Bout of Books 15.0 – Updates

Bout of Books

Let’s get Bout of Book-ing! This readathon is week long feast for reading. Each participant can make their own rules, which means you can either try to really challenge yourself or just to see how much you can read in a week. I tend to prefer the latter, so my goal for this challenge is only to read every day – simple, but effective. Going into the challenge, I’m currently reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara, which I’ve been reading since the end of December. I’m not sure if I can finish the entire 800+ book during the week (I hope so), but I’ll probably intersperse A Little Life with a couple shorter books from my January TBR. However, last year I read most of The Name of the Rose during Bout of Books without any problems, so I don’t think it’ll be any different this year.

Monday January 4th
Currently reading: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Pages read today: 81
Pages read in total: 81
Today’s book in six words: I’m horrified, torn and in love.

Tuesday January 5th
Currently reading: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Pages read today: 66
Pages read in total: 147
Today in six words: Not the quantity but the quality ❤

Wednesday January 6th
Currently reading: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Pages read today: 169
Pages read in total: 316
Today’s reading in six words: Should I start another book? Nah.

Thursday January 7th
Currently reading: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Pages read today: 103
Pages read in total: 419
Today’s reading in six words: Happily monogamous with this book.

Friday January 8th
Currently reading: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Pages read today: 120
Pages read in total: 539
Today’s reading in six words: I don’t want this to end.

Saturday January 9th
Currently reading: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Pages read today: 211
Pages read in total: 750
Today’s reading in six words: Finished. Too numb to read more.

Sunday January 10th
Currently reading: Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos & Ant Farm and Other Desperate Situations by Simon Rich
Pages read today: 161
Pages read in total: 911
Today’s reading in six words: Two short and rather curious books.

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Bout of Books 14 – Updates

BoB14-200x200

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!)

Bout of Books 14

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, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd 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 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. 

– From the Bout of Books team

It’s here again – Bout of Books! Bout of Books is a readathon that takes place from Monday the 17th of August to Sunday the 23rd of August, and the goal is to read as much as you can during that time. I’m took part in Bout of Books 12 in January, but this is the first time that I’m able to take part in the reading fun also in the autumn! As of now, I’m currently reading – and have been reading for two whole weeks – The Egyptian by Mika Waltari, and if all goes to plan, I’ll be able to finish it at the beginning of the readathon. After that I plan to devour as many books from my 20 Books of Summer list as possible, but also squeeze in some poetry as one of my 2015 goals is to read more poetry. I have four poetry collections checked out from the library, each very different from one another, so I hope to dip into some of them during the week. We’ll see how it goes.

My reading options for Bout of Books 14 are:

BoB14

  • The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
  • The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh
  • Hägring 38 by Kjell Westö (Swedish)
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy
  • Aniara: An Epic Science Fiction Poem by Harry Martinson (Swedish)
  • Rakkaus on ruma sana – Valitut laulutekstit by Ismo Alanko (Finnish)
  • Pomes All Sizes by Jack Kerouac

Also currently on my nightstand are The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern; The Winter Book by Tove Jansson; Ant Farm and Other Desperate Situations by Simon Rich; A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin; The Tenant of Wilderfell Hall by Anne Brontë; and Kiinalainen puutarha by Markus Nummi.

As you can see, there’s really no lack of option – I just need more time to read! Hence my goal for the readathon is simply to read every day – and if I get super into it, maybe surpass 1,000 pages? I read almost 700 pages during the last Bout of Books, and before that I got slightly over 800, so there’s room for improvement. In addition to reading every day, I plan to write small update posts for each day of the readathon, so if you’re interested to see how my Bout of Books is going, you can follow my progress through those. I’ll also be tweeting about the books that I read during the week, so be sure to check my Twitter (@bookarino).

Are you participating in the Bout of Books 14 and if so, what are you reading? Let me know in the comments and share your post!

