Summer Reads

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As the official start of summer is fast approaching, I have decided to make a list of books that have been on the top of my TBR list for a long time that I want to complete this summer.

  1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
  2. A Tale of Two Murders by Heather Redmond (ARC)
  3. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  4. The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
  5. The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis (ARC)
  6. Roomies by Christina Lauren
  7. Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge
  8. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
  9. Tiffany Blues by M. J. Rose (ARC)
  10. Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

I’m hoping to continue reading for my monthly book clubs as well, but the above list is my priority. What is on your summer reading list? Any recommendations?

 

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Completed My First BoB Readathon

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As part of my attempt to continue my reading life while working a full-time demanding position, I decided to try to participate in as many readathons, readalongs and book club meetups as I could. I am happy I found the Bout of Books readathon. This was a week-long readathon.

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My main goal for this readathon (stated in this previous post) was to read 700 pages (an average of 100 a day). On a normal day, I tend to read an average of about 50 pages a day, so I thought this was going to be a real challenge, but I surprisingly accomplished this goal without a problem. I actually read a total of 962 pages and completed 2 books (see picture above). I also have started and made progress in The Dry by Jane Harper, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby and An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (see picture below).

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I had the privilege of attending a book talk and signing event for one of the books that I read during this readathon. Paula McLain, well-known author of The Paris Wife, came to my local independent bookstore to discuss her new book Love and Ruin, another historical fiction about one of Hemingway’s wives and their love affair. Here are some pictures from the event:

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Overall, I had a fantastic week of reading. It was just what I needed to help me catch up with my reading backlog, prepare for upcoming book clubs and relax before a very stressful work period. Bout of Books will be hosting another readathon in August, so maybe I’ll see y’all then.

Until the next readathon….

Bout of Books 22 – May 2018

As part of my plan to keep up my reading life, while adjusting to a new full-time (a bit stressful) job, I have decided to participate in as many readalongs and readathons as possible (on top of the few book clubs I attend). So even though I just participated in Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon a couple weeks ago (see my post here), I’m excited to continue my new trend with the Bout of Books read-a-thon, which begins tomorrow .

Here is an official description of this read-a-thon:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 14th and runs through Sunday, May 20th 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 22 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I intend to at read at least 700 pages. These will be the books I hope to read (or at least start) during that time:

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HAPPY READING!!!!

 

Completed Another 24-hour Readathon!

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Another Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon has come and gone. As always, it was so much fun! I was even so fortunate as to get to take my reading outside for a bit this time (see above photo). As I mentioned in my previous post, I had already decided not to attempt the full 24 hours. It just takes too much out of me, and with a new job, I just don’t have the same recovery time. However, I still read for almost 20 hours and that was more than expected.

So…how did i do on my readathon goals? Let’s find out:

  • I want to read for at least 15 hours today. I actually read for 19 1/2 hours.
  • I want to complete 3 books. I did in fact complete 3 books (2 physical books and 1 audiobook).
  • I want to read at least 600 pages. I read 650 pages.
  • I want to complete at least 8 mini-challenges. I did complete 8 mini-challenges.

HOORAY! I accomplished all my readathon goals! Now let’s get to the fun part…this is what I read:

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I had a bit of a true crime theme going. After finishing The Road to Jonestown and then I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. I became a bit paranoid in the dark, so reading something light like the classic Charlotte’s Web was necessary. SPOILER: However, was it really necessary for E. B. White to actually mention that Charlotte died all alone?!!! It was already implied. Why state it?! Made it not just sad but depressing.

Anyway, while I enjoyed the audiobook of The Road to Jonestown, it was very long…17 1/2 hours long. I listened to at least 7 hours of that yesterday. I admit I knew very little about Jim Jones and the Peoples’ Temple, but I feel this book had way too much detail. There were so many characters mentioned that I could not keep them all straight, but I guess in the end that didn’t matter, because (Spoiler again but I feel like we know this one) most of them died in the end.

