Readathon Results

If you’re expecting massive results from my personal little end-of-the-month readathon, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I didn’t get as much read as I wanted to. Chalk it up to a fatigue flare as I went into the second half of the week. More than once, I just didn’t have the energy to read, or else I needed to save what little energy I had for more important tasks that were coming my way.

In the end I finished Junji Ito’s Remina, Kousuke’s Satake’s The Witch and the Beast, vol 1, and Seanan McGuire’s Come Tumbling Down, and made decent progress on finishing Lev Grossman’s The Magician’s Land. I didn’t touch P Djeli Clark’s Ring Shout or Evan Winter’s The Fires of Vengeance, which makes me sad because I was at least hoping to start The Fires of Vengeance on this challenge.

But I did at least get some done, even if all I managed was to finish a couple of manga volumes and a novella. That’s something. Pushing myself a little did yield results, so I can’t say I’m entirely disappointed, even if I am a bit disappointed.

I still fully plan to read the books I didn’t finish on this readathon, and reviews for what I did finish will be dropping over the next few weeks, when I can find the time and energy to write them.

Run-Up-to-Halloween Readathon

You know, it’s been a while since I’ve settled in for a good readathon. I think the last time I seriously attempted one was when I had lost my job and thought of doing a massive reading binge to cheer myself up. The time before that was health-related downtime. And the time before that. And the time before that…

It seems I’m drawn to readathons when my health sucks, is what I’m saying.

So what better time to launch into a new one than when my health sucks once again!?

I said before that I’ve been having trouble concentrating due to brain fog, and that my reading has suffered as a result. That hasn’t changed, but I still want to tackle a challenge, to push myself in a way that still lets me get a decent amount of rest. A readathon during the week leading up to Halloween seemed like just the thing! A chance to just read without feeling guilty about how I should probably be doing something else, something more productive with my limited time and energy, and you know what? No. No, I shouldn’t. I should be resting, I should be trying to not cause myself more harm than good, and frankly, I should probably be making my way through more of the review copies I have on backlog.

Seems like as good a reason as any to challenge myself to a week of reading!

So, what’s on the chopping block for this coming week?

~ Finish reading Lev Grossman’s The Magician’s Land
~ Read Evan Winter’s The Fires of Vengeance
~ Read Seanan McGuire’s Come Tumbling Down
~ Read P Djeli Clark’s Ring Shout
~ Read Juniji Ito’s Remina
~ Read Kousuke Satake’s The Witch and the Beast, vol 1

2 novels, 2 novellas, and 2 manga volumes. Might not seem like much, especially compared to what I used to be able to read in a week when I put my mind to i, but I’ll be quite happy with myself if I can finish all of these by Halloween.

Wish me luck, friends, and if you want to join in this little Run-Up-to-Halloween Readathon, link me to your blog posts in the comments and I’ll check out what’s on your To Read stack!

Belated end to the 2 week book binge + Winnipeg holiday!

I should have posted this when I got back on Sunday night or Monday morning, but in all honesty, I’ve been a very lazy person and practically haven’t moved more than 50 feet from my bed for 2 days because after a weekend of not stopping, sometimes doing nothing but lying in bed and hanging out and just enjoying company again just feels amazing!

But the laziness is over, and it’s back to my regular blogging duties.

So, how did my readathon end up going, when all is said and done?

~ finally finish Jo Walton’s What Makes This Book So Great (no progress since last update)
~ read Julia Mary Gibson’s Copper Magic
~ read Eliza Crewe’s Crushed
~ read Lisa Ann O’Kane’s Essence
~ read A M Dellamonica’s Child of a Hidden Sea (30% done)
~ read Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman’s Unwept
~ read Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory’s The House of the Four Winds
~ read issues 60 and 61 of Apex Magazine

I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to do. I still haven’t finished the Jo Walton book, I didn’t read any of the back issues of Apex Magazine, and I only got a little less than a third through Child of a Hidden Sea. But on the more positive side of things, I still read 6 full books in 2 weeks (I’m counting when I read Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch, even though it wasn’t on my initial list), and made progress on 2 other books. I can’t complain too loudly.