Happy reading! x

Bout of Books 12.0 – Update #2

Bout of BooksHello dear readers!

Since my first Bout of Books update covered the readathon from Monday to Wednesday, this part will look at how my reading week from Thursday to Sunday?

On Thursday, my day was pretty busy and it wasn’t until 7 PM that I found some time to settle into the corner of my sofa and read. I began by reading around 50 pages of The Name of the Rose, but because it is a very thought-provoking read, I feel the need to pause every once in a while to think about the issues mentioned in the book. And as much as I enjoy challenging books that force me to think bigger questions, it just wasn’t what I wanted to read at the moment. I wanted a book that I could immerse myself into, which is why I began reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society that everyone has been encouraging me to pick up. And I instantly fell in love with its epistolary style.

Pages read: 73
Pages read in total: 334
Currently reading: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco AND The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Scaffer & Annie Barrows

Friday was my “back-to-school” day, filled with excitement for the new semester and friends I hadn’t seen during the holiday season. In the evening I curled up with a cup of tea and reached for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, immersing myself to the post-WWII England and the lives of the inhabitants of the Guernsey Island.

Before going to sleep, I stopped to think about what it was that made me pick up TGLPPS instead of The Name of the Rose. I enjoyed both books very much, but for some reason I kept putting The Name of the Rose on the back burner. I guess the reason stems from the news of the past week – the tragedies of Paris terror attacks – and the polarisation of Europe. Let me explain: The Name of the Rose is a murder mystery set in a monastery in the Middle Ages, but it is also heavily interwoven with religious debates and politics of the time. For example, debates on whether or not Jesus ever laughed, whether laughter is sinning, and how Christian heresies are the cause of the actions of the Church. Although these discussions are set in the frame of the 14th century Europe, there are still points that echo into the modern society and the recent #JeSuisCharlie. My heart goes out to the families of the people in Charlie Hebdo, as well as to the other victims, and I hope that the events won’t further polarise the already tender relationship between the two cultures living in Europe. Reading The Name of the Rose, I can’t help but to play it against the recent events, which is not a good association. Sometimes reading can offer further understanding of the situation and relief to sadness, but sometimes you just want to escape.

Pages read: 71
Pages read in total: 405
Currently reading: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco AND The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Scaffer & Annie Barrows

On Saturday morning, I enjoyed a late breakfast with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. In comparison to my yesterday’s post, this book also has darker shades, as it deals with the German Occupation during WWII and the suffering that went on during those years. Part of me would like to believe that this was all just the writer’s own flare, but the truth of what happened might be even more terrifying than that. A lot of the book is set on the Guernsey Island on the English Channel, and the descriptions of the island definitely have inspired me to consider it as one of the places that I’d love to visit someday.

The Reading England 2015 challenge that I’m doing this year is catered to classics, so I can’t officially set this book on the list of “visited counties”. However, I am going to add my own little twist to my travel plan – A (Modern) Detour. My plan is to write down all the non-classic books in 2015 that were set in England and their setting, to see how far and wide I traveled without a map. I might not write a review of all the books, but I will definitely try to update the list throughout the year, along with the original challenge. Guernsey will have the honour of being the first detour, but I’m convinced that there’ll be more to come.

Pages read: 137
Pages read in total: 542
Currently reading: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

On Saturday night I couldn’t put The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pee Pie Society down, so I ended up finishing the last 11 pages after the clock had transitioned into Sunday. Ah, the book is such a treasure – heartwarming and vivid! I could barely catch any sleep after finishing it.

I spent Sunday baking, cleaning, catching up on podcasts and making paper stars. I think I’ll try to keep up with making paper stars for every book that I read, but since I’m not really naturally crafty, I’ll doubt that it’ll stick the whole year. I kept reading The Name of the Rose in between the different activities, and I’m slowly reaching the conclusion of the mystery. Again, I have nothing but praise for how the story is constructed and all the research that Eco has made for the book. Naturally there are some moments of information overload, but as the topic is surprisingly interesting – who’d known? – it can be easily ignored. As I’m writing this post, I’ve put down the book for the night. It would have been awesome if I could have completed The Name of the Rose within the Bout of Books readathon week, but I’m not really that bothered. I enjoy taking my time with this book, so I’ll let it simmer.

