Trees of Reverie April 2015 Read-A-Thon: Final Summary

And so concludes another Read-A-Thon, and yet again it’s been a great experience, even though I’ve fallen short on most of my goals this time around. I’m quite pleased with what I did manage to read, but it ended up being a lot different than what I initially decided to read.  Maybe I should be less detailed with my goals next time?

So, how did I do with my reading goals?

I aimed to read for half an hour each day.  On most days I went WAY past this target, but there were also a couple of days where I didn’t have any opportunity to read at all.  For most of my other goals, I can’t say I did that well, mostly because I got so utterly engrossed in The Hawley Book of the Dead that I wanted to savour each and every page.  I couldn’t bring myself to put it down even for a moment, and every spare reading moment I had went into that book.  This meant I only managed to complete one book throughout the Read-A-Thon.
I regret a little not managing to give some attention to the other books on my TBR list during the event, but they’re still going to be my next go-to reads, so I’ll be reading them soon anyway.  On a positive note, I picked up Frog Music instead and am currently really enjoying it.

The books I’d planned to read were:

Paris for One by Jojo Moyes
Street Cat Bob by James Bowen
The Water Diviner by Andrew Anastasios and Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios
The Hawley Book of the Dead by Chrysler Szarlan

I read a total of 482 pages.

Read-A-Thon Challenges:

The struck through items are what I never managed to attempt or complete. For the others I’ve listed which book applies to which challenge.

Read a book by an author you haven’t read before – I’d never read anything by Chrysler Szarlan before.

Read outside – Sitting on the bench in the garden on a sunny Spring afternoon was wonderful, and I managed to do it more than once.  Those were great reading days.

Read a book with an upcoming movie adaptation

Read a book you’ve had lying around unfinished

Anything Else?

I would have loved to take part in some of the Daily Bookish Challenges but the lack of internet/computer access made this pretty difficult.  Hopefully I’ll be able to join in with more on the next Read-A-Thon.

I do love a good reading event.  I like the daily documenting of what I’ve been reading and how I’m enjoying it, because it’s something I wouldn’t normally do.  I will definitely join in with the next Trees of Reverie Read-A-Thon and hope you will too.

Here’s a recap of my Daily Progress Updates.

Trees of Reverie April 2015 Read-A-Thon: Reading Goals, TBR List and Daily Updates

It’s time for another Read-A-Thon, and I’m really excited.
It seems ages since I last participated in a reading event, so am looking forward very much to this one.
You can find out more about the event at this post, and hopefully you’ll feel like joining in too.  Although it may be too late to register as an Official Participant, there’s nothing to stop you reading along for fun.

So, to get things going, some questions…

How much do you plan on reading?

At least 30 minutes each day. Another great part of participating in this event is the time I’ll spend checking out new blogs and no doubt adding an infinite number of books to my TBR list, so I want to make time for that alongside my reading.  I also want to try and write entries for some of the Daily challenges, so that will take up some time as well.

List of the books you plan to read –

Paris for One by Jojo Moyes
Street Cat Bob by James Bowen
The Water Diviner by Andrew Anastasios and Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios
The Hawley Book of the Dead by Chrysler Szarlan

Why did you choose these books?

Two of them are Quick Reads which are a totally new idea to me. Lately I feel as if I’ve ploughed through a fair amount of massive tomes so I wanted a change. I think these short reads are an excellent idea as you can sample a genre you possibly wouldn’t have chosen before and try something new.
I chose Hawley because I’d already read some of it before the event began and want to carry on and finish it.
The Water Diviner I selected as I spotted the book by chance in the library and with the release of the film soon there will probably be a request list for it and it will have to go back.

What do you look forward to reading the most?

Street Cat Bob and Paris for One, due to appeal of the Quick Reads idea.

Do any of these books count towards some Reading Challenges?

They’ll all count towards my Goodreads Challenge to read 40 books, and they’ll all count towards my I Love Library Books Reading Challenge. The Hawley Book of the Dead may count towards my Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge.

Potential Read-A-Thon Challenges:

Read a book by an author you haven’t read before
Read outside
Read a book with an upcoming movie adaptation
Read a book you’ve had lying around unfinished

Progress Updates:

Friday 3rd April:

I’m going to write my updates for each day on the following morning, reporting on the previous day’s progress, so will be back here tomorrow with news of what I managed to read during the day and any other information.

I’ve had quite a good start to the read-a-thon.  I settled down to read The Hawley Book of the Dead and it’s such an engrossing read that I couldn’t put it down so it looks like I’ve picked a good one to begin with.  I can see that I probably won’t get around to reading half of the books I’d hoped to during this event, as this one is so good I’ll probably stick with it until the end.

