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!

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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: ♦ ♦ ♦ 

atwood
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

24 Hour Readathon – Goals

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It’s that time!!!! Time for the semi-annual Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon!!!! Check back on Saturday, April 6th to see my progress. This is officially my 6th time participating. Here are some questions to help me prep and set goals for this round.

Are you participating for the whole 24 hours? I really wish I could participate for the whole 24 hours. Unfortunately, I will be hosting a garage sale that morning as part of our community yard sale. It is my opportunity to Marie Kondo my house, so I can’t pass this up. I am hoping to still read during slow moments or have the Harry Potter Book 4 audiobook blaring on our outdoor speakers. I also don’t believe that I’ll be able to stay up all night as I will have a late night on Friday. We are taking my mother-in-law to: A Night with Margaret Atwood. Super excited for this! So I believe my ultimate goal will be to read for: 15 hours.

What is on your TBR pile for the Readathon? I always make sure I have a lot of options, because I never know what I’ll be in the mood for. Here are the books I believe I will finish:

Here are some other books I may start or continue reading:

What snacks am I looking forward to? Since I’m going to have an early morning with last minute prepping for the garage sale, I plan on making a 6am run to Billy’s Donuts. It is a donut shop that just opened up in my neighborhood, so I am happy to finally support a new business, which in turn will support my readathon goals (or at least my hunger). I am always up for donuts and kolaches!

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My Readathon TBR Pile

Anyone else participating in the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon? If so, what will you be reading and snacking on? Also, I’ll be happy to cheer you on if you are participating.

HAPPY READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – March 27, 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.

I did not have the best reading week. I keep getting distracted with household projects (trying to prepare my house to participate in the community yard sale in a week and a half), but I started my Spring Reading List and am continuing my David McCullough reads. (See my 2019 A Focus on Authors Reading Challenge). I will soon be starting my Margaret Atwood month! Here’s hoping that this weekend’s #8intwo Readathon will help me catch up a little and get a good start on the beast I have to finish for next week’s book club.

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Off the Clock by Laura Vanderkam – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦

*Click on the title of the book to see my full review.*

Reading Next

Anyone else participating in the #8intwo Readathon this weekend? What are y’all reading now? Please post your WWW links below in the comments if I haven’t already visited them.

HAPPY READING!

 

WWW Wednesdays – March 13, 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.

I am finishing up my Winter Reading List this month but am no where near completing everything on that list. Hopefully I will have better luck with my upcoming Spring Reading List. I am also making my way through some David McCullough reads. (See my 2019 A Focus on Authors Reading Challenge).

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

#HPBuddyRead Readalong: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
IRL Great Books Book Club:  The Odyssey by Homer (translated by Emily Wilson) – book = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
NetGalley ARC: The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson – ebook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
Focus on Authors Reading Challenge: The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦

*Click on the titles for my reviews. A full review of all David McCullough reads this month will be posted at the end of the month.*

Reading Next

Have you read anything by the author David McCullough? If so, what do you think of his writing? What are y’all reading now? Please post your WWW links below in the comments if I haven’t already visited them.

HAPPY READING!!!

WWW Wednesdays – March 6, 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.

I am finishing up my Winter Reading List this month but am no where near completing everything on that list. Hopefully I have better luck with my upcoming Spring Reading List. I just finished reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in February and will be switching to some nonfiction with David McCullough during March. (See my 2019 A Focus on Authors Reading Challenge).

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

Bad Blood by John Carreyrou – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress by Rita Emmett – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren – audiobook = ♦ (This rating reflects a DNF, as this book just wasn’t for me.)
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – book = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

*Click on the titles for my reviews.*

Reading Next

Have you read anything by the author David McCullough? If so, what do you think of his writing? What are y’all reading now? Please post your WWW links below in the comments if I haven’t already visited them.

HAPPY READING!!!