Bout of Books 32 – August 2021


I’ve begun my week of reading with the Bout of Books 32 readathon. My summer is quickly coming to a close, so I thought it would be nice to have some quality reading time before my work load gets unbearable again.

Here is a bit of information about this readathon:

The Bout of Books Readathon was created by Amanda Shofner on a complete whim in August 2011*. People seemed to enjoy it, so Amanda decided to do it again and turn it into a regular occurrence.

Here’s what you should know about us:

    • Bout of Books is a week long readathon, run from midnight Monday (8/16) through midnight Sunday (8/22) in whatever time zone you are in. (Time zones are tough to coordinate, yo.)
    • It’s low pressure, meaning you’re only asked to read. We discourage competition between readers.
    • How much time you want, and can commit, to read, Tweet, Instagram, or otherwise network with fellow readathoners is left up to you. Any challenges and giveaways we host are optional.
    • Networking with fellow readers is actively encouraged, though never required.
    • Use social media to post updates throughout the readathon. Our main presence is on Twitter, where we share information about the readathon throughout the week. We also maintain an active presence on Instagram. We use the #boutofbooks hashtag on both networks.

Here are my goals for the readathon:

  1. Participate in challenges.
  2. Complete book for virtual book club.
  3. Complete 3 additional books.
  4. Read 750 pages.

Here is what I intend to be reading this week:



WWW Wednesdays – October 16, 2019


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.

As of Monday, I officially completed my Goodreads challenge for the year. I couldn’t be happier! I am incredibly amazed that I have read that many books this year and it is only October.

2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
Sarah has
completed her goal of reading
100 books in

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Love Big by Rozella Haydee White – book = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
IRL Book Club: House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski – book = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½
NetGalley ARC: Christmas in Vermont by Anita Hughes – ebook =

*Click on the title of the book to read my full review. I will be posting my House of Leaves review soon.*

Reading Next

What have y’all been reading? How are y’all doing with your 2019 reading goals? Leave a comment or your WWW link below.


WWW Wednesdays – October 2, 2019


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 completed a full month of reading Stephen King (see full review here). Having only read one short story by Stephen King (just last year), I didn’t know what to expect and am shocked at how much I ended up enjoying his work – though not without some nightmares. I will be moving on to reading Shirley Jackson next as part of my Focus on Authors Challenge.

Currently Reading

Recently Finished

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Focus on Authors Challenge: The Shining by Stephen King – ebook =

*Click on the titles for full reviews. The Shining review is part of a full month of reading Stephen King review.*

Reading Next

What are y’all reading? Any plans to read some creepy novels for October?


Fall Reading – 2019

Fall 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 and book club picks. What are y’all reading this fall? Any reads you are most looking forward to? Here is my list:

Book Club Reads

  • Adam Bede by George Eliot
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  • House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danieleweski
  • The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

NetGalley Reads

  • Manhunters by Steve Murphy & Javier F. Pena
  • Christmas in Vermont by Anita Hughes
  • One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski
  • A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell
  • The Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson
  • One Day in December by Josie Silver
  • Tiffany Blues by M.J. Rose

Bookish First

  • The Trouble with Christmas by Amy Andrews


  • Dune by Frank Herbert

2019 Focus on Authors

  • The Body by Stephen King
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  • The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
  • We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah


  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand- audiobook
  • The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich – audiobook
  • The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein – audiobook
  • The Ghosts of Eden Park by Karen Abbott – audiobook
  • The Woman Who Smashed Codes by Jason Fagone – audiobook
  • Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport – audiobook
  • The End of Procrastination by Petr Ludwig – audiobook
  • American Predator by Maureen Callahan – audiobook
  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang – audiobook
  • His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet – audiobook
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson – audiobook
  • Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham – audiobook
  • Force of Nature by Jane Harper – book
  • Love Big by Rozella Haydee White – book


Bout of Books 25 – May 2019

This week I participated in the Bout of Books 25 Readathon. Unfortunately, I had a busy week with work, house renovations, and family visiting, but I still made some time to read, though not as much as I would have liked.

Here are the books I read this week:


Total pages read: 1,069

Posts on Twitter: 10

Posts on Instagram: 7 (participated in the daily Instagram challenge #BoB25IGPhoto)

I am really looking forward to the next one. See below for the dates and hope that you all get to participate as well!