Number of pages I’ve read today:  75
Total number of pages I’ve read:  75

Saturday 4th April:

Today has been as poor as yesterday was good, because I haven’t managed to read anything at all so far.  I had to work, but hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze in a few pages at least before the end of the day.  On the plus side, a visit to the library (No, I can’t keep away, no matter how hard I try!) saw me come away with a book called Time Trips, which is a collection of Doctor Who short stories.  I can’t wait to start reading that one.

Number of pages I’ve read today:  0 (!!!)
Total number of pages I’ve read:  75

Sunday 5th April: 

Managed to get some early-morning reading done this morning, and it was wonderful, so quiet and peaceful, the perfect atmosphere to really soak up my story.  The Hawley Book of the Dead is proving to be a very engrossing read, and I’m taking my time to savour it because it’s so good.  I still can’t tear myself away to give any attention to the other books on my TBR list!

Number of pages I’ve read today:  100
Total number of pages I’ve read:  175

Monday 6th April:

What a lovely day!  The sun came out at last and I had the opportunity to get out into the garden, so needless to say my book came with me and I spent a good while totally lost to the real world.

Number of pages I’ve read today:  100
Total number of pages I’ve read:  275

Tuesday 7th April:

Another gorgeous day outside but unfortunately I haven’t been able to devote so much of it to reading as I would have liked.  I’m getting to the latter stages of The Hawley Book of the Dead now and have found myself slowing out, drawing it out to make it last longer, so I don’t really mind having less reading time today.

Number of pages I’ve read today:  25
Total number of pages I’ve read:  300

Wednesday 8th April:

I finished The Hawley Book of the Dead.  I wish it had lasted longer, but in the end I couldn’t stop reading because I HAD to know how it ended.  Am now off to check out my TBR pile and choose a new book to begin.

Number of pages I’ve read today:  32
Total number of pages I’ve read:  332

Thursday 9th April:

I didn’t think I’d get the chance to update my post today as once more the dreaded computer problems have struck!  One minute all is fine, the next the screen goes dead, all sorts of technical messages come up on the screen, then the whole thing shuts down.  The odd thing is that I’ve taken it in for repair for the second time and yet again they can’t find out what is causing the problem.  I was lucky and managed to get a screenshot of the blue screen of doom so have given them a copy of that as well.  Hopefully now they’ll get to the bottom of it and sort it out.  In the meantime I’m occasionally borrowing a friends computer, so not sure how regular my updates will be.

Anyway, reading progress… I’ve started a new book, and it wasn’t one of the ones on my TBR list, so that was a bit of a surprise.  When I checked my library record I noticed that Frog Music had been requested, which means I need to get it read so I can take it back on time.  I’ve read 50 pages so far and I’m really enjoying it, so much so I almost made myself late this morning because I couldn’t seem to tear myself away.  I kept promising myself – “Just read to the end of this paragraph”, then “to the end of the page”, finally “to the end of the chapter”.  At some point I glanced up at the clock and realised that hard as it may be to stop, I simply couldn’t sit there reading any longer!

Number of pages I’ve read today:  50
Total number of pages I’ve read:  382

Friday 10th April:

Yet another opportunity for sitting outside in the garden reading.  It was wonderfully quiet and peaceful (for a while) and I read more of Frog Music which I’m still enjoying as much as when I first started reading it.

Number of pages I’ve read today:  80
Total number of pages I’ve read:  462

Saturday 11th April:

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to devote a lot of time to reading in this final stage of the Read-A-Thon.  I managed to grab a quick few pages before I had to leave for work this morning, but that will probably be all I’ll manage for today as I’m borrowing a computer again to update my blog so want to spend some time doing that.

Number of pages I’ve read today:  20
Total number of pages I’ve read:  482

Sunday 12th April:

I’ll be posting my final summary in a separate post later today.

Trees of Reverie September 2014 Read-A-Thon: Final Summary

Yet again we’re here at the conclusion of another Read-A-Thon, and yet again it’s been a great experience to be part of. I discovered (predictably) a number of new books which I’ve added to my endless TBR pile, and hopefully I’ll get around to reading at least some of them in the near future.

So, how did I do with my reading goals?

I aimed to read for about half an hour each day, and managed this easily, sometimes losing myself for an entire afternoon within the pages of The Paying Guests, which I loved every moment of. Such a great read. I’ll be posting my review soon, and you’ve probably already guessed, it’s definitely a 4 or 5 star book.

The books I’d planned to read were:

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
The Summer Without You by Karen Swan
Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I completed The Paying Guests and Eleanor and Park, and read from The Summer Without You for one of the challenges below. I started The Bone Clocks, but never managed to get around to Before I Go To Sleep.

