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….

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WWW Wednesdays – May 16, 2018

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

I decided as part of Bout of Books challenge week, I would also join in on 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.

Currently Reading

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

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I am halfway into this novel by Paula McLain, author most known for The Paris Wife. I admittedly own The Paris Wife but have not read it yet. I received Love and Ruin from NetGalley. This book is about Martha Gellhorn’s life and especially her love affair with Ernest Hemingway. From the start of this story, you immediately feel engrossed in Martha’s life and her ambitions. You feel the Spanish War like you are there observing the shelling of Madrid with Gellhorn, Hemingway, and others. I am very invested to find out what the second part of this story has in store for me. I am also excited to have an opportunity to see Paula McLain present this book in a couple of days at my local independent bookstore, Brazos Bookstore.

 Recently Finished

In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

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I just finished listening to the audiobook narration of Bill Bryson’s In A Sunburned Country. It is a memoir of his travels in Australia. I personally love travel memoirs, and no one quite does it as well as Bill Bryson in my opinion. His mix of history, culture and sarcastic humor keeps you entertained for hours. I think almost everyone would enjoy this adventure story unless you are from Canberra, love cricket and/or work at the hotel where Bryson stated that he would “sooner have bowel surgery in the woods with a stick” than ever stay there again. I’m ready to hop on a plane to Australia right now!

Next Read

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

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I will be reading An American Marriage by Tayari Jones for local book club. It was published this year, and I’ve read a lot of positive reviews. I’m very excited to get started on this one.

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:

COMPLETED

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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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24-Hour Readathon Begins! April 2018

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It’s that time!!!! Time for the semi-annual Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon!!!!  As always I’m20180428_070019 super excited and ready to go! I’ve got my TBR pile (see photo above), snacks and clothing (see photo off to the right) all prepared. This is officially my 4th time doing the readathon. I do not anticipate making it the full 24 hours like I did the last time I participated, but I am geared up to get some good reading in that will help me achieve my yearly reading goals. Speaking of goals, here are my goals for this readathon:

  • I want to read for at least 15 hours today.
  • I want to complete 3 books.
  • I want to read at least 600 pages.
  • I want to complete at least 8 mini-challenges.

If you have never participated in this readathon before, I would recommend that you try it! It’s so much fun!

Here is my first read of the day:

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HAPPY READING!!!!

24 in 48 Readathon

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I joined a book-related social media app called Litsy about five months ago. Through this app I’ve discovered so many community-based activities for booklovers, and that includes learning about the 24 in 48 Readathon, where you read for 24 hours out of 48 hours on January 27-28th, 2018. I’ve participated in Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, and thought this readathon seemed a bit more doable, since this readathon allows some sleep time. The other cool thing about this readathon is that it provided a lot of free giveaways. It appeared that many book-related companies and publishers donated prizes. While I was not fortunate enough to win anything, it was still fun to try.

The above photo was my stack of books and an audiobook to prepare for the 24 in 48 Readathon. Here is my ongoing status reports throughout my 24 hours of reading:

I did manage to complete this readathon. To summarize what I accomplished during the 24 in 48 Readathon, I completed the following books:

  • News of the World by Paulette Jiles
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  • Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris

I also listened to more than six hours of this audiobook:

  • The Serial Killer Whisperer by Pete Earley

This was a fun way to work toward any reading goals that you may have given yourself for 2018. Plus, you get to do it with a community of people just like you, who don’t mind spending their weekends mostly reading.

ROCKED IT!!!!

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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!!!