Dates of Next Readathon:

Bout of Books 26
8/19/19 – 8/25/19

WWW Wednesdays – February 20, 2019


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 making some progress on my Winter Reading List my Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reads. (See my 2019 A Focus on Authors Reading Challenge).

Currently Reading

These are all pretty long books, and I’ve been taking a bit more time with them.

Finished Reading

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling – audiobook = ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

*I will have a full review of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie books near the end of February.*

Reading Next

I’ve really been enjoying reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie this month and highly recommend reading her! What are y’all reading now? Please post your WWW links below in the comments if I haven’t already visited them.


WWW Wednesdays – December 19, 2018


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.

This will probably be my last WWW post for at least a couple weeks. I’m heading on a lengthy vacation (my first in a long while). I won’t have a lot of access to WiFi, so hopefully that means that I will have some good quality reading time!

Lately I’ve been enjoying a look back at all the books that I’ve read this year. I compiled My Top 20 Favorite Reads of 2018. I’m also looking forward to the next year of reading with some challenges I intend to work on: Reading the Classics 2018-2022 & A Focus on Authors Reading Challenge. I also have a side list of other books I’m looking forward to reading this year: My Must Read Book List for 2019. I will start making progress these challenges and goals with my Winter Reading list.

Currently Reading

Finished Reading

Going Solo by Roald Dahl – audiobook


I will listen to any audiobook narrated by Dan Stevens. He is an amazing narrator. Plus, who doesn’t love a Roald Dahl book every now and then, but this isn’t a typical Dahl book. This is part of his autobiography series that focuses on his time as a fighter pilot in World War II. 3/5

Killer Classics by Kym Roberts – ebook


Still working my way through my NetGalley backlog (hopefully I can get through more during my upcoming vacation), and this was one that became available to the public earlier this month. While this was a cute cozy read with a main character who has a pet armadillo and says “fuzz buckets” a lot, I was overall disappointed. This story takes place in a small Texan town of Hazel Rock. A woman, named Maddie, is found murdered. Shenanigans occur and the mystery behind Maddie’s murder is brought to a conclusion. Since I am reading this series for the first time and starting on book 5, I am happy to say that the characters were well introduced, and this worked as a standalone story. However, I found the story a bit tedious. I wasn’t sure I really cared about the characters and really wanted to have a story that focused more on the murder mystery. Instead, the book takes the reader through all these side stories, like the armadillo’s boyfriend, who is a skunk that is terrorizing the town, and a character who is running for a Texas Senate seat. Only about 5-10% of the book really had anything to do with the murder. Every time you started to forget about Maddie’s murder, the author would bring in a scene with Maddie’s brother, Tiny, to remind you. It was like the author was trying to distract you from the whole purpose of the story or from figuring out who the killer was. However, no amount of distractions could make you not realize who the murderer was, as it was a random character who wasn’t part of the main group of characters, who kept showing up in different scenes. Also, the killer’s reason for killing the victim seemed to have no backstory to support it. It was a crime of passion, but the reader would have had no knowledge of such a passion existing (unless that was mentioned in one of the previous books in the series). While this story was cute, it lacked the compelling thrill that mysteries are suppose to have. 2.5/5

The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King – audiobook


As soon as I heard that LeVar Burton was the narrator of this book, I had to get it through my Libby app immediately. The audiobook starts by playing the theme song of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. It turns out that I still remember all the words and as the book continues, I also remembered the characters, puppets and topics covered by Mr. Rogers. I never realized what an impact he had on my childhood and millions of other children. In fact, PBS as a whole had a huge impact on my childhood thanks to Fred Rogers, Jim Henson, and LeVar Burton. 3.5/4

Reading Next

Really looking forward to these reads. What have y’all been reading lately? What are you most looking forward to reading in 2019? Please post your WWW links below in the comments if I haven’t visited them yet.


Winter Reading – 2018

20181213_090042The Winter season is almost upon us. I will be continuing to read for my Reading the Classics Challenge and my 2019 Focus on Authors Challenge. This is an ambitious list as my Fall Reading list was (too ambitious), but I am looking forward to all of these. Titles may be added based on book club picks, etc.


