Bout of Books 8.0 – Reading Goals + Updates

It is time for another Bout of Books read-a-thon! And here they are, my goals for the week from August 19th through 25th. I am still stoked that the read-a-thon is happening during my week off work and that’s also why I’ve set my goals rather high this time. In a normal week, I may read up to three books (if they’re slim and I have short work days) but lately, it’s been more like one book a week. I will have to work Friday and Saturday but that still gives me an otherwise completely free week. And looking at my pile of started books, I desperately need it…

Bout of Books

Time Devoted to Reading

I want to devote at least three hours a day to reading. That is my minimum goal and I should easily be able to surpass it because, as I said, no work (almost) all week. I’ve already seen Pacific Rim so there are no movie-going plans, I do have two TV shows I am currently watching somewhat religiously, I may go out for dinner with Mr. Dina a couple of times, but all things considered, my days can be dedicated to reading books and reading how other people are doing with their goals.
Friday and Saturday will be the exception as I have a 10-hour-day at work on Friday and another 8-hour-day on Saturday but I hope to make up for it during the rest of the week. Ready, set, let’s read!

My Goals

  • Read 100 pages per day (or more)
  • Finish at least 4 books (2/4)
  • Finish at least 1 book that is part of a (personal) challenge
  • Participate in 2 Bout of Books challenges
  • Meet lots of new people and find new blogs to follow
  • Participate in at least 1 Twitter chat (SO much fun!)

Books to read

  • Mark Helprin – Winter’s Tale (768 pages)
  • Catherynne M. Valente – The Melancholy of Mechagirl (304 pages)
  • Nalo Hopkinson – Sister Mine (346 pages)
  • Karin Lowachee – Warchild (57%) (451 pages)
  • Kameron Hurley – God’s War (311 pages)
  • Anne McCaffrey – The Ship Who Sang (38%) (256 pages)
  • Iain M. Banks – Consider Phlebas (545 pages)
  • Susan Cooper – Seaward (180 pages)
  • Scott Lynch – The Republic of Thieves (76%) (800 pages)
  • Terry Pratchett – Wyrd Sisters (55%) (368 pages)

The Wild Card Pile

Like last time, I reserve the right to change my mind at a moment’s notice. If the books listed above just don’t do it for me or I’m not in the mood for any of them, I won’t force myself to read them now. So this pile is full of books I’ve been wanting to read for a long time, or books I’m sure will make me feel good.

  • Patrick Ness – Monsters of Men (43%) (603 pages)
  • Margaret Atwood – Oryx & Crake (376 pages)
  • Philip Reeve – Mortal Engines (373 pages)
  • Deborah Harkness – A Discovery of Witches (594 pages)
  • Michael Grant – Gone (576 pages)
  • Diana Wynne Jones – Charmed Life or Castle in the Air (298 pages) (252 pages)
  • Robin Hobb – Fool’s Fate (914 pages)
  • Terry Pratchett – Small Gods (400 pages)
  • Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett – Shadow Magic (464 pages)

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Updates

Monday

Pages read: ~ 266
Total pages read: ~ 266
Books started: 1
Books continued: 2
Total number of books I’ve read: 1
Books:

Notes:

Wow! What a first day. As expected, I finished my Terry Pratchett book. The witches are too good to put aside and once I’m in a Discworld adventure, it’s impossible to stop. So one book down, three to go.
The Republic of Thieves will not take me much longer. It may have begun slowly but by now, every chapter is full of suspense and usually ends in an evil cliffhanger. Perfect for read-a-thons.
Kameron Hurley’s God’s War on the other hand is much harder to read than I expected. It’s not that the language is difficult but I still have to wrap my head around the world-building. So far, I’m intrigued but I’m sure I’ll go to bed with Locke Lamora tonight (you know how I mean it, you dirty bastards!).

With all that reading, I still managed to go shopping, watch TV with Mr. Dina, and check out some other participants’ blogs. Lots of good stuff there. Thus, I declare this first read-a-thon day a full success.

