Thursday, May 2, 2013


I am going to participate in Bout of Books 7.0. I really enjoyed it last time and am looking forward to trying it again. Goals template adapted from here.

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 13th and runs through Sunday, May 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 7.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
Time Devoted to Reading
I will be reading all week. I have work Tuesday-Friday and I am on-call for work on Sunday but I think that should still leave a decent amount of time for reading.

My Goals
My goal is to read at least 4 of the average length books from the list below and all of the short books (the play, the letters, the poem, the short stories), participate in at least 3 challenges, and visit five blogs from the participants list each day.

Books to Read
1. The Black Count by Tom Reiss
2. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
3. Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
4. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
5. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
6. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
7. Beowulf by Unknown (translated by Frederick Rebsamen)
8. Legend by Marie Lu
9. The Wildcats of Exeter by Edward Marston
10. Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde (narrated by Derek Jacobi)
11. Death by Black Hole by Neil deGrasse Tyson (narrated by Dion Graham)
12. Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed (narrated by Phil Gigante)

Books I’ve read today: Legend (finished), Beowulf (finished), The Black Count (in progress), 
Death by Black Hole (in progress), Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories (in progress)
Number of pages read today: 
471 and 1hr 20min of audio

Total number of pages I
’ve read: 
471 and 1hr 20min of audio
Total number of books I’ve finished: 2
Challenges completed today: Book Spine Poetry
I didn’t have work today so I spent a lot of the day reading. I have three different translations of Beowulf (Rebsamen, Raffel, and Heaney) that I want to read in the next couple of months. They are all quite different. I decided to start with the Rebsamen translation. He kept the caesura which differs from the other translations I have. I read it out loud to myself (as recommended in the introduction) which I think was the way to go because it brought out some of the alliteration that I would have glossed over otherwise. I did the same thing when I read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It takes three times as long to read but the benefit is worth it. I am going to try the Raffel translation next which I think is the one I read in high school and LOVED at the time.
I also finished Legend today. I liked it but did not love it. I plowed through it pretty quickly though because it was really entertaining. I would have enjoyed it more if there had been better character development and if the characters were aged up a bit. I liked it enough that Prodigy, the next book in the series, will probably be the first book I read after Bout of Books is done.

The audiobook for Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories has seven sections so I plan on listening to one each day. The narrator is Derek Jacobi who is THE BEST. I am going out of order and started with “The Happy Prince.

Books I’ve read today: 
84, Charing Cross Road (finished), The Wildcats of Exeter (finished)Death by Black Hole (in progress), Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories (in progress) 
Number of pages read today: 372 and 3h40m of audio  
Total number of pages I’ve read: 843 and 5h of audio
Total number of books I’ve finished: 4
ges completed today: none 
All the reviews I read indicated that 84, Charing Cross Road is charming, witty, and quite touching. They were right. I loved every bit of it. I was also happy to see that Frank Doel was a Tottenham supporter. COYS!

I love Edward Martson's (pseudonym for Keith Miles) Domesday series. They are kind of all the same (usually the King's commissioners roll into town to settle disputes over land holdings but the investigation is derailed by a murder that pertains to the dispute and that they have to solve), but I don't care. I have read and reread them all. These are my comfort reads and have been since I picked the first one up at Crown Books (when that used to be a thing) when I was in seventh grade. Between these and Cadfael (more Derek Jacobi!) my craving for Medieval mystery solving in England and Wales is satisfied.

For my Wilde audiobook I listened to "The Canterville Ghost." I listened to it while I was driving around today and several parts had me chuckling out loud to myself, particularly any time Sir Simon was reminiscing about someone he had managed to ruin with his haunting. I had not read this short story before and the adaptations I have seen did not do it justice and they pretty much stripped it of Wilde's wit. I will admit that I do love the John Gielgud/Alyssa Milano version even though it is not a very faithful adaptation. John Gielgud is so great in it and I still watch it every year around Halloween. 

Books I’ve read today
Much Ado About Nothing (finished), Death by Black Hole (finished), Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories (in progress), Throne of the Crescent Moon (in progress) 
Number of pages read today: 135 and 5h45m of audio
Total number of pages I’ve read: 978 and 10h45m of audio
Total number of books I’ve finished: 6
Challenges completed today: none
Comments: Read Much Ado About Nothing. This is my sister's favorite Shakespeare play and she quotes it 
constantly, but I never got around to reading it. Loved it. Beatrice and Benedick are awesome.

I finished Death By Black Hole too. I went into the read-a-thon with half of it already completed. Neil deGrasse Tyson's writing is engaging as always. The narrator, Dion Graham, did an excellent job with the reading. Astronomy and astrophysics are crazy exciting-Jupiter's moons alone are nuts.

I decided to add Throne of the Crescent Moon to my list of books because I only had half left after listening to it on the way to LA and back over the weekend. The dude who narrates it is nailing it. I will finish this one up tomorrow.