Pages read: 147
Pages read in total: 689
Currently reading: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

Overall, I did finish one play and one book during the week, and my weekly total is almost 700 pages – that’s approx. 100 pages per day! I’m very pleased with how the readathon turned out and hopefully these updates haven’t bored you to death. Now I have some reviews to write, so expect those during the next week!

Bout of Books 12.0 – Update #1

Bout of Books

Hello readers and fellow bout-of-bookers!
Here’s my small update of the first three days of the Bout of Books 12.0 readathon.

As predicted, I finished reading Throne of Glass on Sunday evening – about 10 minutes before midnight. So in the morning of the readathon, I started reading The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Even though I had already read the first 62 pages in German, I decided to begin from the beginning to see how much I had understood correctly from the German translation. One of the things that surprised me was the narrator’s voice, which in the Finnish translation is a very pronounced dialect. In the German translation, the narrator’s voice didn’t feel as vernacular, and I must admit that the Finnish translator’s choice did turn me off a bit from reading. There were many occasion upon which I stopped reading and reach for the German copy to compare the translated passages. However, as I do not speak Italian, I cannot be sure which translator is more correct in their choice of style.

Despite the not-so-great start, I finished the day having read 100 pages of The Name of the Rose and feeling very satisfied with the way to story was going. Part of the books magic is the philosophical discussions and debates around religion and sciences, which I found to be super fascinating.
Pages read: 100
Currently reading: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

So after the fantastic start on Monday, expectations were high for Tuesday – and not met. Despite the fact that my break last until the 9th and that I had no plans for Tuesday, I didn’t get much reading done. I did read something – the morning paper, a few articles online, some recipes, blog posts, etc. – but it turned out I wasn’t in that much of a reading mood on Tuesday. What can I say – it happens. However, as my plan for the readathon was not to stress too much about reading, I was rather pleased that I did manage to read about 50 pages of The Name of the Rose. So I’m still holding tight to my goal of reading every day.
Pages read: 57
Pages read in total: 157
Currently reading: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

The third day of Bout of Books saw me open a book already in the morning, but after a few pages of The Name of the Rose, I had to put it down and focus on arranging things for the upcoming semester. Later in the evening I decided to take a break from the Middle Ages and picked up A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde instead. I love Wilde’s witty plays and I enjoy his satirical take on the British upper classes and their pretenses. A Woman of No Importance was no exception on this front, but I’m also noticing that the more I read Wilde, the more I begin to pick up certain characters and types that keep repeating in his work. Whether it is a good or a bad thing, I have yet to decide.
Pages read: 104
Pages read in total: 261
Currently reading: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

Bout of Books 12.0

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, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th 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 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.

– From the Bout of Books team

It’s that time of the year again – Bout of Books January readathon! Last year I took part in the Bout of Books 9.0 that was held around the same time, and had a blast with it. However, none of the later dates really suited my schedules, so here we are – a year later and ready to read again. This year the Bout of Books team has decided to exclude the official Goals post, to keep the event more laid-back and positive. Participants can set themselves goals if they want to, but there is no pressure to do so. I did consider setting some specific goals, such as last year’s “Read two books”, but to be honest I don’t know if that would motivate me in the right way. Thus my goal for the Bout of Books 12.0 is this: Read every day.

Even though I went to a little blogging spree during the past week, I still have some posts and reviews that need to be written, and I don’t want to add any pressure on that by reading more books that then need to be reviewed. So I’m going to take the easy way with this readathon, and focus more on reading as well as discovering new blogs and bloggers. I will try my best to post updates throughout the week, but I probably won’t take part in any of the daily challenges (not really my kind of thing, I’m afraid).

