Completed 24-Hour Readathon! April 2020

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I DID IT! I officially read for 24 hours straight! I’ve only managed this feat once before, so I am pretty excited that I was able to do it again.

Closing Survey

  1. How would you assess your reading overall? I read more during this readathon than ever before!
  2. Did you have a stategy, and if so, did you stick to it? While I love all the challenges, I really haven’t been reading much lately, so I wanted to primarily stick to reading this time.
  3. What was your favorite snack? I washed down my taco dip with an Aperol Spritz. 
  4. Wanna volunteer for our next event? Stay tuned for the recap post! I might be interested in volunteering for the next readathon.

Books Completed

  1. Murder with Mirrors by Agatha Christie – print book
  2. Different Seasons by Stephen King – ebook
  3. Fly Girls by Keith O’Brien – audiobook
  4. Tess of d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy – print book
  5. Stuart Little by E. B. White – print book
  6. Seriously…I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres – audiobook
  7. Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson – audiobook

Pages Read

  • 1,116 pages read

Postings on Social Media and Other Challenges

  • Litsy = 5
  • Instagram = 5
  • Twitter = 9
  • Blog = 2
  • Bingo Challenge on Goodreads:

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I did not participate in many of the challenges this year. I decided to just focus on my reading, because I had a lot I wanted to read. Plus, I finally finished a couple of books that I started years ago. I also found that listening to audiobooks while puzzling is a great way to stay active and awake.

I had a great time! A big thanks to the hosts, and I’ll be looking forward to the next time!

Until Next Time….Stay Calm and Keep on Reading!!!

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40 Days of Social Distancing

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We have been practicing social distancing for 40 days now. Today we are also celebrating our wedding anniversary quietly at home. It is a very different world we live in, and it might last longer than we had all hoped … Continue reading

End of 24in48 Readathon – March 2020

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Congratulations to all those who participated in the Social Distancing 24in48 Readathon over this past weekend! How did y’all do? I actually did not manage to read for the full 24 hours, as I surprisingly found other distractions over the weekend even though I am housebound like so many of y’all. Here are my readathon stats:

Readathon Reads (Finished & Started):

  • The Joy of Missing Out by Tonya Dalton – audiobook
  • Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge – book
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – book
  • The Girl Who Loved Twice by David Lagercrantz – audiobook

Pages Read:

I read a total of exactly 583 pages.

Reading Time:

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Social Media Updates:

I posted many updates on social media regarding this readathon:

Thank you so much to the lovely 24in48 Readathon hosts! You all are amazing! I had such a fun weekend and can’t wait until the next one!

Spring Reading – 2020

Spring is here! I think we can all agree that this will be an interesting spring. I will be continuing to read for my Reading the Classics Challenge. I am also picking away at the books on my bookshelf. Titles are mostly based on giveaways and book club picks. What are y’all reading this winter? Any reads you are most looking forward to? Here is my list:

Book Club Reads

  • Black December by Scott Hunter
  • Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
  • The Story of Teeth by Valeria Luiselli

NetGalley Reads

  • The Girls Weekend by Jody Gehrman
  • Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier
  • Miss Iceland by Audur Ava Olafsdottir
  • Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella
  • The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor
  • My Greek Island Summer by Mandy Baggot

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon

  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  • Stuart Little by E.B. White
  • Copenhagen by Michael Frayn
  • Different Seasons by Stephen King
  • Sandition by Jane Austen
  • Tess of D’Urbervilles

Readalongs

  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Book Jar Picks

  • Visit Sunny Chernobyl by Andrew Blackwell
  • Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

Other

  • The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha – audiobook
  • The Joy of Missing Out by Tonya Dalton – audiobook
  • The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich – audiobook
  • Murder with Mirrors by Agatha Christie – book
  • The Hidden by Heather Graham – book
  • Dopesick by Beth Macy – audiobook
  • Quiet by Susan Cain – audiobook
  • 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B Peterson – audiobook
  • Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow – audiobook
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – book
  • The Demon in the Freezer by Richard Preston – book
  • The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – book

STAY HEALTHY & READ!!!!

WWW Wednesdays – January 8, 2020

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What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

Happy New Year, everyone! I just returned from an amazing trip to New York City! I packed a lot of fun in that trip but unfortunately did not get to read much. However, I  managed to read 125 books in 2019, which I have never managed before. I think the ability to listen to audiobooks while at work has allowed me read a bit more.

