Tag Archives: bout of books

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!

 

 

 

Bout of Books Wrap-Up (And Days 6&7 Updates)

So that’s a wrap for Bout of Books! It’s always fun to have a readathon going to help inspire you to read more than you normally would. I definitely wouldn’t say I got a crazy amount of reading done this week, but I think I did a decent job and most importantly have (for the most part) really enjoyed the books I chose.

On Saturday, I had a very productive readathon day. I did have to work, but I listened to the audiobook of Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear..and Why by Sady Doyle on my commute and also while running a bunch of errands afterwards, so my day was doubly productive. When I got home, I finished reading The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley, which turned out to be very good and even weirder than I expected it to be (which is a good thing in my book). It also had more plot twists than I anticipated, so I couldn’t have stopped reading it even if I’d wanted to. I meant to pick up another print book after that, but I started getting some things done around my apartment while listening to Trainwreck and couldn’t stop; it’s very short as far as audiobooks go, and the subject matter is super absorbing. I actually finished it late Saturday night and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a feminist nonfiction read.

Sunday was Mother’s Day, so I spent most of the day with my family and didn’t get quite as much reading done. I did start a new audiobook, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert, but only got a little bit into it. I also read a little more of Windwitch by Susan Dennard, which is slower-paced than I had expected.

Here are my stats for the readathon as a whole:

Total books read: 3

Pull Me UnderThe BeautyTrainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear... and Why

Total pages read/audiobook time: 432 pages and 464 minutes of audio

Books started, but not finished: 3

Windwitch (The Witchlands, #2)The LoverBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

And here are my stats for the last two days of the readathon:

Day 6

Pages read: 237 minutes of Trainwreck, 74 pages of The Beauty

Books started: None

Books finished: The Beauty, Trainwreck

Day 7

Pages read: 12 minutes of Big Magic, 37 pages of Windwitch

Books started: Big Magic

Books finished: None

 

How did Bout of Books turn out for you guys? Let me know!

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!

Bout of Books Days 6&7 Updates & Wrap-Up

img_2793

So, this round of Bout of Books I relied heavily on mood-reading, which I’m totally OK with. Sometimes I just get in the mood for graphic novels and/or urban fantasy and/or YA, and this time all three of these moods overlapped and I was somehow able to accommodate them all in a week. Which is pretty cool! I did deviate a lot from my TBR list, but again, this happens sometimes when I spend too much time making TBRs and feel like I’m pressuring myself. I feel like as soon as 2017 started I was putting pressure on myself to #readmyowndamnbooks when I really should instead just be reading what I want to read. Overall, it was a really fun week of reading, and I think it definitely helped kickstart my reading for 2017.

Books finished: 7

Alex + Ada, Vol. 2 by Jonathan LunaMagic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8)Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9)Giant Days, Vol. 1 by John AllisonRelish by Lucy KnisleyGiant Days, Vol. 2 by John AllisonAlex + Ada, Vol. 3 by Jonathan Luna

Books started, but not finished: 2

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1)So Much for That Winter

#readmyowndamnbooks: None

Library books read: 5

 

And here are my stats for days 6 and 7:

Day 6

Pages read: 162 pages of Poison Princess

Books started: none

Books finished: none

Day 7:

Pages read: I have no idea, I was sort of skimming/re-reading the Dark Elements trilogy by Jennifer L. Armentrout and I didn’t really keep track

Books started: I mean, I guess I re-started the Dark Elements trilogy

Books finished: none, really

 

See any books you like? How did your Bout of Books go?

 

 

Bout of Books Days 4&5 Updates

There was a bit of a drop-off in my Bout of Books participation during Days 4 and 5 compared to the first few days, because work. But! I still managed to read two more graphic novels and start two other books–one is a bind-up of two novellas and an actual book on my physical tbr shelf, and the other is the first book in a romantic post-apocalyptic YA fantasy series.

I’m continuing to fail very hard at my goal of reading my own books, but as I haven’t yet posted about my reading goals of 2017, I’m deciding that it doesn’t count yet. I ended up going back to the library on Tuesday because I literally could not resist, and picked up four books–the next volumes of Alex + Ada and Giant Days, as well as Poison Princess by Kresley Cole (because I decided I was really in the mood for a new YA series) and Lord of the Flies by William Golding (because I have no idea how I haven’t read this book yet). So far Poison Princess seems like it’s a mash-up of like 18 different genres and like it’ll probably be a bit of a mess, but hopefully in a fun way. And for a classic, Lord of the Flies strikes me as a faster read and maybe something I can finish this weekend. So, I’m probably going to be putting the whole #readmyowndamnbooks thing on the back burner until Bout of Books is over, since mood reading seems to pair well with readathons for me.

Here are my stats for days 4 and 5:

Giant Days, Vol. 2 by John AllisonAlex + Ada, Vol. 3 by Jonathan Luna

Day 4

Pages read: 136

Books started: Giant Days, Vol 2

Books finished: Giant Days, Vol 2

Day 5

Pages read: 158

Books started: Alex+Ada, Vol 3, Poison Princess

Books finished: Alex+Ada, Vol 3

 

How is everyone else doing with Bout of Books so far?