Category Archives: readathon

Bout of Books TBR!

Grab button for Bout of Books

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, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th 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 24 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

It’s time for one of my favorite readathons, Bout of Books! I love this readathon because it always coincides with the beginning of the new year, and acts as a great way to jump-start my yearly reading. Since it’s a week long, I generally can finish several books, and it’s often a way for me to pick up anticipated new releases or shorter books that have been on my TBR for awhile. Keeping that in mind, here’s my TBR for this round of Bout of Books!

Physical books:

In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children, #4)How Long 'til Black Future Month?Rabbit CakeThe Strange Bird: A Borne StoryPoison: Fairy Tales 1A Portable Shelter

With readathons, I generally like to start with a big, unrealistically tall stack of physical books that I might be in the mood for, so that I won’t have any issues with indecisiveness or reading slumps. This time, I’ve got a good variety of mostly shorter books, short stories, and novellas to pick from.

I was lucky enough to win an ARC of In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire in an Instagram giveaway, and I’m planning on reading it on the first day of Bout of Books, since its release day is January 8th. It’s a novella, so it’s short, and I already know I love this series, so I think it’ll be a good way to kick things off. I also have a short story collection (How Long Til Black Future Month) by one of my favorite authors, N.K. Jemisin, on my list, since short stories can help break things up during the week, and another novella, The Strange Bird by Jeff Vandermeer, who is another favorite. And then I have a few more random shorter reads: Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett, which I started on a whim this week; A Portable Shelter by Kirsty Logan, author of The Gracekeepers; and Poison by Sarah Pinborough, a Snow White retelling.

Audiobooks:

Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her SuperpowerBad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

I’m currently in the middle of listening to Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper, which has been highly recommended by just about everybody and which I chose as my first audiobook of 2019, but it’s not super long (about 7 hours) so I also wanted to choose a backup. I’m currently first in line in my library holds list for Bad Blood by John Carreyrou, which is about the Theranos scandal and which I’ve heard recommended a ton also, particularly on the Book Riot podcasts.

ebooks:

Girl Made of Stars

It’s always good to have an ebook option during a readathon, since when I’m out running errands or something it can be nice to have a book on my phone to check out when I have a few minutes to spare. So I checked out Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake from my library after seeing it recommended as my favorite booktuber’s favorite book of 2018.

 

Are you participating in Bout of Books?

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon Wrap-Up

That’s a wrap on another round of Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon! I’m pretty late with this wrap-up post, and I don’t even have a good excuse–the week just got crazy and before I knew it, it’s a week later.

As usual, I really enjoyed participating in the readathon. It’s such a nice idea to take a day-long break from regular adulting and dedicate your time fully to books and talking about books. As far as readathons go, it wasn’t my best and it wasn’t my worst; I’ve definitely had readathons where I’ve read much more in terms of page count than this one, and I was pretty burnt out from a crazy week at work, but I really enjoyed the books I read and had fun challenging myself to keep reading even when on another day I’d have stopped to get other things done.

Here’s my wrap-up survey:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Hour 12. I was about halfway done with my second book and just felt like I hit a wall in terms of energy levels; I’m usually a night owl, but I started doubting that I’d be able to stay up late at all and felt my motivation flagging. I was able to get past it by taking a break to work out, which is usually a good way to wake myself up, and then I felt much better.

2. Tell us ALLLLL the books you read!

I finished 2 books, Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl (327 pages) and A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain by Adrianne Harun (254 pages). I also listened to about an hour and a half of the audiobook of Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand and read a bunch of My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris (it’s choose-your-own-adventure style so I have no idea how many pages i read).

3. Which books would you recommend to other Read-a-thoners?

Neverworld Wake turned out to be a perfect readathon pick since it’s so weird and claustrophobic, with a mystery at its center, that it’s the type of book that’s best read in one sitting. I also thought that My Lady’s Choosing was a fantastic readathon pick due to its unconventional choose-your-own-adventure format and light tone.

4. What’s a really rad thing we could do during the next Read-a-thon that would make you happy?

I don’t know!

5. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? Would you be interested in volunteering to help organize and prep?

I’ll definitely participate in the next readathon, and check out how I can help volunteer!

 

Did any of you participate in this round of Dewey’s? How did your readathon go?

Dewey’s Readathon Updates & Mid-Event Survey

We’re more than halfway through the readathon already! Here are my hour 12 updates:

1. What are you reading right now?

I’m reading A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain by Adrianne Harun and listening to Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand.

2. How many books have you read so far?

So far I’ve finished one book, Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl, which I really enjoyed and gave 4 stars. I’ve also listened to about an hour of the audiobook of Sawkill Girls and am almost halfway done with Mountain.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

I think that after I finish A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain, I’m going to lighten the mood by reading some choose-your-own-adventure stories in My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

I took an unintentional nap a few hours ago; I’m feeling super tired today as it was an intense week at work. I then drank a bunch of coffee to wake myself back up and rally for the second half of the readathon. I also took a break to go to the gym, since it was rainy all day and I didn’t end up taking an audiobook walk .

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

It’s going by so fast! It’s already 8pm my time as I’m writing this update. I never make it the full 24 hours, and I’m trying to figure out how late I can stay up without throwing off my sleep schedule too much.

 

Hope everyone participating is enjoying their readathon as well!

Dewey’s Readathon TBR

It’s that time of year again! October means colder, rainier, more reading-friendly weather, candles, my famous pumpkin chili, spookiness and all things Halloween, and another round of Dewey’s 24-hour readathon.

If you’re a fellow bookish person and you’ve never heard of Dewey’s, check out the site here. It’s a twice-yearly readathon where the purported goal is to read for a full 24 hours–but don’t worry, most of us don’t make it to nearly that much. Essentially, it’s a day of reading as much as you can while connecting with fellow book lovers. You can post as much as you want on social media, enter a bunch of challenges, or just be a hermit all day and devote  yourself to books. Either way, it’s super fun and a great way to treat yourself on a Saturday. Dewey’s takes place this Saturday, October 20th, and it starts at a different time depending on what time zone you’re in; on the East Coast of the U.S., where I am, the readathon starts at 8 a.m. (although I almost never actually start reading that early).

One of my favorite parts of Dewey’s is, oddly, the planning. I like to think about what books to read in advance, because if you’re going to spend a day binge-reading, you’ll burn out fast if you try to read books that are too slow or complex (or at least I do!). I find that what works best for me are books with alternative formats (books that have text interspersed with images, interviews, documents, etc; think Illuminae or Night Film), short books (I like Tor.com novellas in particular), YA (you’re looking for a book that’s absorbing without being too strenuous to read, especially later in the day when you’re getting tired), and thrillers (because they’re gripping and fast-paced; I recommend Kanae Minato‘s books for the readathon). Keeping those things in mind, here’s my readathon TBR!

Neverworld WakeThe Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & MagicSawkill Girls

For YA books this time, I’ve come up with two: Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl and The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths and Magic by F.T. Lukens. Neverworld Wake is one that’s been highly recommended but I don’t know too much about–and I’d kind of like to keep it that way, since it’s a strange concept that I think involves time travel and purgatory and a murder investigation. Rules and Regulations is one that I picked up at BookCon; I think it’s a contemporary fantasy. And then I have the audiobook of Sawkill Girls by Clarie Legrand, because it’s good to have an audiobook option to give your eyes a break.

The Strange Bird: A Borne StoryThe End We Start FromA Portable ShelterA Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain

In terms of shorter books, I think I’ve found a few that will work for the readathon. I love Jeff Vandermeer, and I’m hoping to pick up his novella The Strange Bird, which is a companion to his novel Borne (which is fantastic, btw) when I’m in the mood for a shorter read during the readathon. Vandermeer writes weird fiction, and I’m interested to see an alternate perspective on Borne’s story, since the world he created in that book is so rich with detail and opportunity for further exploration. I also have on deck Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From, which is a short, sparsely written apocalyptic novel set while its main characters are fleeing a flooded London; A Portable Shelter by Kirsty Logan, which I believe also has short stories, and A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain by Adrianne Harun, which is sort of a creepy fantastical mystery.

My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance NovelEmpire of Sand (The Books of Ambha)

To mix things up, I also have a choose-your-own-adventure style book, My Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris, that I think might be fun to pick up when I’m feeling sleepy or distracted; it’s not a book that you read straight through, but you can play around with different storylines. It’s sort of an interactive romance novel that also parodies historical romances. And then to round out my stack, I have an ARC of Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri that I got at BookCon, because it’s a book that I need to read before its release date in November.

Are any of you participating in Dewey’s? If so, I hope you enjoy the readathon!

Bout of Books Wrap-Up and Day 7 Updates

So, that’s a wrap on another round of Bout of Books! I’m a little behind schedule with this wrap-up, but better to post late than never. I’d say that I enjoyed this round of the readathon quite a bit; it maybe wasn’t as successful as some have been in the past, but all that really matters is that you read and have a good time.

First of all, here are my Day 7 stats:

Books started: The Only Harmless Great Thing

Books finished: None

Pages read: 110 pages of Circe, 23 pages of The Only Harmless Great Thing

Audiobook time: 53 minutes of No Time to Spare

The Only Harmless Great ThingCirceNo Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters

As you can see, I definitely got a good chunk of reading done on Sunday, in between getting brunch with a friend, going on an audio walk down by the waterfront, and getting ready for the week, but I wasn’t able to finish any more books. I definitely could have pushed myself and finished The Only Harmless Great Thing, since it’s a 90-something page novella, but I just wasn’t in the right mood.

And here are my stats for the readathon overall:

Total books finished: 2

Total pages read: 865

Total audiobook time: 1 hour 33 minutes

 

I’ll definitely be looking forward to the next round of the readathon, which goes from January 7-13th!

Bout of Books Updates: Days 4, 5, and 6

So, I won’t lie, Bout of Books has gone a little off track for me over the course of the week. I unexpectedly had an INSANE week at work and stayed later than anticipated every day except Friday. Because of this, I generally haven’t been reading as much as I’d wanted to, and my updates here and on Instagram have been more sporadic than I’d intended as well. That being said, I’m still glad to be breaking out of the reading slump I’ve been in for the past few weeks and have been enjoying my book picks for the readathon.

On Thursday (day 4), I was able to read little bits of a few books over the course of the day, but was having trouble focusing on anything for two long. Two of those were books I’d already started (Circe by Madeline Miller and Roomies by Christina Lauren), but I also read the first few pages of Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn, a science fiction book that I thought might help with my reading indecision. And then on Friday (day 5), my reading somehow was even less impressive; on my commute home from work I finally started the audio of No Time to Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin, but didn’t get any other reading done because I had dinner and drinks after work for a friend’s birthday. I had a lot of fun; the food and drinks were amazing, and the restaurant is part of a hotel that’s actually in a beautiful, almost castle-like building that used to be an asylum.

Saturday (day 5) I actually was able to get a not-embarassing amount of reading done, and I finished another book! I ended up feeling lukewarm about the book that I finished, Roomies; it was a fun, quick read, but I definitely had some issues with both of the main characters. Then, I dove into Circe for a bit as well, and got to 1/4 of the way through, which is a fair start if I’m still going to try and finish it by the end of the month. And then I took a break from reading to go out for tapas and spend time with my family.

RoomiesBannerless (The Bannerless Saga #1)CirceNo Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters

Here are my stats for the past few days:

Day 4

Books started: Bannerless

Books finished: None

Pages read: 7 pages of Bannerless, 11 pages of Roomies, 22 pages of Circe

Audiobook time: None

Day 5

Books started: No Time to Spare

Books finished: None

Pages read: None

Audiobook time: 10 minutes of No Time to Spare

Day 6

Books started: None

Books finished: Roomies

Pages read: 169 pages of Roomies, 52 pages of Circe

Audiobook time: 30 minutes of No Time to Spare

 

I hope everyone participating is enjoying Bout of Books!

Bout of Books Days 1, 2, and 3 Updates

Bout of Books is underway, and I’m really glad to be getting out of my reading slump and actually finding some books that I’m excited to read. So far, I’ve only finished one book, but more importantly, I’ve been really enjoying what I’m reading. Life-wise, it hasn’t been a super eventful week so far; I worked long days both Monday and Tuesday but was off on Wednesday, and I used my off day mainly to do some errands, clean, and work out, although I did also finally watch the movie Love, Simon, which was adorable. Despite getting home fairly late, I did get a decent amount of reading done on Monday, but Tuesday was way less impressive. And on Wednesday, I got a bunch of reading done and was able to finish my first book of the readathon!

So, remember the very lovely TBR that I made for the readathon? After I figured out what I thought I wanted to read, I immediately lost interest in all of the books in my stack, in a classic mood reader move. So then I needed to figure out something that I was actually in the mood to read. I went with Bellwether by Connie Willis, who has been an author that has busted reading slumps for me before, since her books tend to be funny and chaotic character-driven science fiction. Bellwether is actually set in the early 90’s and follows a sociologist/statistician researching the origins of different fads who works her way towards a scientific breakthrough with the help of a herd of sheep and a chaos theorist. This was the book I finished on Wednesday since it’s short (247 pages) and I ended up really loving it and giving it a solid 4 stars.

Also, while browsing my library’s Overdrive app I decided to check out Roomies by Christina Lauren, which is a contemporary romance that I’d heard about on BookTube, and was also recommended to me on Litsy after I read The Hating Game. It’s about a young woman living in New York whose uncle is the composer of the current “it” Broadway musical, and who meets a street musician who would be perfect for a part in the orchestra. Unfortunately, he’s in the country on an expired visa, but she decides that he’s so essential to the production that she marries him to get him a green card. I’m assuming that they then fall in love, since this is a romance, after all. It’s definitely cute so far, and I can see myself picking up more from this author.

BellwetherRoomies

Here are my stats for the first three days of Bout of Books:

Day 1

Books started: Bellwether, Roomies

Books finished: None

Pages read: 87 pages of Bellwether, 29 pages of Roomies

Audiobook time: None

Day 2

Books started: None

Books finished: None

Pages read: 8 pages of Bellwether, 15 pages of Roomies (eek, not great)

Audiobook time: None

Day 3

Books started: None

Books finished: Bellwether

Pages read:  152 pages of Bellwether,  180 pages of Roomies

Audiobook time: None

Weirdly, I haven’t yet started an audiobook, which is usually a key part of readathons for me, nor have I picked up the novella I thought I’d reach for first. It hasn’t been a typical start to a readathon, but since I’ve been reading more than normal and really enjoying the books I chose, I’d say it’s been pretty successful so far.

 

How is Bout of Books going for you? Do you tend to read more or less than expected during readathons?