Bout of Books 14 – Updates

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Let’s get this reading party started!

I was super excited about the Bout of Books 14 before it started (see my ambitious TBR), but I knew that the first two days of the Bout of Books week would be short of reading, because I had to work full days on a large work project. However, I didn’t expect to be presented with a full throttle of cold-like symptoms on Monday, which have now developed into a full-on cold. Work has been a bit stressful (okay, a lot) lately, so I guess needed a reminder to take better care of myself. So I’m now focusing on recovering from the cold instead of reading X amount of pages per day. However, once the project that I’m working on finishes and I’m back to normal, I’ll have more time and energy to read and to blog. I’m honestly doing better already, so no need to worry about me going completely MIA.

Monday August 17th
Number of pages read today: 115
Books finished from today: 1
Total number of pages read: 115
Notes: I devoured almost all of The Egyptian during the weekend in my excitement and so I only had about 30 pages of it to finish on Monday morning. I had a very relaxed mornign with breakfast and coffee, and my plan was to read Evelyn Waugh’s novella The Loved One (127 p.) after work. However, the day started going a bit down hill due to cold and once I wrapped up my work, I could only manage about 85 pages before I fell into bed. However, I was very much enjoying The Loved One with its sassiness and the clever remarks on funeral arrangements, so reading didn’t really feel like a chore.

Tuesday August 18th
Number of pages read today: 69
Books finished from today: 2
Total number of pages read: 184
Notes: I was holding a naïve hope that the symptoms would go away with a good night’s sleep, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. So I wrangled myself up and to get myself going for the day, I finished The Loved One during breakfast. I adored it and its satirical take on 50’s Hollywood with all its quirks and the mock-decorum of the British community. Overall, I think I enjoyed it a bit more than Brideshead Revisited, and now I really want to read the rest of Waugh’s works. Rest of my day passed in a hazy, stress-driven mood and like the day before, I fell into bed almost immediately after finishing work. Slept for a few hours and feeling more energized, I picked up The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy. I’ve heard lots and lots praise for Duffy, but I must admit that I picked this collection of poetry solely based on it’s cover. I’m currently about 12 pages into it, and I’m really REALLY liking it! Who would have known?

Wednesday August 19th
Number of pages read today: 145
Books finished from today: 3
Total number of pages read: 329
Notes: Day 3 – feverish, but feeling better. I tried to take my time with The Bees, and savour its beauty, but I just couldn’t help myself. I’m head over heels in love with Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry, and I just want to wrap myself up in a big cocoon and let it seep into my skin. Before The Bees I never really got what it was that made poetry special, but with this collection I wanted to shout it out to the world and had several ‘Yes! She gets it’ moments. I guess it’s true that with poetry you just need to find the right fit. Now I want to read everything she has ever written.

After The Bees, I decided to pick up The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling). I read the first book in the Cormoran Strike series last summer, and although I didn’t find it to be anything special, I think it makes for a perfectly good summery read. I’m currently about 100 pages in and though it isn’t in any way mind-blowing, it’s good fun and filled with publishing scoops.

Thursday August 20th
Number of pages read today: 221
Books finished from today: 3
Total number of pages read: 550
Notes: Over 200 pages in one day – wow! The Silkworm is a solid mystery novel that keeps you guessing alongside the main character as the investigation goes on. An enjoyable read and one that I can easily read several chapters in a row without a pause. J.K. Rowling certainly knows how to write and if I didn’t know that she was behind the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, I don’t think I’d ever made the connection. The voice is very different in my opinion, and it definitely shows talent in writing. Overall, it’s good fun and it seems like an okay plot (so far).

Friday August 21st
Number of pages read today: 110
Books finished from today: 3
Total number of pages read: 660
Notes: Friday was a busy day. I read a bit of The Silkworm in the morning, but aside from work my day was filled with running errands, meeting friends for lunch, shopping and driving to the family summer cottage. After settling down in the evening I read for a few hours, but not too much. I still hold on to my opinion that The Silkworm is a great beach (or cottage) read – coincidentally, I also read the first book, The Cuckoo’s Calling, at the summer cottage!

Saturday August 22nd
Number of pages read today: 151
Books finished from today: 4
Total number of pages read: 811
Notes: Weekend at the summer cottage means ample reading time. And read I have. I finished The Silkworm in the evening and didn’t guess the killer – then again, I rarely do. Overall, I think The Silkworm is an entertaining and engaging read that flows well and invites you to immerse yourself in the mystery of a missing writer. I started reading Atonement by Ian McEwan in the evening, but fell asleep after page 6. I blame wine and lots of good food in a good company. More updates later on, but with this pace I might make it to 1,000 pages?!

Sunday August 23rd
Number of pages read today: 119
Books finished from today: 4
Total number of pages read: 930
Notes: Sunday was a day for lots of swimming in the lake and lying in the sun, with a book in hand. Although the air was not as heavy with heat as in Atonement, the warm weather made it easier to fall into the story and to picture in my head the small country estate and its inhabitants. Atonement has that long afternoon drowsiness oozing from it and, in contrast to The Silkworm, you don’t want to rush through it, but to linger and watch all the details – I guess languor is contagious. Nonetheless, I must admit that part of the slow progress is also due to McEwan’s language, which can be at times quite highbrow. So in the end I got only 119 pages read in the last day of the readathon, and thus didn’t quite reach the 1,000 page goal. However, I did manage to read far more than I’d normally read in a week, so my Bout of Books was really quite successful! Now I just need to get a move on writing those reviews…

I hope your Bout of Books week was also successful and that you read some amazing books. Let me know in the comments what was your favourite! (Mine was definitely The Bees!)

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6 thoughts on “Bout of Books 14 – Updates

  1. Wow, I have never heard of this read-a-thon before! Love it! How can I sign up? Good luck with yours, I think it’s wise for you to focus on getting better rather on reading a certain number of pages. Good luck with work and, well, life in general 😛

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