Friday, August 10, 2012

BOUT OF BOOKS 5.0 GOALS AND UPDATES

This is my first read-a-thon.  Between work and personal commitments I didn't get as much reading done last month as I would have liked so I figure this will be a fun way to get back on track. Goals template taken from here.

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon
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, August 13th and runs through Sunday, August 19th 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 5.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. -From the Bout of Books 5.0 team
Time Devoted to Reading
I will be reading all week

My Goals
My goal is to read at least 5 books from the list below and participate in at least 4 challenges.

Books to Read
1. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
2. We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen (translated by Charlotte Barslund, Emma Ryder)
3. Albert of Adelaide by Howard L. Anderson
4. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
5. Kasher in the Rye by Moshe Kasher
6. The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
7. Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indriðason (translated by Bernard Scudder)


Updates
Monday
Books I've read today: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (finished), Albert of Adelaide (in progress)
Number of pages read today: 165
Total number of pages I've read: 165
Total number of books I've finished: 1
Challenges completed today: Passing Books 
Comments:really like The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. It is a short book but there is a lot to unpack. I think I will end up reading this again fairly soon after I give myself some time to think about it. 

Tuesday
Books I've read today: Silence of the Grave (in progress)
Number of pages read today: 22
Total number of pages I've read: 187
Total number of books I've finished: 1
Challenges completed today: Limerick

Comments: I did not get much reading done today because I was slammed at work and went up to LA to see a show afterwards, but I did start Silence of the Grave which had an amazing opening line: "He knew at once it was a human bone, when he took it from the baby who was sitting on the floor chewing it." Good stuff.

Wednesday
Books I've read today: Silence of the Grave (finished)
Number of pages read today: 271
Total number of pages I've read: 458
Total number of books I've finished: 2
Challenges completed today: Book Word Search, Match the Zombie Book Covers
Comments: Today I finished Silence of the Grave, the second book in the Reykjavík Thriller series. I finished Jar City (the first in the series) last month and liked it so much that I immediately went out and bought more by the author. Indriðason does a wonderful job of unfolding the story slowly, but not so slowly that I lost interest. These books are quite bleak but never in a way that put me off reading them.  The writing is spare and affecting with beautiful moments found amongst the dark storylines.  Both Jar City and Silence of the Grave have the same translator.  I have two more in the series that I will probably get to next month.  The translator for those two are different so it will be interesting to see if that changes anything.

Thursday
Books I've read today: And Then There Were None (finished), The Imperfectionists (in progress)
Number of pages read today: 297
Total number of pages I've read: 755
Total number of books I've finished: 3
Challenges completed today: Candy Challenge
Comments: I normally read the last paragraph or page of a book before I get started and I don't really care if I know major plot points prior to reading, but this review from one of my favorite blogs mentioned that the killer's name is on the last page of And Then There Were None so I decided to avoid it and go into this one unspoiled.  I am glad I did. It was hard to tamp the urge to skim ahead to see who would die next but I kept in in check which made the whole thing more exciting.  It was a fun, suspenseful read and I plowed through it in one sitting because I couldn't wait to find out would happen.

Friday
Books I've read today: The Imperfectionists (in progress)
Number of pages read today: 116
Total number of pages I've read: 871
Total number of books I've finished: 3
Challenges completed today: Most Looking Forward ToBook Spine Poetry
Comments: I was hoping to finish The Imperfectioinists today but that didn't end up happening.  I like it so far though. Saturday is going to end up being a marathon reading day.

Saturday
Books I've read today: The Imperfectionists (finished), Kasher in the Rye (finished)
Number of pages read today: 403
Total number of pages I've read: 1274
Total number of books I've finished: 5
Challenges completed today: none
Comments: The Imperfectionists is an interesting book. Each chapter follows a different person associated with an English language newspaper based in Rome. People you have already read about or about to read about are mentioned in the POV chapters for someone else.  I liked this format.  I would form an opinion about someone based on how they were perceived by someone else and then read the chapter from that got in his or her head and change my mind.  The characters were all pretty flawed and realistic if not exactly likeable. My favorite chapters were "World's Oldest Liar Dies at 126 Obituary Writer-Aurthur Gopal" and "Kooks with Nukes Copy Editor-Ruby Zaga." The other book I finished today was Kasher in the Rye. I dig Kasher's stand up (he is a comedian) and the book is funny while covering some pretty heavy subject matter. The subtitle of the book is "The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal. Mental Patient, and then Turned 16." That pretty much sums it up.

Sunday
Books I've read today: Albert of Adelaide (finished)
Number of pages read today: 240
Total number of pages I've read: 1514
Total number of books I've finished: 6
Challenges completed today: none
Comments: I went into Albert of Adelaide cold. I bought it based on the cover and the description on the book jacket. It took me a little while to get into it, but I ended up enjoying it. I love westerns and that's pretty much what this book is but with talking animals instead of people.

Wrap Up
This past week has been a lot of fun! I ended up reading more books than I set out to (I didn't get to We, the Drowned though) and completed more challenges than I thought I would. I focused mostly on the reading, but next time I hope to get more involved with the social side (commenting on blogs, twitter chats).  I finished the week having read some really great books and with a new list of blogs to follow.

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