bout of books 13

It’s time for the spring Bout of Books!

BoB12-200x200
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week-long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 11 and runs through Sunday, May17 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 13 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books  blog.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++—The Bout of Books team

I so enjoy this readathon, especially how low key it is and the challenges (when I have time for them) are fun. I love the Twitter chats, too! While I have my regular work hours this week, we’re on final exams, and I’m on hiatus from my orchestras until our summer concerts, so things are calming down considerably. I’ll be reading during my lunch breaks and as much as possible in the evenings and next weekend! I don’t want to set strict goals for myself, but I’m thinking if I can finish the ebook I’m currently reading and one other book, that would be awesome. I’ll try to squeeze in a couple challenges, chats, and stop by as many other readathoners’ blogs as possible, too!

I hope you have a great week of reading!

bout of books 12

Looking forward to Bout of Books again! Here are the details:

BoB12-200x200
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5 and runs through Sunday, January 11 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 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++—The Bout of Books team

I usually can’t regularly join the spring and summer BoB’s due to work/school and travel, so I always look forward to this winter one. This year, the hosts are not including a goals link, but there are still challenges, chats, and such. I think for me having no goals will be better and make it more fun, as I typically never meet any goals I list for myself in the beginning. I just want to finish the book I’m currently reading, and maybe get through one more if possible! Depending on timing, I might be able to participate in a Twitter chat or two as well, and I’m sure I’ll hop around to some of the other blogs.

Happy reading!

bout of books 10 wrap-up

I was so happy to participate in Bout of Books 10 this week! I think did pretty well—didn’t accomplish all my goals but I think this has helped snap me out  of my blogging slump, though, and I was really happy to read more than I have in weeks!!

Bout of Books

My goals

  • Catch up on writing/posting reviews of books read in April:
    • Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk 
    • The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan 
    • The Round House by Louise Erdrich
  • Finish reading two books I started recently:
    • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
    • The Explorer by James Smythe 
  • Participate in at least one #boutofbooks Twitter chat 
  • Participate in at least two challenges/giveaways 
  • Comment on at least 10 fellow participants’ blogs

Progress

Day 1: Monday, May 12
Too busy today to read much! There was a lot going on at work and then I went straight to a meeting for my PT job after that, and then out with friends for dinner. By the time I got home it was kind of late, and my husband and I were just going over our days together, so I didn’t really get any reading in at all, but I was able to participate in the #boutofbooks Twitter chat at 1pm and participated in one challenge[Totals: 0 pages, 0 books read today, 0 books read total, 0 books finished, 0 reviews posted, 1 Twitter chat, 1 challenge completed]

Day 2: Tuesday, May 13
I don’t know what happened, just got busy with “life” stuff I guess, like errands, chores, and making dinner after work. I was also desperate to work out, since my yoga class was canceled during the day, so I did that after work too. Oh and Nick and I watched Dear Mr. Watterson, a documentary about the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip and its creator. But! I was able to read 20 pages of The Explorer during my lunch break. No challenges, comments, or posts today. [Totals: 20 pages, 1 book read today, 1 book read total, 0 books finished, 0 reviews posted, 1 Twitter chat, 1 challenge completed]

Day 3: Wednesday, May 14
I had a lot of free time after work tonight and was able to read 62 pages of The Blind Assassin! I’m started to get hooked, finally. This one is taking me longer to sink into that other Atwood work, but I still enjoy it immensely. [Totals: 82 pages, 1 book read today, 2 books read total, 0 books finished, 0 reviews posted, 1 Twitter chat, 1 challenge completed]

Day 4: Thursday, May 15
Today was a little better! During my lunch break I wrote/posted my Survivor review, after work I was able to read 63 pages of The Explorer, and found time to squeeze in one challenge. When I went to bed I still wanted to read, but didn’t want to look at my iPad anymore, so I read 12 pages of Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, which I just picked up from the library for my husband to read (I know, I know—I should have read The Blind Assassin, but I wanted something non-committal at the end of the night). Definitely realizing I won’t reach all my goals, but if I can get those review posts in and finish one book I’ll be happy. [Totals: 157 pages, 2 books read today, 3 books read total, 0 books finished, 1 review posted, 1 Twitter chat, 2 challenges completed]