I’d probably be further through Child of a Hidden Sea, were it not for 2 things: 1) plans changed and my first night in the hotel wasn’t free after all, so instead of spending the night inside reading, I was out having fun at a huge fair!

IMG_20140620_203637-2(I’m not the pretty Thai girl. That’s my dad’s wife. I’m the one with the doofy smile.)

And 2), I didn’t read a word on the flight from Saint John to Toronto, since I was too busy staring out the window!

SAM_0942-2(Downtown Toronto, taken from my seat on the plane.)

Then of course on Saturday night there was the concert, where I got to holy crap, see Queen + Adam Lambert, and how do you top living out a dream, because that concert was just amazing!

SAM_0965-2(Lousy picture, due to my camera not being as awesome as I want, but yes, that’s Adam Lambert lounging on that couch, and yes, he has gold drapey things dangling from his sleeves.)

So in all, I had a damn good holiday halfway across the country, capping off my book binge to culminate in an incredibly entertaining couple of weeks! Can I do it again now? Like, right from the beginning, ending the same way? Because that would make me very happy!

Halfway point of the 2-week book binge.

By giant readathon is half over, so I figure it’s time for a check in, to see how I’m doing with my goals so far. Let’s take a look at the list and see what’s been done and what’s left.

~ finally finish Jo Walton’s What Makes This Book So Great (progress has been made)
~ read Julia Mary Gibson’s Copper Magic
~ read Eliza Crewe’s Crushed
~ read Lisa Ann O’Kane’s Essence
~ read A M Dellamonica’s Child of a Hidden Sea
~ read Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman’s Unwept
~ read Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory’s The House of the Four Winds (over 1/3 done)
~ read issues 60 and 61 of Apex Magazine

Hrm, not as much as I’d expected to have done by this point. In my defense, there was a day when I got way too distracted by reruns of Supernatural… Wait, that’s not a defense. That’s just an excuse! Come on, self, shape up and stop getting distracted by on-screen hilarity and action!

I did read Jill Murphy’s Worst Witch, too, which I didn’t plan for, and while it was short and a quick read, it did take up time, so that’s worth mentioning.

I should be able to finish The House of the Four Winds today, since it a Mercedes Lackey novel that involves pirates and adventure, and that kind of story is the kind that gets difficult to put down. Unwept and Crushed are relatively short, so they shouldn’t take too long. I do have the rest of the week, and that also includes flights across the country and back, as well as an evening spent in a hotel where I know that I’m not going to have anything better to do. Last week, I did a bunch of stuff in between reading. This coming week, there’ll be more time in which I can’t do anything else at all. Can’t complain at that!

So it may not look like I’ve done too much this past week, but there’s still another week to go, and I’ve made some progress to carve away at Mount To-Be-Read.

Expect reviews of some of last week’s reading to be posted this coming week, too!

So, for the others who have joined me in this book binge, how has your reading been coming along? Accomplishments encourage us all, so talk about them freely here!

The “I’m Out of Work and Have Lots of Time on My Hands” Personal Readathon!

Okay, so maybe it’s not the most succinct name I’ve ever come up with. It doesn’t even make a good acronym. IOWHLTMH? I don’t even know how I’d begin to pronounce that.

Anyway, I thought that I should put this extra time of mine to good use, and use it to drown myself in all the reading I want to do but previously didn’t have as much time for because I was working for 42.5 hours a week. And my roommate is coming back here between June 20 and July 6, so if I haven’t found a new job by then, I won’t have as many empty hours to fill because I’ll have companyagain.

So for the next 2 weeks, consider me on a long readathon. I aim to spend at least 4 full hours a day reading (which will likely turn into 6 or more, but I don’t want to set my goals too high because I do have other things to do during this period), and that gives me more reading time than I’ve had in a while.

So, my To Read list for this event is as follows:

~ finally finish Jo Walton’s What Makes This Book So Great
~ read Julia Mary Gibson’s Copper Magic
~ read Eliza Crewe’s Crushed
~ read Lisa Ann O’Kane’s Essence
~ read A M Dellamonica’s Child of a Hidden Sea
~ read Tracy Hickman and Laura Hickman’s Unwept
~ read Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory’s The House of the Four Winds
~ read issues 60 and 61 of Apex Magazine

6 and a half books (since I’m partly finished What Makes This Book So Great) and 2 magazines between now and when I come back from my trip to Winnipeg on June 22. I’m counting the trip since I’ll have a free evening in the hotel with nothing to do, plus the flight there (when I’ll end up at the airport 2 hours before my flight) and the flight back (in which I have a 2 hour layover in Toronto), so I’ll have a fair bit of reading time even though I’ll also be spending time with family and going to a concert. I think that’s a doable set of goals. it should carry me through pretty well, but in case I end up finishing that list and still having more time left before my challenge ends, well, it’s not like I don’t have other books that need to be read!

One of the best things about doing readathons is that I end up feeling very productive. Not only am getting a lot of reading done (which means more material for reviews and content here), but with the exception of the Jo Walton book and the 2 magazines, all of those books are review copies, so I get to check them off the list and feel like I’m making progress getting through my backlog. I love being able to go to open the spreadsheet of all my review books and to mark more of them as Read instead of To Read. It’s a satisfying feeling!

So, anyone else finding themselves with more time of their hands (hopefully not from the loss of a job) and want to join me on getting some hardcore reading done over these next 2 weeks? I’d love the company!

Bout of Books!

I’ve never done Bout of Books before. For me, readathons are things that I do when I have multiple days off work and can devote a bunch of time to just lying around and not doing anything but reading. And I really won’t be doing that this week. I work, and my roommate is coming home on the weekend, and yeah, definitely not the time for doing nothing but reading.

And yet…

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 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th 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 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

But I figure that shouldn’t stop me from at least pushing myself a little. Even if I can’t read 5 books over 400 pages long or something, I can at least set some goals and do my best. I’ve gotten behind in my reading these past few weeks, and now would be a good time to catch up.

So consider me signed up and committed, and here are my goals, effective tomorrow until the end of May 18.

~ Finish reading Rjurik Davidson’s Unwrapped Sky
~ Finish reading Jo Walton’s What Makes This Book So Great
~ Read Kat Ross’s Some Fine Day
~ Read Francesca Forrest’s Pen Pal
~ Start reading Jeff Salyards’ Veil of the Deserters

Probably not going to get that last one finished, but if I can at least start reading it, I’ll be content.

So that’s my plan. If anyone else wants to join me in the reading challenges, then hop on over to Bout of Books and sign up!

Readathon recap

Well, my Time-Off-Work Readathon has come to a close (I return to work in a couple of hours), and I confess, I didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped. Part of that was because my focus was off; there were days when I had plenty of time to read, but I, er, opted to play Minecraft instead.  So I didn’t get 4 books read. I got 3 read. And 1 of them wasn’t a book I’d intended to read, so much as I book I saw on my shelves and went, “Huh, haven’t read that one in a while.”

What I read and finished were the following:

  • The Secret Under my Skin, by Janet McNaughton (reread)
  • Black Dog, by Rachel Neumeier
  • Sunrise, by Mike Mullin

And I made a teensy bit of progress on Anna Kashina’s Blades of the Old Empire. And by ‘teensy’, I mean that I read to the end of chapter 2. Hey, it counts as progress!

The better side of this is that the time off work actually did me a lot of good. Being able to focus on resting and not having to worry about checking my pain levels multiple times a day and determining whether I can keep on doing what I’m doing actually made me better able to handle the daily pain that I’ve been experiencing, and it hasn’t been as disruptive. If I started to hurt sitting up, I lay down for a while. If I couldn’t walk too far, I stopped and sat down and took a break. Funny what your body can tell you, and impressive what can happen if you listen to it and give it what it needs. And it’s much easier to do that when I don’t have to worry about pushing myself just a little further so I can make it through half my shift, maybe 3/4, oh god if I can just stay upright for another 2 hours I can finish a shift no matter how terrible my quality of work is!