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

Winter Reading: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦
Winter Reading: Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris – book = ♦ ♦
Winter Reading: The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦

Reading Next

What have y’all been reading? Please feel free to comment on these books and/or post your WWW link below!

HAPPY READING!!!

Winter Reading – 2019

Winter is almost here! I will be continuing to read for my Reading the Classics Challenge, and I have created a Book Jar project to help me read more books off my bookshelf. Other titles on this list are mostly based on giveaways and book club picks. What are y’all reading this winter? Any reads you are most looking forward to? Here is my list:

Book Club Reads

  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
  • The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

NetGalley Reads

  • The Look-Alike by Erica Spindler
  • The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg
  • The Empty Bed by Nina Sadowsky

Goodreads Giveaway

  • The Tenant by Katrine Engberg

Reading the Classics

  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Readalongs

  • Dune by Frank Herbert

Book Jar Picks

  • Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

Other

  • Dear Girls by Ali Wong – audiobook
  • The Ghosts of Eden Park by Karen Abbott – audiobook
  • The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman – audiobook
  • The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich – audiobook
  • The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein – audiobook
  • His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet – audiobook
  • The Dutch House by Ann Patchett – audiobook
  • Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell – audiobook
  • Spark Joy by Marie Kondo – audiobook
  • Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris – book
  • Furious Hours by Casey Cep – book
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han – book


HAPPY WINTER!!!!

WWW Wednesdays – November 20, 2019

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What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Time for another WWW Wednesdays, which is brought to you by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. If you too want to participate, answer the above questions and post that link on Sam’s page.

Is anyone else wondering how it can possibly be almost Thanksgiving already??!! I’ve mostly been audiobooking, while I clean my house and prepare for the company that is arriving from out of town soon. Both my family and my husband’s family are coming for Thanksgiving dinner, so it will and crazy next week and a half. Anyone have any book recommendations on how to deal with family? I would appreciate some humorous books if possible. LOL

Currently Reading

Last night, I met up with my friend to discuss Book One of Dune. I really am enjoying reading books piece by piece and discussing each section. My friend and I also use this as a great excuse to get together once a month, even during the busy times. Those times tend to be the best times to get together as a way to unwind and focus on something else.

Recently Finished

Fair Play by Eve Rodsky – audiobook = ♦
Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

I actually did not make it through Fair Play, hence the 1-star rating. I was interested in reading about how couples balance their high-stress jobs, housework, and still have time for each other. This book seemed to cater more toward households with kids, which is fine, but not really relevant to me. Most of what I read seemed to really attack men, that the women were doing all the child care and household responsibilities. Seems like some items mentioned in the book should have been discussed among the couples before they decided to have children. Again, not really the book for me I guess. If anything, I started to appreciate the communication I have with my significant other. I was just hoping this book would share good tips on time management. It was a let down for me.

I will have a review of Digital Minimalism posted soon!

Reading Next

What are y’all reading? Please feel free to comment below and leave your WWW link as well.

HAPPY READING!!!

Completed 24in48 Readathon – July 2019

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Congratulations to all those who participated in the 24in48 Readathon over this past weekend! How did y’all do?  I actually managed to clock 24 hours of reading, which was far behind my goal for the weekend. Here are my readathon stats:

Finished Reads:

  • The Road to Dribbling by Bill Bryson – audiobook
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck (Part 3 only for a IRL readalong) – book
  • Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama – audiobook

Reads Started but not Finished during Readathon:

  • The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins – book/ebook
  • Ireland by Frank Delaney – audiobook

Pages Read:

I read a total of exactly 900 pages.

Reading Time:

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Social Media Updates:

I posted many updates on social media regarding this readathon:

Thank you so much to the lovely 24in48 Readathon hosts! You all are amazing! I had such a fun weekend and can’t wait until the next one!

Summer Reading – 2019

Summer is almost here! I will be continuing to read for my Reading the Classics Challenge and my 2019 Focus on Authors Challenge. Titles are mostly based on giveaways, book club picks, and books set in Ireland, as I get ready to travel there in August. What are y’all reading this summer? Any read you are most looking forward to? Here is my list:

Book Club Reads

  • The Plague by Albert Camus
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman
  • Tigerman by Nick Harkaway
  • Recollections of Things to Come by Elena Garro

NetGalley Reads

  • Once Upon a Bad Boy by Melonie Johnson
  • A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell
  • The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins
  • The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
  • The Long Call by Ann Cleeves
  • How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul; Maria Russo