Books I’ve read today: The False Prince (finished)Throne of the Crescent Moon (finished), Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories (in progress)
Number of pages read today: 342 and 3h25m of audio
Total number of pages I’ve read: 1320 and 14h10m of audio
Total number of books I’ve finished: 8
Challenges completed today: Acrostic Poem
Comments: Finished Throne of the Crescent Moon. I liked it a lot. It frequently gets brought up when people talk about fantasy books that aren't set in the usual quasi-European medieval setting. I bought the book after listening to the author, Saladin Ahmed,  talk about non-traditional settings here  on the Writing Excuses podcast. Pretty interesting. The characters in Throne of the Crescent Moon are great. I love high fantasy so I was happy with that. The language is lyrical and lent itself really well to the audiobook format. Phil Gigante (narrator) is rad. His narration is expressive without being overwrought and he does individual character voices so well. The whole thing (both the book and the reading) were fun and I am excited to continue with the series when the next books are published. I just bought Ahmed’s collection of short stoires and look forward to reading those. 

I also really liked The False Prince. I had intended to only read half of it today but I liked it so much that I stayed up late to finish it. The voice of the main character is great. He is rebellious and a smartass without being obnoxious which I think is a hard balance to get right.

Listened to two sections of Lord Arthur Savile’s Crimes, one of which was the titular story which has been my favorite so far. Listening to Derek Jacobi say the word cram is one of life’s pleasures.

Books I’ve read today:
Lord Arthur Savile's Crime and Other Stories (finished), Tell the Wolves I'm Home (in progress)
Number of pages read today: 100 and 2h34m of audio
Total number of pages I’ve read: 1420 and 16h44m of audio
Total number of books I’ve finished: 9
Challenges completed today: none
Comments: Didn't get too much reading done today but I love what I have read of 
Tell the Wolves I'm Home so far.

Books I’ve read today: 
Tell the Wolves I'm Home (in progress), Beautiful Ruins (in progress)

Number of pages read today: 140
Total number of pages I’ve read: 1570 a
nd 16h44m of audio
Total number of books I’ve finished: 9
Challenges completed today: none
Comments: It was a beautiful day out so I went to Balboa Park to do some reading outside and to visit some of the museums. Between the museums and lunch I didn't get as much reading done as I had planned, but still managed a good size chunk of Tell The Wolves I'm Home. I also read the first couple chapters of Beautiful Ruins. I think I am going to save the rest of that one along with The Black Count for next month. Even though I haven't picked it up again since Monday I am looking forward to finishing The Black Count. I read the prologues and the first two chapters earlier in the week and it is pretty amazing. It is about Alex Dumas, father of the well-known author. Why are we not all freaking out about how great this guy was? 

Books I’ve read today: Tell the Wolves I'm Home (finished)
Number of pages read today: 150
Total number of pages I’ve read: 1620 
and 16h44m of audio
Total number of books I’ve finished: 10
Challenges completed today: none
Comments: Oof. Tell the Wolves I'm Home was sad and lovely and I really liked it. The characters and their relationships were flawed and complex and I wanted too keep reading about them even after it was over. There were so many passages where the emotional truth of what Brunt wrote was like a punch in the stomach (in a good way?). This was one of those books where I flagged a bunch of pages for quotes that I loved.

Wrap Up
All done! So, I went out with a bit of a whimper. Earlier in the week I was reading multiple books a day and reading at a faster clip, but I figured that would be the case as I would have other things to do in addition to reading over the weekend. During the first half of the week I pretty much spent all my free time reading which I loved and although it would not be sustainable for me over a long period of time it is nice to do every once in a while. I am not so concerned about the page count or number of books I finished as they are both kind of inflated due to the works I chose and the fact that I was half done with two of the audiobooks when the week started. Mostly I am happy that I finished books that I had been meaning to get to for a while and that I didn't feel like I raced through them just to cross them off the list. I read a good number of participant's blogs and although I didn't leave many comments (I never know what to say!) I found a bunch of new blogs to follow and I think I will make leaving more comments a goal for next time. I set a goal for three challenges and only completed two, but overall not too bad I think.


  1. Good luck next week! I haven't read any of those books but I hear Legend is good :)

  2. Hope you enjoy your reading. Beautiful Ruins and Legend are on my TBR list as well, not for next week but at some point! So many good books, so little time! Here are my Bout of Books Read-a-thon Goals if you'd like to stop by.

  3. I see some Classics on your list! Great goal.. I need to get more classics in my life that is for sure. Good luck with reading!!!

    My bout of books goals

  4. There's some gorgeous looking spines in that lot. Good luck!

  5. I've heard great things about The false prince! :) Happy reading!


  6. Wow your doing amazing! So many pages read…keep up the great work!

    My BoB

  7. You did great! Hope to see you in August!