It helped.

I’m in higher spirits as I return to work today, my pain level is manageable again, and I know that I just have to get through 4 shifts before my next ‘weekend’, and on one of those days I have an appointment with a specialist who will hopefully work with me to improve my life and treat the underlying problem.

So now I return myself to my regularly scheduled reading.

Time-Off-Work Readathon

My doctor has given me some time away from work to get my head in the right space before I tackle my latest health debacle, for which I am very thankful, because I feel like I’ve been walking the knife’s edge of a panic attack since I found out about that new growth. I don’t go back until January 31, which gives me a hair over a week of time to myself.

(Well, relatively, since my roommate’s still here, but she’s in classes most weekdays, so I have the apartment to myself then, and in the evenings we watch episodes of Supernatural.)

So what to do with this time off? Read, of course! Even though I’m a little ahead of my reading goals so far this year, that’s no reason to slack off, and this time to myself can be used productively to catch up on some books that I’m excited about. Just because I’m ahead of my reading goals for the year doesn’t mean that my To Read pile is technically getting any smaller.

So between now and the end of next Thursday, I’m challenging myself to read 4 books, at a minimum.

  • Black Dog, by Rachel Neumeier
  • Sunrise, by Mike Mullin
  • Blades of the Old Empire, by Anna Kashina
  • To Be Determined

I may end up reading more than this, I don’t really know, but I do want to at least get those 3 books (plus that 4th one that I’m currently undecided on) finished.

Reviews will still be posted in the meantime, since I have some written and scheduled in advance, so there won’t be a lack of content here while I enjoy my downtime.

So that’s my plan. Anyone want to join me on this impromptu reading journey, or will I be doing this one solo? (I know there’s no notice for a community readathon, but I wouldn’t complain if anyone wanted to challenge themselves during the same period, completely coincidentally!)

Personal readathon

So, between falling on my stomach earlier this week and hurting myself considerably, not being able to get a doctor’s appointment to find out about what the hell I’m supposed to do about that (plus continuing pain and fatigue that another doctor seemed confused over why I was still having) until near the middle of next week, and the fact that I seem to have a cold that’s kicking my butt, I’m primed to not be returning to work for at least another week.

And my roommate’s going to be going away for most of that week.

What does that mean for me? Personal Readathon!

I’ll be alone from Saturday July 6th through Thursday July 11, and with the exception of the doctor’s appointment on Tuesday, I won’t have much to do that I’ll really be able to do. I plan to spend that time reading, reading, and then doing some more reading. I’m finally caught up on my personal reading goals so far this year, but I still feel that I’m lagging behind when it comes to my ARCs and other books that I want to read. That alone time is the perfect chance for me to indulge in a reading binge and get a little more caught up.

This also coincides nicely with the Once-Upon-a-Readathon that’s being hosted at Pure Imagination, so I’ve signed up for that, too. That falls in the middle of my own readathon, so I figured why the heck not?

So what do I plan to read through my almost-week of alone time?

I’m pretty sure that should see me through the 6 days that I’ll be doing the readathon. I may not even get to all of it, but I’ll give it my best shot, and even if I end up missing one of two from the list, well, I’ll still have done a lot of fun reading and will be that much closer to catching up with the backlogged ARCs. 6 of those books listed are ARCs or review copies.

And on the offchance that I get all of those books done and still have time left, I’ll probably try to read either M L Brennan’s Generation V or Freda Warrington’s Elfland. Or both. I doubt I’ll manage to get that far, but you never know, and I’ve surprised myself in the past with just how much I can read when I really get into a groove.

I’ll be making a daily progress post to let people know what I’ve accomplished, and to keep myself accountable.

Anyone else feel like joining me for this readathon? No prizes, alas, or any of that other cool stuff that people sometimes do. Just almost a full week of reading pleasure.