Readalongs

  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck

2019 Focus on Authors

  • Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
  • Neither Here nor There by Bill Bryson
  • The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • Landline by Rainbow Rowell
  • Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
  • Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life by Laura Thompson

Other

  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand- audiobook
  • The Children by David Halberstam – audiobook
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama – audiobook/book
  • Made for This by Jennie Allen – audiobook
  • The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy – audiobook/ebook
  • Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt – audiobook
  • The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich – audiobook
  • The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein – audiobook
  • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas – book
  • 1916: The Easter Rising by Tim Pat Coogan – ebook

Reading Margaret Atwood – April 2019

One of my reading goals for 2019 is to become more familiar with works by different authors by featuring a different author every month (see A Focus on Authors Reading Challenge). April was spent reading as many works by Margaret Atwood. Previously I had only read The Handmaid’s Tale, which I loved.

I got to start my Margaret Atwood month off by seeing her live at Jones Hall in Houston. She talked about her life and career, which was just fascinating. She read aloud a collection of alien poetry, which was amazing. Unfortunately, she could not give away any spoilers for her upcoming sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. Needless to say, seeing her live just made me want to read her books even more.

 

The following are the books I managed to complete:

StoneMattress
Title: 
Stone Mattress
Author: Margaret Atwood
Genre: Short Stories
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
Publication Date: August 28, 2014
Pages: 273 pages
Format Read: audiobook
Standalone or series: standalone
Where I got the book: Library Libby app
Date finished reading: April 6, 2019

Goodreads Description: A collection of highly imaginative short pieces that speak to our times with deadly accuracy.
A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband. An elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. A woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire, and a crime committed long ago is revenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatolite.

In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood ventures into the shadowland earlier explored by fabulists and concoctors of dark yarns such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Daphne du Maurier and Arthur Conan Doyle – and also by herself, in her award-winning novel Alias Grace. In Stone Mattress, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ 

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Title: 
The Blind Assassin
Author: Margaret Atwood
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Virago Press Ltd.
Publication Date: September 2, 2000
Pages: 637 pages
Format Read: audiobook
Standalone or series: standalone
Where I got the book: Library Libby app
Date finished reading: April 14, 2019

Goodreads Description: Margaret Atwood takes the art of storytelling to new heights in a dazzling novel that unfolds layer by astonishing layer and concludes in a brilliant and wonderfully satisfying twist. Told in a style that magnificently captures the colloquialisms and clichés of the 1930s and 1940s, The Blind Assassin is a richly layered and uniquely rewarding experience.

It opens with these simple, resonant words: “Ten days after the war ended, my sister drove a car off the bridge.” They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister Laura’s death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura’s story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a-novel. Entitled The Blind Assassin, it is a science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet rooms. When we return to Iris, it is through a 1947 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist.

For the past twenty-five years, Margaret Atwood has written works of striking originality and imagination. In The Blind Assassin, she stretches the limits of her accomplishments as never before, creating a novel that is entertaining and profoundly serious. The Blind Assassin proves once again that Atwood is one of the most talented, daring, and exciting writers of our time. Like The Handmaid’s Tale, it is destined to become a classic.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 

1297481929797_ORIGINALTitle: Oryx and Crake
Author: Margaret Atwood
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopia
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Publication Date: April 22, 2003
Pages: 378 pages
Format Read: audiobook & book
Standalone or series: MaddAddam series Book #1
Where I got the book: Library Libby app & library sale
Date finished reading: April 23, 2019

Goodreads Description: Oryx and Crake is at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future. Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journey–with the help of the green-eyed Children of Crake–through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ¾

My Review: I only managed to make it through three Margaret Atwood books this month. Atwood’s books are ones that you tend to take your time with and read thoroughly. You don’t want to miss any detail or description.

Margaret Atwood creates characters that really explore the dark side of human nature, that there is a fine line between love and hate and good and evil. Everytime I finished one of her books, I found myself unable to truly express my thoughts about it. The characters, the scenery, the plot, and the message are always so complex in her writings. You always think you know what will happen and then feel disbelief that that is really what is happening but ascends anything that you could have imagined. I am in awe that Margaret Atwood can do this.

You can tell based on my ratings, that I prefer a more literary genre, since The Blind Assassin was most like that and also my favorite Atwood read of the month. While most of Atwood’s books of a mixed-genre (sci-fi, dystopia and humor) are not necessarily for me, I will always adore Margaret Atwood’s writing style and descriptions. She is a definite one-of-a-kind writer.

My Overall Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ½