Tag Archives: bout of books

May TBR (Lots of Readathons!) and Musings

For the past few months, with everything going on in the world, I’ve been finding it more helpful to mood-read rather than to set TBRs. Reading has been an incredible source of stress relief, particularly as it’s been a cold and rainy spring, and leaving my apartment to walk or hike in a non-crowded area isn’t always possible. And I’d like to continue to focus on reading as a source of distraction as we shift into May and uncertainty regarding when and if regulations will start to relax in different parts of the country.

For the past month or so, I’ve been working part-time; I work in the healthcare field, and where I work we’re still seeing emergent and urgent patients but not routine ones, so the majority of our staff has been furloughed temporarily. I’m lucky to still have a job, even if it’s only part-time, and eventually, once social distancing recommendations start to relax, things will become extremely busy as we build our patient schedules back up. For that reason, May is a bit nebulous, and I’m not really sure what to expect: I might be working relatively little the first two weeks and working overtime the next two, but I might not. I was thinking that having some structure and plans for my reading life might help counterbalance the uncertainty in my professional life; I could be wrong, and relapse into mood-reading again, but I think that some readathons sound great right about now.

So, what readathons are happening in May?

First of all, there’s the Medievalathon, hosted by Holly Hearts Books, which is structured similarly to the O.W.L.s readathon I participated in in April, where you read books that count toward specific tasks, and those tasks translate into imaginary attributes. With Medievalathon, you’re reading to outfit yourself with Middle Ages garb, weaponry, and an animal companion, as well as challenging yourself to read as many books as possible to attain a higher rank, up to Emperor/Empress. For me, this type of readathon works as sort of a fun aside to my reading; I rarely would pick up a book purposely to fulfill a prompt, but I enjoy seeing how books I’ve read fit into the categories as my reading progresses throughout the month.

Then there’s Tome Topple, hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes,  one of my favorite readathons to participate in, where your goal is to read books over 500 pages long over the course of 2 weeks. I think, like with the last round of Tome Topple that I participated in in Feb, I’d like to aim to read one YA tome (Kingsbane by Claire Legrand) and one adult tome (Possession by A. S. Byatt), although it’s possible I may also try to read Aurora Burning by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman (in which I’d also probably re-read Aurora Rising, the first book in that series, which does not count for the readathon. We’ll see.)

Kingsbane (Empirium, #2)Possession (Definitely)

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1)Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2) (maybe)

I tend to have good success with Tome Topple; it’s a great motivator for me to pick up some of my more giant books that might otherwise seem intimidating. Tome Topple lasts from May 9-22.

I’m also planning on participating in Bout of Books, a week-long readathon that always tends to boost my reading productivity. I won’t be setting a specific TBR for that one until closer to its start date.

Grab button for Bout of Books

The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th in YOUR time zone. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are daily challenges, Twitter chats, and exclusive Instagram challenges, but they’re all completely optional. For Bout of Books 28 information and updates, visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

And then I’m also setting a challenge for myself that’s not exactly a specific readathon: I want to try to read as many of my Book of the Month books as possible in May. It’s not because I’m necessarily overwhelmed at being behind on my picks, but just because there are a lot of them that I’m extremely excited about and am kicking myself for not having read yet. I’m definitely planning to read Normal People by Sally Rooney and Beach Read by Emily Henry, but I’ll probably try to pick up a few more as well, depending on how the month is going.

Normal PeopleBeach Read (Definitely)

Gods of Jade and ShadowQueenieTrick Mirror: Reflections on Self-DelusionWriters & Lovers (maybe)

 

I hope that everyone is doing okay, and staying safe, and I’m sending good thoughts to you all. Let me know in the comments if any of you are joining in on all of the May readathons.

Bout of Books Readathon Wrap-Up: Kicking off 2020 Reading!

 

So, that’s a wrap on my first readathon of 2020! I always really love participating in Bout of Books, the round in January in particular, as I do feel that it works well for reading motivation and inspiration, and this time was no different. Despite a fairly busy week, I managed to read a bunch and listen to a lot via audiobook as well, even if there’s always more I could have read. In addition to reading, this round of Bout of Books involved a fairly hectic work week, including one late night at the office that resulted in me reading only one page that day (hey, any reading is still good!); going to see Little Women, which I absolutely adored; doing three escape-room type experiences at 5 Wits; getting my hair done; and getting in some gym time. I’ve had busier weeks, but I did spend the majority of my weekend with friends and family, in addition to working a lot, so I didn’t read quite as much as I’d expected to (but I feel like that’s pretty standard for me for most readathons!), but I’m definitely happy with how it went overall.

 

Grab button for Bout of Books

 

Here are my Bout of Books stats!

Books finished: The A.I. Who Loved Me by Alyssa Cole (scifi romance audiobook), Life of the Party by Olivia Gatwood (poetry collection), Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire (portal fantasy)

The A.I. Who Loved MeLife of the PartyCome Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

 

Books read, but not finished: Wolf Gone Wild by Juliette Cross (paranormal romance), Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin (YA fantasy romance), Catch & Kill by Ronan Farrow (nonfiction), Followers by Megan Angelo (near-future literary science fiction)

Wolf Gone WildSerpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect PredatorsFollowers

 

Pages read: 147 pages of Life of the Party, 206 pages of Come Tumbling Down, 47 pages of Serpent & Dove, 30 pages of Followers, 28% of Wolf Gone Wild (eARC with no page numbers)

Audiobook time: 1.5 hours of The A.I. Who Loved Me,  7.5 hours of Catch and Kill

 

Did you participate in Bout of Books? How did your readathon go? Feel free to link me to your wrap-up!

January/Bout of Books TBR!

 

Since I’m still working on all of my end of 2019 posts (the stats in particular tend to take me a little while to put together), I’m going to go ahead and start looking ahead to my 2020 reading. And, of course, the best way to kick off a reading year is with a fun, low-pressure readathon, in this case Bout of Books, which takes place from January 6th to the 12th. I have a lot of books I’m hoping to pick up in January, including several ARCs, and I’d also love to start the year strong with a 5-star read, so let’s take a look at what I have on my 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 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, Twitter chats, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 27 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

 

FollowersIn the Dream House: A MemoirCome Tumbling Down (Wayward Children, #5)Life of the Party

In terms of physical books, I have one upcoming ARC left from BookExpo (Followers by Megan Angelo) which comes out on January 14th and deals with the present and future implications of social media and celebrity culture; I’m also hoping to pick up a 2020 new release (Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire, the 5th book in the portal fantasy Wayward Children series) that comes out on the 7th. I’m also thinking that I’d like to pick up one of my 5-star predictions for the year, In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado, a memoir by the author of past favorite Her Body and Other Parties, and a poetry collection I’ve been hearing some buzz about, Life of the Party, by a new-to-me author, Olivia Gatwood.

Wolf Gone WildThe Stars We Steal

And then I also have two eARCs of upcoming releases via NetGalley: Wolf Gone Wild by Juliette Cross, a paranormal romance featuring witches and werewolves, and The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne, a YA scifi romance that’s described as Jane Austen’s Persuasion meets The Bachelor.

I’m not sure what I’m going to pick up during Bout of Books versus the rest of the month, but I’m hoping to start 2020 with some great reads. Are any of these on your TBR? If anyone else is participating in Bout of Books, feel free to leave a link to your TBR in the comments, I’d love to see what you’re all reading!

Bout of Books TBR!

Grab button for Bout of BooksThe 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 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, Twitter chats, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 25 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

 

I’m reading slumping again, so you know what that means–it’s time for a readathon!

There’s been a lot going on in my non-bookish life, and sometimes stress will very much start to negatively impact my reading life. Conversely, I know that reading is one of the things that helps decrease my stress levels, so sometimes when I’m stressed the best thing to do is actually to just double down and force myself to read more than I normally would. (This happens with writing, too. More on that later.)

I even set a TBR for May hoping that this would help me focus, but it’s not, partially because two of the three books on that TBR I’m kinda hating and considering DNF-ing. So I think that for now I really need to switch gears for a bit and use Bout of Books, a readathon I’m a huge fan of and have participated in many times in the past, as a way to motivate me to actually make some good things happen reading-wise. I’ll be putting the books I’m not liking on hold and instead picking up some highly anticipated 2019 releases, ARCs, and short stories. Let’s do this!

So, here’s what I’m going to focus on reading for Bout of Books:

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1)Mouthful of BirdsKingdom of Exiles (The Beast Charmer, #1)

Ebooks: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (which I’m currently reading and really loving, since it’s a little Six of Crows-in-space-esque), Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Maritneau (eARC, thank you so much to Avon Books Casa, which comes out in June).

Physical books: Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin (short story collection by an author whose previous book I loved, also a 2019 new release), and possibly either a physical ARC (The Fall by Tracy Townsend or The Binding by Bridget Collins) or The Pisces by Melissa Broder.

Audiobooks: TBD, since I can’t seem to focus on audiobooks lately, but I’m going to ask for some recs in an instagram story.

 

Are any of you participating in Bout of Books? What are your thoughts on getting through a reading slump? Let me know!

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?

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?

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, August 20th and runs through Sunday, August 26th 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 23 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

It’s time for the next round of Bout of Books, one of my favorite readathons! I love this one, because it’s a week long and very low pressure–there aren’t any constraints or instructions about what to read or for how long, you just try to read as much as you can over the course of that one week. In the past it’s tended to be a pretty successful readathon for me; even if I don’t read a crazy amount, I generally read much more than I would in a typical week thanks to the extra motivation.

Bout of Books takes place from Monday the 20th through Sunday the 26th, which looks like it’s shaping up to be a pretty typical week for me; I’m working during the week, and will be celebrating a friend’s birthday during the weekend, but I’m not going anywhere or doing anything crazy. Since it’s still summer, I’m hoping to take advantage of the nicer weather and do some outdoor reading.

So, what am I planning on reading?

The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & MagicThe Only Harmless Great ThingDreadful Young Ladies and Other StoriesThe King of Bourbon Street (NOLA Nights, #1)CirceNo Time to Spare: Thinking About What MattersThe MermaidTo All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

I tried to be strategic with my TBR; I wanted to have a good amount of variety and also choose books that fit into my typical readathon wheelhouse while not neglecting my overall TBR for the month of August. On that note, I’ve unfortunately barely started Circe by Madeline Miller, which was my top-voted pick for the Make Me Read It challenge over on Litsy, and which I absolutely have to finish by the end of the month. If I could get through a chunk of it during the readathon, that would be fantastic–it’s a book that I really think that I’m going to love, but I just haven’t been in the right mood for it yet.

Since shorter works are great for readathons, I’m looking forward to picking up The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander, which is a Tor.com novella that somehow connects the radium girls and the death of an elephant in the early 1900s. I’m generally a fan of Tor.com novellas, so this might be the first book I pick up for the readathon. I also set aside a short story collection, Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories by Kelly Barnhill, that I’d like to at least start reading during the week. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a short story collection (and the last two I read were disappointing) but I do think that it will help to mix things up during the readathon.

Another readathon standby for me tends to be YA, so I set aside two YA options that I think I’ll be in the mood for this week–The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths and Magic by F.T. Lukens and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (because I just watched the movie, which was so adorable I immediately had to get the book). I also threw in a contemporary romance that I’ve heard good things about (The King of Bourbon Street by Thea DeSalle) and a new fantasy that I picked up last month (The Mermaid by Christina Henry) for some more options, and of course I always like to have an audiobook option–this time it’s No Time To Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin.

There’s no way I’ll read all of these books in a week, but I think I have some solid choices, and I’m definitely excited to be diving into another readathon–even if I end up ignoring my TBR and mood-reading my way through the week.

 

Are you participating in Bout of Books? Let me know!

Bout of Books Wrap-Up (and Days 6&7 belated updates)

And that’s a wrap on this round of Bout of Books! I really enjoyed myself during this readathon, and it was a great way to encourage myself to read more at the beginning of the year. My readathon wrapped up nicely; over the weekend I was able to get a lot of reading done in addition to other things like seeing Pitch Perfect 3 (basically the same as the first two movies, which meant it was exactly what I was in the mood for), fixing stuff around my apartment, and working out a bunch.

Here are my overall stats for the readathon:

Books finished: 4

Witches of Lychford by Paul CornellThe Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnisWe Are Okay by Nina LaCourBeneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Books started, but not finished: 2

An Unkindness of GhostsNo Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need

Total number of pages read: 690 pages

Audiobook time: 8.6 hours (516 minutes)

Not bad, right? On Sunday I did feel like I got a bit overwhelmed from all the readathon-ing and had to slow things down a bit, especially considering that I still have another readathon to participate in this month–24 in 48 is happening during the last weekend in January. I honestly have no idea what I’m going to read for 24 in 48, but I do want to participate. I’m thinking that maybe instead of a bunch of little books, I’ll pick one or two chunky fantasies to try and make a dent in.

And, because I like keeping track of these things, here are my updates for days 6&7:

Day 6

Books started: Beneath the Sugar Sky

Books finished: none

Pages read: 142 pages of Beneath the Sugar Sky

Audiobook time: 55 minutes of No is Not Enough

 

Day 7

Books started: none

Books finished: Beneath the Sugar Sky

Pages read: 32 pages of Beneath the Sugar Sky, 15 pages of An Unkindness of Ghosts

Audiobook time: 110 minutes of No is Not Enough