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Tuesday

Pages read: ~ 240
Total pages read: ~ 406
Books started: 1
Books continued: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 2
Books: 

  • Scott Lynch – The Republic of Thieves (finished)
  • Courtney Summers – This is Not a Test

Notes:

Today, Mr. Dina and I hopped on a train to visit my family. This meant about three hours on the train altogether – plenty of time for reading. It also meant grandma’s cooking (why is it that granmothers are always great cooks?) and staring at a computer screen for a considerable amount of time but I met all my goals for the day and family.  So I can’t complain.

And because it has become so gripping, I only read (and finished) one book. The Republic of Thieves was worth the long wait of six years. It may have started slowly but, by the Crooked Warden, did it pick up the pace. I’ll post a full review closer to publication date (because NetGalley) but if you’re thinking about buying it in October, go get it! It’s a wholehearted recommendation. Like the two volumes before, it offered its own closed story arc, but delivered a new mystery for us readers to obsess over right at the end. I sincerely hope that Scott Lynch is well enough to write the next instalment very, very soon. If I had any say in it, The Thorn of Emberlain would come out tomorrow. Go, Gentlemen Bastards!

EDIT: Last night (meaning on day 2), I started another book. A very quiet YA zombie book that may not have the best characters but at least it’s gripping. Sloane has been wanting to kill herself for a while when the apocalypse happens. She and five other students hide from the zombies in their old high school. But Sloane is the only one who wouldn’t mind being bitten – or eaten – by a zombie, because there are things in her past that simply aren’t worth surviving…

—————

Wednesday

Pages read: ~ 190
Total pages read: ~ 596
Books started: 2
Books continued:1
Total number of books I’ve read:2
Books:

  • Terry Pratchett – Witches Abroad (26%)
  • Courtney Summers – This is Not a Test (50%)
  • Mark Z. Danielewski – House of Leaves

Challenges:
Yay, I participated in my first Bout of Books challenge today. The TBR Pile mini challenge was a lot of fun and made me realize that I already own way too many books to justify buying even a single one more.

Notes:
Oh boy, a lot of today was spent watching TV. But then, I also got enough reading done to achieve my goal. I’m halfway through This is Not a Test, a surprisingly good YA zombie novel. And I coudn’t resist any longer… the next Witches of Lancre adventure is on. And this time, it’s about fairy tales. Magrat the witch already inherited a wand with the peculiar habit of spurting pumpkins instead of what you wish for. 🙂
I also slid sideways into a (huuuge) book that I hadn’t planned on reading. Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves messes with your mind, starting on page one. I read about 40 pages but it felt more like 100 because the pages are large and the print is tiny. But I love how the word “house” is printed in blue (every single time) and different types of text are printed in different font types.

—————

Thursday

Pages read: ~ 112
Total pages read: ~ 708
Books started: 0
Books continued: 2
Total number of books I’ve read: 2
Books:

  • Mark Z. Danielewski – House of Leaves (12%)
  • Courtney Summers – This is Not a Test (53%)

Challenges:
Because it sounded like a lot of fun, I participated in another challenge (thus, my challenges goal is met – YAY!). The Book Road Trip challenge was a lot of fun and reminded me that I still have a bunch of great books that I need to read soon.

Notes:
I got little reading done today, not so much because I don’t feel like it but because House of Leaves is quite difficult to read (tiny print, huge pages, tons of footnotes) and I had to go to sleep early for Friday.

—————

Friday

Pages read: ~ 25
Total pages read: ~ 733
Books started: 0
Books continued: 1
Total number of books I’ve read: 2
Books:

  • Mark Z. Danielewski – House of Leaves

Notes:
Yeah, it’s not even worth mentioning… I knew I wouldn’t meet my daily goal on Friday. That ten-hour workshop at work knocked me out completely. I came home at about 7:30 and was even to tired to watch TV. All my brain capacity was used up throughout the day. I’ll have some catching up to do on the weekend.

—————

Saturday 

Pages read: ~ 102
Total pages read: ~ 745
Books started:
Books continued: 2
Total number of books I’ve read: 2
Books:

  • Terry Pratchett – Witches Abroad
  • Courtney Summers – This is Not a Test

Notes:
Second day of workshop done. This means it’s now officially weekend and I still have a little bit of Saturday left. I hope to finish This is Not a Test today because it’s a short book, and then I’ll dive straight into Cat Valente’s Melancholy of Mechagirl. The crazy mind-fuck that is House of Leaves will take me at least another week to finish…
Witches Abroad, on the other hand, is a wonderful read. I doubt I’ll finish it this week but that doesn’t really matter. It’s so much fun, I don’t mind drawing it out a bit. Now I’m off to look for new Bout of Books challenges.

