbidden where she’s from.

Children of the New World by Alexander Weinstein – I’m so interested in this science fiction short story collection and I hope I have time to at least start it next week. Short stories can be a great way to get in little chunks of reading during a readathon.

The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan – I’m at the very beginning of this book, which focuses on a small island where men steal selkies for their brides and is sort of creepy and dark fairytale-esque so far. I really like Lanagan’s writing style.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson (ARC) – I received an advance reader’s copy of this book from the publisher (Margaret K. McElderry Books) at BookCon as a happy accident–I just managed to be at the right place at the right time to get in line for a copy of this fantastic-sounding book. It sounds sort of A Court of Thorns and Roses-esque in a very good way; it’s released on September 26th.

And an audiobook or two, TBD! It depends on whether or not I finish my current audiobook (A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean) and which of my library holds come in on time. Audiobook possiblities:

A Scot in the Dark (Scandal & Scoundrel, #2)The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal & Scoundrel, #1)Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman

 

Who else is participating in Bout of Books??? I’m excited!

 

 

 

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

#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!

Bout of Books Updates: Days 3-5

Here are my updates at the end of day 5 of this round of the readathon! I’m still having a great time doing Bout of Books, although it hasn’t been perfect: in the past 3 days, I managed to actually finish a book (!) and started a new audiobook, but have been struggling a bit with my physical book reading. My goal for the readathon was to finish 3 books, so I definitely have a ways to go if I want to accomplish this.

Wednesday was my day off from work and I thought I’d be able to get a ton of reading done; I ended up being busier than expected but still managed to get through a decent chunk of Kelly Luce’s Pull Me Under and Susan Dennard’s Windwitch. To mix things up a bit, I started The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley, a short novel set in an isolated community of men after a pandemic has killed all of the women in the world. It’s definitely a very strange story, but the writing is skillful and lyrical.

On Thursday, I finally managed to finish Pull Me Under, a book I’ve been meaning to read for the past 6 months. For most of the book I was enjoying the story, particularly the discussions of Japanese culture, and was thinking about rating it 4 stars; however, for me the book really fumbled with how it handled the main character’s emotions and growth toward the end and it ended up being only a 3-star read. I also read a bit more of The Beauty, which quickly took a very odd turn; I’m really curious to see how the author handles things going forward.

Because I was listening to the audio version of Pull Me Under during my commutes to and from work, I was left without an audiobook on Friday. There were a few available from my library’s Overdrive app that I was interested in, but I ended up choosing Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear…and Why by Sady Doyle and narrated by Alex McKenna. The narrator was a big reason I picked this one up; McKenna also narrated Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler, which has been one of my favorite audiobooks to date. I got completely sucked into this nonfiction book on Friday and listened to it for several hours, which is super rare for me as I struggle with paying attention to audiobooks. This book offers really interesting cultural criticism about why we tear famous women down while discussing tons of examples, both historical and modern. It’s so good that I may even finish it in the next few days.

 

So here are my stats for days 3-5:

Day 3

Pages read: 86 pages of Pull Me Under, 28 pages of Windwitch, 11 pages of The Beauty (125 pages total)

Books started: The Beauty

Books finished: None

Day 4

Pages read: 63 pages of Pull Me Under, 14 pages of The Beauty (77 pages total)

Books started: None

Books finished: Pull Me Under

Day 5

Pages read: listened to 215 minutes of Trainwreck

Books started: Trainwreck

Books finished: None

 

How is everyone else’s Bout of Books so far?

Bout of Books Days 1&2 Updates

We’re two days into Bout of Books! Things started off really well for me–I kicked off the readathon late Sunday night (technically after midnight on Monday) by starting The Lover by Marguerite Duras, a short novel that was on the top of my readathon TBR. It ended up being a bit different than I expected; instead of a fast read, the writing is actually very complex and I found myself rereading a lot of her sentences. Her style is complex and disjointed; each few paragraphs the narrative jumps forward and backward in time, so it’s definitely not a quick type of read. I still would really like to finish it during the readathon if I can, although I was only able to get through about 15 pages.

During the day on Monday, I listened to the audio version of Pull Me Under by Kelly Luce (I also have the physical book and I’ve been alternating between the two) during my commute to and from work; I’m really enjoying this story so far. It’s about a woman who killed her bully as a child and has since completely reinvented her life; however, when the death of her father brings her back to Japan, the country of her childhood, she’s forced to confront a lot of things she has kept buried.

I had a long day at work and when I got home I wasn’t feeling ambitious enough to pick up The Lover, so I read a bunch of Windwitch by Susan Dennard instead. This book is the second in a series focusing on two female friends with different magical powers; one can always tell truth from lies, and the other can sense the emotions and connections between other people. I’m definitely liking it so far; another viewpoint character has been added and I really like her, which means that I’m very into four of the five viewpoint characters (one of the love interests really rubs me the wrong way, but I still like the series a lot overall).

Unfortunately, Tuesday wasn’t nearly as successful of a reading day. It ended up being an absolutely crazy day at work, and I had plans to see a movie with friends right afterward (Guardians of the Galaxy 2!  It was such a fun movie). The only reading I got done was a brief audiobook session of Pull Me Under during my lunch break. Wednesday is my day off, however, so I’m hoping to make up for some lost reading time today.

Here are my stats:

Day 1

Pages read: 15 pages of The Lover, 64 pages of Pull Me Under, and 30 pages of Windwitch (109 pages total)

Books started: The Lover

Books finished: None

 

Day 2

Pages read: 10 pages of Pull Me Under

Books started: None

Books finished: None

 

How is everyone else’s Bout of Books going so far? Let me know in the comments!

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!

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon Wrap-Up

april2017

And that’s a wrap on this round of Dewey’s! I’m very late with this wrap-up post (oops) but I had a wonderful time devoting my day to reading on Saturday. I luckily didn’t have too much in the way of conflicts so I was able to focus on reading better than I normally can for long periods of time. Of course, I didn’t read for the entire 24 hours (I never do) but it was overall a really fun bookish day and I very much enjoyed it.

The Grownup by Gillian FlynnReplica by Lauren OliverSaga, Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan

Here’s my closing survey:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Hour 17. At about 12:30 a.m. I started to totally crash. I’m normally a night owl, but as it got later I was having a harder time focusing on my physical books, so I ended up switching to audio for the last few hours I spent reading.
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a reader engaged for next year?

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, The Grownup by Gillian Flynn, Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Aimee Kaufman, Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season?

Nope! I love the readathon as is.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

Everything?
5. How many books did you read?

I finished 3 books and read a bit of a fourth, for a total of 833 pages.
6. What were the names of the books you read?

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn, Replica by Lauren Oliver, and Saga, Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples were the books that I finished during the readathon. I also read/listened to some of Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson.
7. Which book did you enjoy most?

Surprisingly, my favorite book of the readathon turned out to be The Grownup by Gillian Flynn. It was twisty, atmospheric, and impossible to put down. I wish it had been longer!
8. Which did you enjoy least?

I didn’t not enjoy any of my readathon books, but I wasn’t blown away by Replica. It was fun and fast-paced but it did lack a lot of depth for me and I wasn’t into either of the romantic plotlines.
9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I’m very much looking forward to the next round of Dewey’s in October!