My most anticipated read and my favorite was Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. I put this down a month ago to finish some book club reads, however, with the recent news about the Golden State Killer (GSK), I felt it was necessary to go back to it. So glad I did, but boy was it horrifying. A bit of wisdom to those who haven’t read it yet – don’t read it right before bed or in the dark by yourself. I so wish that guy was caught 40 years ago, but I am happy that he will at least rot in prison for the rest of his days. I’m really glad that McNamara and many California detectives did not give up their search for the GSK. People say their decades-long search was an obsession, but I think it was necessary. I just really wish McNamara would have lived to see the GSK caught.

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I did also start an ARC of Paula McLain’s Love and Ruin (see picture above). I’m only a little bit into it right now but am loving it so far. It comes out for the public on Tuesday (May 1st).

I did have a difficult time with this readathon. There were too many 20180428_092722distractions (see picture on the right that shows my two awesome garage sale purchases from the community garage sale). I hope to avoid these distractions next time. I also didn’t do a great job of preparing my cozy reading nook with everything accessible. My organization left much to be desired. However, I think the leaders of this readathon did a fantastic job. The option to do mini-challenges at any point during the 24 hours was a much nicer solution. Mini-challenges use to disrupt my reading zone now I can do them as a break between books. I will admit though that I didn’t even look at the readathon scavenger hunt. Maybe next time.

Hopefully I’ll be doing the 24-hour readathon again October 20, 2018! Until then….

HAPPY READING!

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Completed My 3rd 24 Hour Readathon!

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.”

~Albert Einstein

Well Mr. Einstein, while I respect your accomplishments and achievements, this time I am going to bask in my SUCCESS!!!!! For the first time, since I started participating in the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon a couple of years ago, I have successfully made it through the whole 24 hours of reading! When I have slept a bit maybe then I can be a person of value. Right now though, I can barely function enough to get myself to bed. That is what participating in this challenge can do, but it is marvelous!

I have also completed the two other reading goals I had set up for myself. I have completed 4 books in print (started a 5th one) and 1 audiobook. I have also hit my goal of reading at least 700 pages. That is a record for me in one day, especially with all the fun mini-challenges and social media postings to distract me. Picking an audiobook was a great idea. It helped me be able to get up and move around a bit and keep my eyes fresh.

Closing Survey:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? This was an exhausting 24 hours. However, I believe Hour 22 was the worst. My house was too quiet and dark. Luckily, I was able to make some coffee.
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a reader engaged for next year? I would stick to humor (books by Amy Poehler and Anna Kendrick were my favorite), mysteries (such as Agatha Christie novels) or children’s novels (Roald Dahl books or Harry Potter).
3. List books completed:

  • High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
  • How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen
  • The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
  • Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling (audiobook)
  • The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
  • Started: Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

To be honest, I don’t love any of these books (excluding Tuck Everlasting). I might recommend The Strange Library. Murakami’s books are always so unique.

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While I am obviously thrilled to have made it the full 24 hours, I am not intending to do that in the future. However, I am still looking forward to participating next time – maybe for 18 hours instead. I am grateful for all the support I got from family, friends, coworkers, and fellow readathoners. See you next time!!!

 

24-Hour Readathon Halfway Point

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We are officially 12 hours into the Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. It has been a gloomy day, which might inspire more reading, but gloomy days always make me tired, so I am definitely more exhausted than last time. I am still going strong though. I’ve finished 2 books and read about 300 pages. I’ve also completed 8 mini-challenges and was very active (if not too active) on social media. My audiobook was a good idea to help me get up and walk every now and then. My snacks have also treated me well. I am looking forward to opening the Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked ice cream after dinner.

One of the many things I love about participating in the readathon is alIMG_20170429_133602_967l the fun mini-challenges you get to participate in. For example, check out my awesome book face on the right. Surprisingly, that is the first time that I’ve ever done something like that. However, my goal for the next 12 hours (besides staying awake) is to not be overly distracted by the mini-challenges and social media. I want to get through more of my TBR pile. This is going to be difficult, because the later the hour the harder it is to keep my eyes focused when they really want to sleep. Thank God for large print books!

Here’s to the next 12 hours! My Weekend is All Booked!

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