I read a total of 1357 pages.

Read-A-Thon Challenges:

The struck through ones are the ones I never managed to attempt or complete. As for the others, I’ve listed which book applies to which challenge.

Read a book by an author you haven’t read before

Read outside – Sitting on the bench in the garden on a nice sunny afternoon, one of the last of this year if the more recent weather is anything to go by.

Read out loud (read a minimum of one full page!) – Yes, I did this one whilst I had a quiet afternoon to myself.

Read a book with an LGBTQ+ character – Frances from The Paying Guests.

Read a book you’ve heard a lot of good things about – Eleanor and Park. Will be posting my review soon.

Read a book with an upcoming movie adaptation

Read a book you’ve been meaning to read – The Paying Guests. I requested this one from the library as soon as I knew it was going to be published, so I was looking forward to it for a while before I actually got my hands on it.

Read a book you’ve had lying around unfinished – definitely The Summer Without You. I have no idea why I’ve been reading this book for so long, because once I got stuck into it I actually quite enjoyed it.

Daily Bookish Challenges:

I participated in quite a few of the challenges during this Read-A-Thon, and have collected my entries into two posts, which you can find here and here.

 

It’s been a great two weeks and I’ve really enjoyed taking part. Needless to say I’ll definitely be signing up for the next one.  A big Thank You to Sarah for hosting the event!

Trees of Reverie September 2014 Read-A-Thon: Bookish Challenges Part 2

Day Seven: Saturday, September 20:

What are the genres or types of books that you read least often or not at all?

The genre which comes to mind immediately for me is crime.
I can’t even explain really why I don’t read much in the way of crime, because I’ll watch a good crime drama on TV, but somehow I always feel as if that’s enough for me, and having watched something, be it a one-off or part of a series, I rarely feel compelled to go and read a crime novel.

When I do happen to venture into crime-y waters it tends to be along the lines of the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson, or Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole books, but never British or American crime.

Whilst thinking of answers for #bookadayuk I came to realise that I’ve never even read any Agatha Christie, and thought I should probably give it a go at least. So, my (very short) list of potential Crime reads is as follows..

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah (for a modern take on Poirot)
Any of the DCI Banks books by Peter Robinson (quite enjoyed this on TV)
Silent Scream by Lynda La Plante (again I enjoyed the tv series)

I’ll probably try to read at least one book from this list soon as I like variety in my reading.


 Day Ten: Tuesday, September 23:

Describe your perfect reading experience:

I would have a really long paperback book, just right for holding without being too heavy. My author of choice would probably be George R R Martin or Stephen King, a story I could really lose myself in.
It would be a bright and crisp autumn afternoon and I would be at a lakeside cabin out in the country, somewhere tranquil and quiet, with very few other people around to disturb the perfect peace for reading.
There would be a log fireplace, for lighting when the sun sets and night begins to draw in, but before retreating to read fireside I would sit beside a huge window, with a clear view down onto a vast, clear blue lake, and I’d pause every so often from my reading to watch the sunlight dance over the water, and listen to a gentle breeze rustling through the golden leaves while the birds sing and call out to each other.
I’d drink strong, hot tea with some biscuits, and when I needed a reading break I would walk down to the lake and stand watching the world go by.
Then I would return to my cabin, watch the sunset, then retreat back into my fictional world once more.


 

Day Eleven: Wednesday, September 24:

Which fictional food would you most like to try?

When I’m, feeling incredibly lazy I think it would be amazing to have a whole meal in one sweet, kind of like the chewing gum that Violet Beauregarde tries in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (although without those after-effects, and a sweet, or a toffee, rather than a chewing gum).
Just imagine, no preparing food, no cooking, no clearing everything away afterwards, you’d just take one sweet and have a full three course meal. What could be better? Think how much time it would save, and all the other things you could do instead. Sounds like a good idea to me.


 

Day Thirteen: Friday, September 26:

If you could choose one relatively unknown, underrated or under appreciated book to share with others, which book would you recommend to others?

I’m going to take this opportunity to recommend the North and South trilogy by John Jakes, because it’s such a wonderful series of books yet I’ve never seen anyone writing about having read it.

Set in the American Civil War it follows the fortunes of two families, the Hazards and the Mains who nurture a great friendship only to be divided when war comes due to the fact they are by necessity on opposing sides; one family is from the North and one from the South.
This series has everything – adventure, romance, danger, elegant heroines, strong heroines, dashing heroes and great villains – all set against he backdrop of a bygone age in American history. It’s a great read, and each volume is strong in its own way.

