Sunday, January 7, 2018

Bout of Books 21: The Signup Post

Bout of Books

Seems it's always a read-a-thon that brings me back to the blogosphere. Yes...I disappeared for a couple of months. really excellent reason. It's honestly more laziness than anything else, but sometimes I just don't "feel" this space, I guess.

Anywho...tomorrow begins the next round of Bout of Books. It's one of my two favorite read-a-thons and I always enjoy participating. I'll only be around for a small section of the journey this time, as I'll be heading to spend some much needed time with my family. But I still wanted to be...present.

So I'm still participating. My goals aren't very lofty, but there will still be reading. And really, that's all I need to make me feel good about it. In fact, I'm not going to lie, I'm a bit proud of myself at the moment. As of today, I've already read 2 1/2 books this year. I'm mildly shocked. And seriously, it's been just as simple as ditching the iPad and reading at bedtime instead. Well worth the trade. I'm hoping it's a trend that I continue for 2018. It's much more rewarding.

For those of you unfamiliar, I suppose I should give you the lowdown on Bout of Books.
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th 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 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
Yep. It's that simple. Hangout, read, enjoy. Do what feels good for you.

As for me, here's my plan:

Read-a-Thon Goals

1. Read at least 3 out of the 7 days.
2. Read for a total of at least 90 minutes.
3. Read at least 100 pages.
4. Complete at least 1 book.

This is a lot less than my usual, but it's still participation. And it still keeps me reading. I'll probably do a little of the social interaction this time, but not sure I'll be able to hang out for the Twitter chats at all (they're my favorite part). I'm a little bummed about this, but there's always next time!

As for what I'm reading, it will be a craps shoot. (Isn't that always the case?) I'm loading up the Nook for the trip so that I won't be hauling a pile of physical books, but I'll have a pile of choices.

Right now I'm about a third of the way through On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. I'm not going to's weird. I'm not sure how I feel about it. We'll see how it shapes up.

When I get back from my trip, the plan is to get back into the swing of things. I have a Book of the Year to determine for 2017, so I'll be heading to the brackets.

Oh...and as for update posts for Bout of Books? I'll probably just be doing a wrap up. Otherwise, any updates will be simple...more than likely posted on my Facebook page.

I'll catch you back here in a week or so. Happy reading!!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Unique Book Titles

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, created due to a fondness for lists. Each week they post a new Top Ten topic. After that, it's bloggers UNITE! Participate with your own Top Ten post, have fun, and get to know your fellow bloggers.

I have been totally off kilter all week. I keep forgetting what day of the week it is. I had actually started this post on Monday and was super proud of myself for getting ahead of things. Ha. That didn't last long. 

But...I like this topic, so we're doing this post anyway!

This Week's Topic:
Top Ten Unique Book Titles

Well...this one is a bit of a challenge. The word unique means different things to different people, so I suppose my idea of unique could just fall flat with some readers. But...if it generates interest in what I've read, then I guess the list has done it's job anyway, right? choosing my books for today's list, I ventured out to my Goodreads account to look through the list of books I have already read. It seems to make more sense to me that a title can't be truly considered unique unless you've read the book and understand the content. So that's the theory I'm going with.

Oh...and originally I attempted to explain my reasoning behind my choices. It didn't go that great. There were too many times when I would have risked spoilers. So...I'm just giving you the books themselves.

Ready to see which books I chose?

1.  Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren't Complicated, I Wouldn't Be Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart

2. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

5. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

8. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

9. The Opposite of Maybe by Maddie Dawson

10. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Dewey's 10th Anniversary 24-Hour Read-a-Thon: The End

Read-a-Thon Hour : Ha. Well past done.
Local Time : Sunday afternoon

Well...the last section of time just didn't happen. I set my alarm and I was going to get back up and read, but about an hour after I laid down the Boy started having a really rough night. He ran a fever off and on all night long and slept pretty fitfully, waking about every 45 minutes. I was finally able to get him to get some solid sleep around 8am. After that he slept until noon, woke briefly for a bath, and is now crashed out again. Poor kiddo. Hoping he feels better's not fun watching him struggle. change from my last batch of stats, but we'll do a final recap and then it's time for the closing survey. Let's check through how this read-a-thon went...

Total Time Spent Reading : 258 minutes

Total Pages Read (Not Including Children's Books) : 212 pages

Total Books Completed : 1

Total Brecken Books Completed: 9

Currently Reading :

Mini-Challenges Completed :

Overall Stats :

Closing Survey :

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Ha. Well...I guess we're going with hours 19-24. I was still awake, but instead of reading, I spent the time comforting a very cranky and uncomfortable baby. Not the most fun for either party.

2. Tell us ALLLLL the books you read!

I only finished Slade House by David Mitchell for myself. 