Day 5: Friday, May 16
It has been a long week so after work my husband and I went out to dinner, but I was able to manage reading 51 pages of The Explorer… and FINISHING it today! [Totals: 208 pages, 1 book read today, 3 books read total, 1 book finished, 1 review posted, 1 Twitter chat, 2 challenges completed]

Day 6: Saturday, May 17
Before going to my husband’s concert in the evening (one of his string quartet compositions was performed at an art gallery downtown), I posted a long-overdue review of The Worst Hard Time, which I read between March and April, and read 50 pages of Annihilation. [Totals: 258 pages, 1 book read today, 3 books read total, 1 book finished, 2 reviews posted, 1 Twitter chat, 2 challenges completed]

Day 7: Sunday, May 18
Today was busier than I expected! I babysat for a friend all afternoon and then stayed for dinner. I was able to read another 50 pages of Annihilation, though! [Totals: 308 pages, 1 book read today, 3 books read total, 1 book finished, 2 reviews posted, 1 Twitter chat, 2 challenges completed]

bout of books 10 goals

Getting pumped to start Bout of Books 10! Here’s what I’d like to accomplish:

My goals

  • Catch up on writing/posting reviews of books read in April:
    • Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk
    • The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
    • The Round House by Louise Erdrich
  • Finish reading two books I started recently:
    • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (plus review post)
    • The Explorer by James Smythe (plus review post)
  • Continue/get into reading Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon
  • Participate in at least one #boutofbooks Twitter chat
  • Participate in at least two challenges/giveaways
  • Comment on at least 10 fellow participants’ blogs
Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++—The Bout of Books team

bout of books 10

I’m happy to be able to participate in Bout of Books again! Here’s the scoop:

Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++—The Bout of Books team

It has been a while since I had a chance to join in. This round is taking place during final exams week where I work, so things should lighten up and I’ll be able to read during lunch, and also my concert season is over and I have my weeknights back! After the rough semester (year, really) that I just had, it’ll be wonderful to escape into a bunch of books. Goals post coming later this week! 🙂

room

As you know, I had my own mini-readathon over my four-day Thanksgiving break. The first book on my readathon pile was Room by Emma Donoghue. From Goodreads:

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits. 
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him.

I picked my copy of Room up on a clearance sale for a dollar over the summer, and it’s been sitting on my bookshelf since. I thought it looked like a quick read for my readathon, and sure enough it was! I did find some flaws in Room (to me), but the book is compelling enough to overcome any minor negatives.

The story is told in Jack’s perspective, which took me a while to get used to. I struggled with the proper nouns for everything (Jack sits at Table, not the table). I’m not around kids very much but because of this way of addressing inanimate objects he seemed younger than five to me, or I wondered if maybe he had Asperger’s or something.

I admired how well Ma cared for him and taught him considering the circumstances—very protective, inventive, and creative. There are controversial and shocking things Ma has to do through the course of the story, from what you’d expect in an abduction story (rape) to less what you’d expect, but I don’t want to give away spoilers!

Ma’s abduction and near-decade captivity is horrifying, but one of the saddest things for me was that when she finally starts telling Jack how things are—that things he sees on TV are actually real, that there are countless people, not just the two of them, and there are wonders that exist outside Room, a whole world and more—Jack dismisses her outright and refuses to listen or believe. Can you imagine a little kid not caring to explore beyond the only 121 square feet he knows? I mean, I get that the world is a big, scary, overwhelming place, sure okay. But that just broke my heart.

About halfway through, I was feeling ready for a different “voice” as the narrator, Ma’s I suppose… but it would be an entirely different book then. I think using Jack as the narrator—while effective in its own way and certainly exposes the reader to the very adult situations—sort of allowed for glossing over tough topics. But it’s a fiction, so one could read about any number of true-life abduction cases for a different (real) perspective, first coming to mind are the recent Castro kidnappings in Ohio, Jaycee Dugard‘s 18-year ordeal in California, and the Fritzl case in Austria. Just appalling and chilling.

Anyway, I do recommend Room as an interesting “confronting” read. Lots of thought-provoking points for discussion are in this book, and if you are curious about abduction cases in general, Room may be a good “soft” starting point.

Read from November 28 to 29, 2013.