Category Archives: readathon

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!

Halfway through Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon Updates!

 

I can’t believe we’re halfway through Dewey’s! The day goes by so fast when  you devote it to reading. My readathon has been really lovely so far and I’m hoping to stay up quite late tonight if possible, but we’ll have to see how that goes. Here’s my mid-event survey:

1. What are you reading right now?

I’m currently reading Replica by Lauren Oliver, which is a science fiction YA read that is told from the perspective of two girls and deals with human cloning. The book is actually separated into two books, and you have to choose which story to start with and whether you alternate between the two storylines or read one and then the other straight through. So far I’ve been alternating between the two girls’ perspectives in chunks and it’s worked well to help mix up my reading.
2. How many books have you read so far?

So far, I’ve finished one book and read about 3/4 of another, for a total of464 pages.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Hmm…I’m really looking forward to finally picking up the most recent volume of Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples, but I’m also getting this urge to go rogue and pick up a book that’s not on my TBR. After I finish Replica I feel like I’ll be all over the place.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

I woke up late (the readathon starts at 8 a.m. my time, and I am physically unable to force myself to wake up that early when I don’t have to work) and I’m planning on taking a reading break soon to work out. I feel like as it gets later I’ll get more and more distracted with interruptions, so we’ll see.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

I haven’t been as easily distracted as I thought I’d be! I haven’t spent this much time in one day reading since, well, the last round of Dewey’s, but so far I really haven’t gotten bored or restless or anything. I think it’s partly because I was really looking forward to a reading-centered day after a few weeks of craziness, and partly because I picked out good choices for my TBR.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon – Opening Survey

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I’m reading from the East Coast of the U.S., where it’s supposed to be gloomy out all day. Perfect reading weather, although it does mess with my plans to read outside for a bit.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Probably Replica by Lauren Oliver – I’m really in the mood for a new YA book, and the fact that this one is dystopian with a nontraditional format just makes it sound even more enticing.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to making a chai latte this morning, and also to some Thai food later in the day 🙂
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I absolutely love making TBRs, but I rarely stick to them. I’m really curious if I’ll stay with my TBR for Dewey’s or if I’ll end up going rogue.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

Hm…the last readathon in October was actually pretty great for me–I got a ton of reading done and really enjoyed almost everything I read. I’m actually hoping to keep this round pretty similar, with as much reading as possible, checking in on bookish social media, and taking a break to work out later in the day to mix things up. Hopefully I’ll end up participating until pretty late tonight, although I never end up reading for the full 24 hours.

 

How is everyone’s readathon going so far???

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon TBR

april2017

I always look forward to the next installment of Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon; it’s such a fun, positive day of reading and bookish interactions. The last few weeks have been really crazy for me, so I’m really looking forward to having a nice, relaxing, reading-filled day on Saturday. I’m also really looking forward to picking up these books! I tend to save certain books for readathons that I think will be good picks; I have a few graphic novels, a few YA novels, an audiobook, a short story collection, and a novella to choose from. I picked out a few yummy snacks and am probably planning to order takeout, since readathons allow you to be lazy, and if it’s nice out I’m hoping to read outside on my roof or maybe walk down to read by the river. I’ll be posting updates here on my blog every so often, and also will be posting a lot on Instagram and Litsy (I’m @beachesnbooks on both of those).

And here’s my TBR! Ranked from most likely to read/finish during the readathon to least likely.

The GrownupSaga, Vol. 7Replica (Replica, #1)Difficult Women

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn – I got this short story in one of my Book of the Month Club boxes and have been saving it for a readathon because it’s so tiny and will be a perfect fast-paced read. I think it involves ghosts, maybe? Or else it’s just a thriller, but either way I’m thinking it will be a good way to kick off the readathon Saturday morning.

Saga, Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples – this next volume of Saga came out just in time for Dewey’s. I don’t exactly remember where the previous volume left off, but I always enjoy this series.

Replica by Lauren Oliver – I’m thinking this may be my main YA read during the Readathon, but I’ve never read a Lauren Oliver book before so I don’t really know if I’m going to like it (thus having lots of backup options). It’s a science fiction novel told in dual perspectives that you can read any way you want–alternating chapters between the two characters, or reading first one perspective and then the other; I think this nontraditional format will help my reading flow during the readathon.

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay – I haven’t yet read a short story collection in April, so I’m going to have to finish this one before the end of the month. I got a bit behind on my reading during the Tome Topple Readathon, so I’m hoping to read some of this collection before the readathon and try to finish it during Dewey’s.

Windwitch (The Witchlands, #2)Perfect Little WorldSomething New: Tales from a Makeshift BrideDisplacement: A Travelogue

Windwitch by Susan Dennard – I couldn’t resist picking up a copy of Windwitch immediately after finishing Truthwitch earlier this month, but I’ve been saving it in case I’m in the mood for this YA fantasy during the Readathon. I’ve heard that the majority of people didn’t like this as much as Truthwitch, but I’ve got a good feeling as it seems like we’ll be getting more of Iseult and Aeduon in this one.

Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson – I’m listening to this “utopian” novel on audiobook; it’s always a good idea to have an audiobook option during the readathon so that you can keep your reading up if you have to go drive somewhere. If it’s nice out, I may also take a walk while listening to this.

Something New by Lucy Knisley – I read Relish, Lucy Knisley’s food-related memoir, for a previous readathon, and thought it was really cute and well-illustrated. This graphic memoir focuses on Knisley’s engagement and planning her wedding; since I was in four weddings over the past year, I think it should be pretty entertaining.

Diplacement: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley – I picked this up at the library when I was grabbing Saga and Something New; it’s another graphic memoir by Lucy Knisley that focuses on her relationship with her grandparents when she goes on a cruise with them.

 

 

Is anyone else participating in Dewey’s??? What’s on your TBR? Let me know!