Bout of Books 13.0 – Updates

It’s time! Bout of Books 13 has officially started and this is where I’ll track my progress of books and pages read. Any reviews I manage to write will of course get their own post, but general ramblings during the read-a-thon will end up here. I’ll also link to challenges and other people’s posts that I find interesting.

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 11th and runs through Sunday, May 17th 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. – From the Bout of Books team


Monday

Total books read:  1
Total pages read:
~150
Pages read today: ~150
Books finished: Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët – Jolies ténèbres (Beautiful Darkness)

Books I’m reading:

  • Malinda Lo – Ash I’ve been dragging this retelling of Cinderella along with me for a while. It could be a good story, if only the writing weren’t so boring and the fairy tale aspects so lacking. A very disappointed review is bubbling up inside of me, so prepare yourselves.
  • Mervyn Peake – Titus Groan This, on the other hand, is a literary feast! The characters are bizarre and I love discovering all the nooks and crannies of castle Gormenghast with them. This is one of those books that doesn’t live off plot or working towards an ending.

Notes:

Ah Mondays, how you make me think of Garfield… I didn’t have a lot of time today and I totally ignored my reading plans. When the French graphic novel Jolies ténèbres was waiting for me in my mailbox, it was difficult to hold back – so I didn’t. I’ll post my thoughts sometime this weeks (spoiler: it was brilliant!).
Malinda Lo’s book is still like wading through mud but at least I’m almost finished. Why on earth it’s called a “Cinderella retelling” is beyond me. All the aspects of the fairy tale are thrown in willy-nilly, they have no impact on the wider plot, and honestly just get in the way of a story that would otherwise have had potential. Meh.


 Tuesday

Total books read: 2
Total pages read: ~ 215
Pages read today: ~ 65
Books finished: Malinda Lo – Ash

Books I’m reading:

  • Mervyn Peake – Titus Groan
  • Brandon Sanderson – Elantris (audiobook)
  • Catherynne M. Valente – The Boy Who Lost Fairyland

Notes:

Malinda Lo’s Ash did not get better at all. I finished it but it got more and more annoying towards the end. My review will be up the day after tomorrow. Castle Gormenghast is still a blast to explore even though it’s a slow read with words to be savored, not devoured quickly. And Sanderson’s Elantris continues to entertain me, although I don’t know if it’s because the Graphic Audio version was recorded with a full cast, or because the story finally got interesting. As usual, I have a small theory about an upcoming revelation, but then again, Sanderson has always managed to fool me so far and my guesses are usually way off.

For a regular work day (and an emotionally straining one, at that) I was fairly motivated this evening. My review for Beautiful Darkness is up and my TBR pile is looking slightly less mountainous.


Wednesday

Total books read: 2
Total pages read:
~ 290
Pages read today: ~75

Books I’m reading:

  • Brandon Sanderson – Elantris

Notes:

As expected, I didn’t read a lot on Wednesday because I had dinner with some friends and was too tired for an extended reading session afterwards. But I’m back in the game with Thursday being a holiday. Come at me, TBR, I’m ready for you!


Thursday

Total books read: 3
Total pages read:
~ 529
Pages read today:  ~ 239
Books finished: Brandon Sanderson – Elantris (review coming on Monday)
Challenges: From Modern to Classic

The challenge:
Share one book that you believe will be considered a classic in 100 years time. Simple? I do have a few caveats, the book must have been published in or after 2005 and you need to provide two reasons for why this book will be a classic.

My answer:
I’m going for Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels – they are already considered classics of their genre but I believe they will endure the test of time. The first reason is that Pratchett has enjoyed enormous amounts of success during his lifetime. Even people who don’t read may have heard his name or heard of Discworld. The second reason is that his books (not all of them, mind you, but especially the later ones) speak universal truths. People who dismiss Discworld for being fantasy have clearly never picked up a Discworld book. They deal with themes that everyone can relation to, they do so with a witty sense of humor, and they have already proved how well they hold up on a re-read. So yeah, skipping the easiest answer (which is Harry Potter), I’m fairly certain Sir Terry will still be read in 100 years time.

Books I’m reading:

  • Catherynne M. Valente – The Boy Who Lost Fairyland
  • Brandon Sanderson – Elantris

Notes:

Gaaaah, I love Cat Valente so much! She writes the most beautiful books that burrow their way into my heart and make themselves at home. I know exactly how Hawthorn the Troll feels at the “Normal” school. Children with “too much imagination” are cast out, treated like there’s something wrong with them by teachers. They try to stifle Hawthorn’s imagination like it’s a bad thing. I feel so much for the poor boy who wants nothing more than for a little magic to appear. We are the same, Hawthorn.