However, Brecken and I read 9 books together: 
Sheep in a Jeep
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Not a Stick
Where the Wild Things Are
Llama Llama Red Pajama
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!
Olivia Saves the Circus
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

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

Well...we're going to go ahead and go with the top 3 of Brecken's reads. If you're trying to decide on a children's book to buy, these are great options:
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!

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

Send me a babysitter and a maid so I could devote my entire day to nothing but reading? :) Just kidding. I like the read-a-thon just how it is. I really enjoyed reading the posts on Instagram and on the Facebook group.

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 be participating in the read-a-thon again. It's already in my calendar. As far as helping out...well...I guess that just depends on what my schedule around the farm looks like in the spring. April is potentially poised to be a very busy time. But if not, I'm happy to lend some of my time.

How was your read-a-thon experience?

Dewey's 10th Anniversary 24-Hour Read-a-Thon: Hours 13-18

Read-a-Thon Hour : Middle of hour 18
Local Time : Half-past midnight

Time Read Since Last Update: 70 minutes
Total Time Spent Reading : 258 minutes

Pages Read Since Last Update : 58 pages
Total Pages Read : 212 pages

Well...things started to improve. And then...well...then reality hit. After having very poor sleep last night (and really for the past week) due to a cold and a sick baby, I have found myself exhausted. Plus, let's be honest...the kiddo is not going to miraculously let me catch up on some sleep during the day tomorrow. Especially given how crummy he was feeling at the end of today.

Books Completed Since Last Update : 1
Total Books Finished : 1

I finally managed to finish my first book of the read-a-thon. Whew! A pretty good read, but I will admit that the ending was not what I was expecting. Nor, if I'm being perfectly honest, was it what I had hoped for. Still...a worthwhile read. And a pretty darned appropriate one for being this near Halloween.

And now that I've managed to finish it, I can take part in the discussion going on about it over at the RIP XII challenge. Yay!

Brecken Books Completed Since Last Update : 3
Total Brecken Books : 9

We topped the boy off with a few good reads before bedtime. And then he took a good five attempts to put to bed. We've been fighting a bit of a fever today and he's stuffed up, so it's been a challenge for him to sleep comfortably. Especially since he's reluctant to sleep peacefully without his binkie at this stage in the game. The only solution? At this point, he's currently passed out next to me. I'm not looking forward to the risk that comes with moving him to his own bed. Wish me luck.

Completed Books with Brecken :

Currently Reading :

I have only a couple of days remaining on my e-copy of The Girl Without a Name by Sandra Block. So...obviously I need to get a move on. But...that's not happening quite yet.

Here's the long and the short of it. I'm taking a sleep break. I do so with the intentions of waking up in about four hours to do a bit of reading before the official end of the read-a-thon, but I also know my history of hitting the snooze button. is entirely possible that I will be continuing my reading only after everyone else has called Dewey's over and done with. Oh's still reading.

Mini-Challenges Completed :
How I'm Feeling :

Super exhausted. It's been a long week and today unfortunately was a bit more draining than I'd planned. The boy managed to have a resurgence of his fever mid-afternoon and was a bit clingy and unhappy until we finally got him to sleep for the night just a bit over an hour ago. Poor thing. I'm really hoping he's at the tail end of this crummy cold we caught. He seems to be about 36 hours behind me and I appear to have kicked the last of the gunk today. Fingers crossed.

Snacks Eaten :

I ate a nice, filling dinner of beef stew with home canned turnips, rutabagas, and kohlrabi along with some carrots. We also had a side of baked potato. Not a shabby way to go on a rainy evening.

I finally got around to eating the PopTarts I'd had out and been looking forward to since the beginning of the day and I shoveled in a small handful of candy corn. I honestly have the same reaction to it every year. It sounds good, so I buy some. Then I eat approximately 24 pieces and...nope. I don't want anymore. Dang it. I still have 3/4 of a bag and I'm the only one in this house who will even consider it.

Other Things Accomplished :

I dished up and ate dinner, fed the Boy, changed him into his PJs and got him some medicine. Beyond that, it was mostly trying to snuggle him. I did write a post for the 10 books in 10 years mini-challenge and I listened to a portion of the BSU vs. Wyoming football game. (BSU pulled out a win of 24-14.)

Overall Stats :

Still not as many checkmarks as I'd like in the second and third columns, but not bad given the circumstances, I suppose.

Now...I'm off for a snooze. We'll see if I manage a revival before the official read-a-thon end.

How goes your read-a-thoning?

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Dewey's 10th Anniversary 24-Hour Read-a-Thon: 10 Books in 10 Years

Since it's the 10th anniversary of Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon, there is a special mini-challenge to commemorate the event.