NetGalley Reads

  • An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks; Sarah Pekkanen
  • She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge
  • Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal 
  • The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict
  • One Day in December by Josie Silver
  • A Christmas Date by Camilla Isley
  • Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe
  • The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson
  • The Library Book by Susan Orlean


  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Book Club Reads

  • The Odyssey by Homer (translated by Emily Wilson)
  • The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill
  • The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
  • All Systems Red by Martha Wells

2019 Focus on Authors:

  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  • Swing Time by Zadie Smith
  • On Beauty by Zadie Smith
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough
  • The Wright Brothers by David McCullough


  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck


  • As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner – book
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan – book
  • Murder Never Takes a Holiday by Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain – book
  • Skipping Christmas by John Grisham – book
  • Mansfield Park by Jane Austen – ebook
  • A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie – ebook
  • Green River, Running Red by Ann Rule – audiobook
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – audiobook
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling – audiobook
  • The Good Neighbor by Fred Rogers – audiobook
  • The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Megan Mullally & Nick Offerman – audiobook
  • My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh – audiobook
  • The Coldest Winter by David Halberstam – audiobook
  • The Radium Girls by Kate Moore – audiobook
  • Hillbily Elegy by J.D. Vance – audiobook
  • Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik – audiobook
  • Missoula by Jon Krakauer – audiobook
  • Hunger by Roxane Gay – audiobook
  • The Daily Show by Chris Smith & Jon Stewart – audiobook
  • Lab Girl by Hope Jahren – audiobook


What’s on your TBR for the winter season? Any recommendations?

My Must Read Book List for 2019


What books do you want to read in 2019? Here is the list of books I would like to read in 2019:

  1. There There by Tommy Orange
  2. The Castle on Sunset by Shawn Levy
  3. Into the Woods by Tana French
  4. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware 
  5. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  6. Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
  7. The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict
  8. The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon
  9. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
  10. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

However, these listed are not the only books I will read this year…hopefully, as I will also be continuing my progress on the Reading the Classics Challenge and a Focus on Authors Reading Challenge. Still feel free to send me recommendations of books you have loved or are looking forward to in 2019 – both old and new.

A Focus on Authors Reading Challenge


While listening to an episode of the What Should I Read Next podcast, Anne Bogel had a guest on her show that was focusing on reading one author a month. I would like to challenge myself in 2019 to do the same. I have a lot of books on my TBR shelf that are by certain authors that I haven’t read or have read very little. I have made a list of authors I would like to read with a few book titles to choose from. I don’t expect to read all of the following books, as I have other books to read for book clubs, etc., but I feel this will at least help me become a bit more familiar with authors I keep hearing so much about.

January: Zadie Smith

  • White Teeth
  • On Beauty
  • Swing Time
  • Feel Free: Essays
  • The Embassy of Cambodia

February: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (I thought this would be a good pick for African-American History Month)

  • Americanah
  • We Should All Be Feminists
  • Half of a Yellow Sun
  • Purple Hibiscus
  • Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

March: David McCullough

  • The Johnstown Flood
  • John Adams
  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris
  • The Wright Brothers
  • The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal 1870-1914

April: Margaret Atwood 

  • Oryx and Crake
  • Blind Assassin
  • Alias Grace
  • Stone Mattress
  • The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus

May: Kurt Vonnegut

  • Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Galapagos
  • Breakfast of Champions
  • Welcome to the Monkey House
  • Interview w/ Kurt Vonnegut

June: Agatha Christie (I’ve actually read a handful of her mystery novels, but there are so many more I would like to read)

  • Murder is Easy
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles
  • The A.B.C. Murders
  • Murder in Mesopotamia
  • Agatha Christie: A Mysterious Life

July: Bill Bryson

  • Notes from a Small Island
  • The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain
  • Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe
  • Bill Bryson’s African Diary
  • One Summer

August: Rainbow Rowell

  • Fangirl
  • Attachments
  • Landline
  • Carry On
  • Almost Midnight

September: Stephen King (I read my first ever Stephen King in 2018 and enjoyed it enough that I want to read more)

  • Apt Pupil
  • Christine
  • The Body
  • On Writing
  • The Shining

October: Shirley Jackson

  • The Haunting of Hill House
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle
  • The Lottery
  • Dark Tales 
  • Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life

November: Neil Gaiman

  • American Gods
  • Coraline
  • Neverwhere
  • The Graveyard Book
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane

December: Kristin Hannah

  • The Nightingale
  • The Great Alone
  • Fly Away
  • Winter Garden
  • Night Road

I am really looking forward to diving into these works by these amazing authors! What are your favorite authors? If I continue this reading challenge in future years, what authors should be on my list?