Brandon Sanderson definitely got better with time. Elantris isn’t bad, I just feel that it tries to do too many things at once and therefore lacks focus on most of its aspects. Religions clashing, a revolution brewing, a princess manipulating her merry way around court, a fallen prince trying to build a new civilazation. Oh yes, and magic. Did I mention magic? These themes are explored a little bit but eventually need to make way for the next. I would have preferred a tighter focus. And, by the gods, better names!


Friday

Total books read: 3
Total pages read:
~ 549
Pages read today: ~ 20
Challenges: Cover Color Challenge

As much as we like to tell ourselves that covers don’t matter, we all know that we’ve bought books solely on cover appeal, that we’ve paid more for a certain edition with the prettier cover and so on. I have no trouble admitting that I’m a sucker for a nice cover. And when the colors go together, things are good. Here’s my entry for the cover color challenge:

And because I like both blue and red, here’s another one:

And while I’m at it…

But that’s really enough for today’s challenge. I must admit, it was harder than expected, not because I couldn’t find any books but because I found too many! Picking only four per color is cruel, so I went with six.

Books I’m reading:

  • Catherynne M. Valente – The Boy Who Lost Fairyland
  • Mervyn Peake – Titus Groan

Notes:

It’s the day between a holiday and a weekend – guess who has to work today? Other than the challenge, I didn’t do much today for the readathon. I was so very tired in the evening that all I could do was fall onto the couch and be lazy. I hope Saturday will be more productive.


Saturday

Total books read: 3
Total pages read: ~ 649
Pages read today: ~ 100
Challenges:
Twitter chat!

It’s not a challenge (unless you have really slow internet) but I loooove these twitter chats. They are crazy and messy and everybody speaks at once but you still want to follow every conversation. It’s so much fun that I’ll gladly spend an hour hitting the refresh-button over and over again. Thanks to Kelly for hosting today’s chat, I had a blast!

Books I’m reading:

  • Theodora Goss – In the Forest of Forgetting
  • Catherynne M. Valente – The Boy Who Lost Fairyland
  • Mervyn Peake – Titus Groan

Notes:

Here’s the thing. I adore Cat Valente and I love the latest Fairyland book – but perhaps I love it so much that, in order to draw it out, I keep starting other books “on the side”. You know what I mean. I’m perfectly happy to read only The Boy Who Lost Fairyland all weekend but then I will be out of Fairyland books. So I started Theodora Goss’ short story collection, because reading one story before bed works even when my brain is tired, and because hey – fairy tales and myths. It also came recommended by Cat Valente, so there you go.
I did crack in the evening and crawled into bed with the Fairyland book. September even showed up!! Now it’s Castle Gormenghast that’s being left behind. I guess there are worse things than reading three very good books at the same time.


Sunday

Total books read: 3
Total pages read:
~ 800
Pages read today: ~151
Challenges:

Books I’m reading:

  • Catherynne M. Valente – The Boy Who Lost Fairyland
  • Theodora Goss – In the Forest of Forgetting

Notes:

I almost finished the Fairyland book. “Almost” because I wanted to keep a few chapters for next week. It’s going to be almost a year before the next volume comes out and drawing out the experience even for a few days seems like a good idea.
I’m also completely taken with Theodora Goss’ story collection. The titular story “In the Forest of Forgetting” was a beautiful, devastating metaphor for going through cancer treatments, there was a story about an artist who literally brings out the best in people, and one about a wish gone terribly wrong. The language is lyrical, experimental, and totally up my alley.
In the spirit of catching up on halfway-finished books, I also read a chapter in Titus Groan but this is not a good book to read when you’re already tired. It needs full concentration.

I’ll post a separate wrap-up of the read-a-thon but generally speaking, I declare this a success! I read great books, discvered new blogs to follow, had a wagonload of fun during the twitter chat, and caught up on some reading challenges. Yay!

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Bout of Books 13.0 – Updates

  1. becksawalton says:

    Thanks for participating in the Modern to Classics challenge. I’ll admit I’ve never read any Pratchett, and I don’t read much (or any) fantasy, but I know more about him than any other author in the genre, so I think you might be onto something picking the Discworld series! I hope you enjoy the rest of the readathon!

    Like

    • Dina says:

      Thanks, to you as well. We can do it! It’s finally weekend, after all. What better way to spend it (especially if it’s rainy outside) than reading. 🙂

      Like

  2. pagesandtea says:

    Wow, you’re doing really well with your reading and the challenges. I love some of those covers you chose for the color challenge. Good luck for the final day of reading 🙂

    Like

  3. Danni Mae says:

    Wow, looks like you’ve got a lot on your plate! I haven’t heard of a lot of these and I’d love to see some reviews when the read-a-thon is over!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s