—————

Sunday

Pages read: ~ 188
Total pages read: ~ 933
Books started:
Books continued: 3
Total number of books I’ve read: 2
Books:

  • Mark Z. Danielewski – House of Leaves (19%)
  • Terry Pratchett – Witches Abroad (80%)
  • Courtney Summers – This is Not a Test (86%)

Notes:
Ah, the last read-a-thon day. I am still reading two books which I hope to finish today (that would mean reaching my goal, yay!) but even if I don’t manage, I am so happy that, because of this read-a-thon, I finally dared to pick up the gigantic, daunting, crazy thing that is House of Leaves. I have owned that book for years and years and always thought it’s too big to start right now or I didn’t have enough time at the moment. Well, now I’m a good 100 pages into the thing and already itching to go back.
God’s War also surprised me a little. I expected to love it and race through it in no time. Now that I’ve put it aside for a few days, however, I don’t feel much like it anymore. 

Looking back at this week, I diverged from my reading plans quite a bit.  Then again, I’ve never been that strict with myself when it comes about the actual books I choose. Just as long as I read more and discover new books and bloggers, I’m pretty happy. 🙂

EDIT: This is me posting from the future. I almost finished my Discworld book and I’m fairly confident I’ll finish it today. The same goes for This is Not a Test. The last of my three current reads will take me longer, not just because of what I’ve mentioned above, but because I can only read it at home. It’s bulky and heavy and not exactly a book for reading on the subway.

15 thoughts on “Bout of Books 8.0 – Reading Goals + Updates

  1. Sarah Says Read says:

    Yayyy I’m so excited for Bout of Books! Like you, I have most the week off – I only work Friday through Sunday. I hope we can get a ton of reading done!

    Your piles of books have me thinking I should add some more fantasy to my stack… I may need to make an emergency trip to the library 🙂

    Like

    • Nadine says:

      There is always room for fantasy. I am currently on a rampage through Discworld. Terry Pratchett’s books made “click” in my brain and now I am addicted.
      I can’t recommend him enough if you want to add a little fantasy.

      Like

    • Nadine says:

      It’s like the Bout of Books organizers knew… 🙂
      I only hope that I won’t laze around in front of the TV when I could be reading. Sometimes, holidays can be like that.

      And I see you’ve just read “Emma” – one of my favorite Austen books. Can’t wait to see what you’ll be reading for Bout of Books.

      Like

    • Nadine says:

      The Gentlemen Bastards will be devoured first. I’ve really been dragging it out already, but there comes a point when you can’t postpone the ending any longer. 🙂

      I’m also not worried about the Valente. She has yet to disappoint me. I doubt she ever will.

      Like

  2. Two Dudes in an Attic says:

    Good luck! Winter’s Tale is a bear. Fun reading, but not exactly something to take to the beach. Nor, for that matter, is Warchild, but I tore through that in a hurry, hairy subject matter or no. Your ambition is most impressive though. I am in awe.

    Like

    • Nadine says:

      Thank you. It’s really only because I’ve got so much free time. If this were a normal work week, I’d be aiming for two large books or maybe three shorter ones.
      I’m already halfway through Warchild and, yeah, it’s not a quick read, but it is incredibly gripping on an emotional level.

      Like

  3. Emma @ Hopeful Happiness says:

    That is such a great idea to make a goal for pages read during the day. I may have to update my goal to include something like that. I just had a goal for time spent reading and I’m finding that is a tad harder to keep track of than I had thought!

    Like

  4. Charleen says:

    How lucky this is your week off! Winter’s Tale is a book that was on my TBR for so long that I forgot why I wanted to read it in the first place. Hope it’s a good one. (And I really liked A Discovery of Witches.) Good luck!

    Like

    • Nadine says:

      I look forward to both of them but they are sooooo big. I am determined to read Winter’s Tale this year and getting a head start during the read-a-thon would be nice.
      But then, new books seem to be falling from the sky into my lap and they look so shiny and want to be read, too. It’s a curse, being a reader…

      Like

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