The task is to recommend a published book for each year of the read-a-thon's existence (2007-2017). Though it appears to be 10's actually 11, giving a total of 11 great books.

As I started working on this challenge, I quickly realized that it would very easily stand as its own post and would likely make an update post far too bulky. So...bonus read-a-thon post! Whee!

It took me a decent chunk of the day to finally get it all together, but here are my recommendations for some fabulous 2007-2017 reads...


2007 was a fantastic year for books. I actually had four potential slam dunks on this one, but I had to go with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling. It's the culmination of the series that was responsible for creating a whole new generation of fervent readers and for reigniting the desire to read in so many others. It didn't hurt that this baby is awesome. It's not my favorite of the Harry Potter series (I'm a lover of Prisoner of Azkaban), but there is no disputing that this is a read well worth the time.


Another powerhouse series showed up in 2008. The first book of Suzanne Collins's amazing trilogy...The Hunger Games. When I read this series, I flat out devoured it. I waited until all three books had been released and read them back to back. I stayed up all night to get through the second book, Catching Fire because I just couldn't put it down. I busted out the entire trilogy in less than a weekend. It's just that good.


If you're looking for a brilliant and beautiful historical fiction read, look no further. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford is just....ah. It's sad and heartbreaking, but beautiful and redeeming. It centers around the Japanese-American interment during World War II, with the setting focused on the Pacific Northwest. It's one of those books that just makes your heart a good way.


I loved Amy & Roger's Epic Detour soooooo much. I have not stopped talking up this book since I read it. It was my 2014 Book of the Year and has been featured in several of my favorite lists and Top Ten Tuesday and Top 5 Wednesday posts. When I start talking YA fiction, Amy & Roger is one of my go-to recommends. Hands down.


There is such a good wide range of genre representation in this list. I'm mildly proud of myself for that at the moment. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was a book I chose to read based upon the cover and a friend recommendation and it was a solid win. It was a finalist in my 2012 Book of the Year and, like Amy & Roger, has been talked up time and time again. This one ranks high on my reread list because I honestly miss the magic. I need to feel that book love again.


And this is why The Night Circus was only a finalist and not a winner for the 2012 Book of the Year. Jenny Lawson, also known as The Bloggess, wrote a hilarious memoir that I nearly died laughing over. Rarely do I laugh out loud when I read a book, but that happened several times with this one. In fact, I was so enjoying Let's Pretend This Never Happened, that it resulted in several mid-read texts to friends who were also familiar with her and her blog. I couldn't shut up about how funny she is. If you need a laugh and you want to feel like your life is pretty darned normal, just grab Jenny's book for a read. She'll make you feel better. I promise.


Looking for a book with all the feel goods that you'll want to hug when you're done? The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George is for you. I did not want this book to end. I just loved, loved, loved it. It's cute and sweet and just a nice, relaxing read. This is probably the best beach read on the list. 


Two memoirs in a list of eleven books. Wow. I really didn't see that coming for myself. But...I will tell you that Now I See You by Nicole C. Kear was a total surprise for me. I really didn't expect it to be as good as it was. It blew me away. Kear is brutally honest about her life while still keeping things light and fun (something hard to do when your primary premise is a debilitating medical disorder). She has a way with words and just makes you feel like you've known her forever. If you read memoirs of any kind...grab this one. Yesterday.


Oooh...oooh...oooh. One of my most favorite books ever. Seriously. And yet, one of the books I am still most confused by. It's complicated to explain. The Library at Mount Char is haunting, intriguing, freakish, and fabulous. It is completely mesmerizing and, if you are anything like me, will leave you nearly out of breath and wondering "what the heck just happened?". It's so incredibly awesome. There is little that can be said without dripping out spoilers, but if you want a book that's going to blow your mind (even several years after the fact)...well...we have a winner.


This right here is a story of meant to be. I bought The Bookshop on the Corner honestly on accident, thinking it was a different read. Super pleasant surprise for me when I just flat out adored it. Again, a nice and breezy read that would be good on the beach or for a travel read. It's comfortable without just being fully predictable and it was just a decently fun read. Pure and simple.


This is the only book on the list that I have not already read. But...I haven't read any 2017 published books yet. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green is on my read-a-thon list at slot number 3, so there is a chance that I will at least get it started before the read-a-thon has come to an end. I have super high hopes for it, as I think do a lot of other Dewey readers. This book keeps showing up in posts. It has to be the top mentioned book this go round. I have high faith in Green, so let's hope he doesn't let me down.

And there you have it...a nice little mini-library. My 10 (11) Books in 10 (11) Years. Stock up on these babies (and grab the remaining books in the series reads) and you won't find a bad book in the bunch. (Again...high hopes for Turtles.)

Did any of my picks make your list? Or were any of my picks a pass for you?

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