But what will I be reading? I’m currently in the middle of two books: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. However, I probably will be finished with Throne of Glass by Monday, so I hope to pick up either The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Short Stories (my Jazz Age January choice), The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society or Wilde’s The Woman of No Importance to read on the side. Maybe.

Will you be participating in the Bout of Books 12.0 and if so, what do you plan on reading?

Bout of Books 9.0 – Update #4 & Wrap-up

BoB9.0-200x200A new week is here and it is time to say goodbye to the Bout of Books 9.0. I had fun challenging myself to read more and I’m now two books ahead of my schedule in Goodreads’ 50 books reading challenge. To recap, my challenges for this Bout of Books 9.0 were to 1) read at least two books and start a third one, 2) read every day, and 3) take part in at least one of the Twitter chats and/or challenges. But first, let’s see what happened on Sunday.

Sunday was definitely my most non-reading day of the whole read-a-thon. I guess I was starting to get tired after reading laboriously the whole week, but also I think that Brideshead Revisited is the type of book where reading it quickly would spoil the fun. Thus I enjoyed a lazy Sunday brunch with the book for about 18 pages, and later in the evening I languidly mused with the characters another 19 pages. I might make slow progress with this book but it doesn’t mean that I’m not finding it interesting. Pages read: 37

On the whole, my read-a-thon went really well. I managed to read two books: Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, which I had started a bit earlier, and Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. Both were very enjoyable books and I intend to write reviews of them as soon as possible. I also started my third book, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, of which I’ve now read 54 pages. The total number of pages I read during this week was 816, and the most productive day in that sense was Friday when I read 188 pages. I managed to read every day of the week and, except on Sunday, I read about 80+ pages on an average day. However, I did fail the Twitter chat/challenge/community part of my challenge. Mostly because I had some computer issues (still working on it!), but also because in the end, it didn’t feel like something I needed. Staging books or making poetry with book spines does sound like fun but I felt like focusing more on the books themselves and the reading. I did tweet about the Bout of Books a couple of times and discovered some new blogs to follow thanks to the read-a-thon, so all hope is not lost!

Hope all of you had a lovely week and you read some awesome books!

Bout of Books 9.0 – Update #3

BoB9.0-200x200‘Are we there yet?’ The half-mark of the Bout of Books read-a-thon has been passed and the second to last update is here. I’ve truly managed to stick with this read-a-thon and it seems I’m going to achieve most of my goals: I’ve already finished two books (reviews will be up next week!), and read every day. However, due to some technical problems I have not been able to take part on any chats or challenges these last days. Luckily there’s still one day left!

On Friday, I had my Literature exam in the morning but as I had no classes in the afternoon, I was free to read as much as I liked. The first week of university is usually more relaxed which is good when you have a read-a-thon going on. I read about 110 pages of Between Shades of Gray during the afternoon, drinking several cups of tea along the way. It is extremely pleasant to read something that flows as easily as this story does although the topic isn’t a very nice (the oppression of Lithuanians under Stalin). I had planned to participate in one of the challenges on Friday but my computer had other plans. It has been lately very unreliable so I decided to back up my files and re-install the system. And while the computer ran it’s programs, I read some more – 70 pages to be exact. Pages read: 188

On Saturday, I spent my morning sipping tea and reading the final 75 page of Between Shades of Gray. I’m super happy that I decided to read this book because it was so emotional, beautiful and sad. I couldn’t start another book straight away, so it took until later in the afternoon that I picked up Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. This book was gifted to me a few years ago and I’m reading it now as part of the Jazz Age January hosted by Books Speak Volumes. I’m only 17 pages in but so far it seems okay. Pages read (so far): 92

Currently reading: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Books finished: 2
Pages read in total: 779
Twitter chats/challenges: 0