There’s also an excellent mini series starring Patrick Swayze and James Read, filmed in the 1980s, and that is just as great as the books.

Trees of Reverie September 2014 Read-A-Thon: Bookish Challenges Part 1

Day One: Sunday, September 14:

A curfew has been placed on book purchases for the remainder of the year and you are only allowed to purchase TEN more books for the rest of 2014. Which books will you buy?

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – I hear so much praise for this book whenever it is mentioned that I would love to own it.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo – I couldn’t not know how the Grisha trilogy concludes, so this one would make the list.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – after Fangirl I became a bit of a fan, and if I manage to read Eleanor and Park during the read-a-thon this will be the only one of her books that I haven’t read.

Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb – never read anything by this author, but this book has had a lot of praise recently.

Revival by Stephen King – I love all things Stephen King, so his upcoming new book would be a must for me.

Emma by Alexander McCall Smith – I really love this author and I also love the idea of him writing his take on an Austen classic.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami – I wanted to get this from the library and for some reason they haven’t had any copies, so I would buy my own.

The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café by Alexander McCall Smith – I’ve read all the Ladies Detective Agency books to date. I love the gentle easy style of reading.

Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – I have the first in the series, and couldn’t not find out what happens.


 

Day Two: Monday, September 15:

Introduce us to your favourite author and their books!

Choosing only one author for this challenge was incredibly hard, and choosing between two in particular, well, it was so close that ask me another day and I might have chosen the other, but I’m going to say George R. R. Martin is my favourite author, for his amazing fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.

I absolutely adore this series.
I’d never read a great deal in the way of fantasy before I came upon this series. It happened way back in the days of Livejournal, when I read someone’s post about this amazing series they were reading, and how much they were enjoying it. Always on the lookout for a good read I paid attention and decided to find out more.
I found out a Game of Thrones was fantasy, and was uncertain whether it would appeal to me. I’d seen the book in the library a few times and been put off by the unusual names of places and people. I can remember someone else commenting to me at the time they could never get into anything like that because they couldn’t get around the pronunciation issue.
This was some time before the first season of Game of Thrones aired on tv. I knew there was going to be a series, and this added to my interest, so I went ahead and borrowed the book from the library.
And I never looked back for one moment. Even now, years later, I can recall becoming totally enthralled during the Prologue of Game of Thrones as those rangers went out into the wilderness beyond the Wall.

There are so many things to praise about the series. The world building is amazing. So many locations are called to life in such vivid detail that even though they are totally fictional, I have as clear a picture of them in my mind as if they were real. I love the bleakness of the North, and Winterfell. I love the idea of the Eyrie, miles above the land, like a kingdom in the clouds. I love the plotting and intrigue of King’s Landing, and the exotic air of Dorne. And Braavos, like the Westeros version of Venice. Oh yes, I love all these intricately built places.

Then there are the characters, and the vast depth to which they are developed. Jaime Lannister is the first who comes to mind for a total turnaround, for, without giving spoilers to those who wish to read the series, the journey he goes on, and the vow he decides to uphold are a million miles away from the man who we first see. Tyrion Lannister, the Imp is a joy to read, with his wit and wisdom, and I really like him as a character.
There are also excellent villains, such as Joffrey, the boy king we love to hate. There are also those who fall into the grey areas, a mixture of both bad and good.

I love so many strong female characters too, including Brienne of Tarth, Asha Greyjoy and tomboy Arya Stark, a total contrast to her ladylike sister Sansa, who lives for stories and songs and dreams, but learns the harsh lesson of real life being nothing like a fairy tale at all.

Even the secondary characters are well developed. I like Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane, and all the weaving in of stories of characters who died before the Game of Thrones timeline, such as Lyanna Stark and her involvement with the Targaryens.

I could talk at length about this wonderful series, but I’ll resist, and just conclude by saying that I love each and every page, and cannot wait for the next book in the series. I only worry that eventually the tv series will catch up and overtake the books. I would dearly like to read the book first.


Day 3:  Tuesday 16th September 2014:

Describe your ultimate dream bookstore!

A few years ago there used to be a wonderful bookstore which I‘m pretty certain was my real-life dream place.
This particular place was a LONG car journey away from home, and situated on a shopping outlet park, so it was somewhere to go for a day out once in a while, and I absolutely adored it.
I don’t know why it closed, but I went back there and found the outlet standing empty and my heart just sank.
I would say that place was probably my perfect bookshop made real.

It was a HUGE place, and they stocked so many books. I don’t think there was a single subject that they didn’t cover, it was simply marvellous. Fiction, non-fiction, well known and lesser known topics, they seemed to cover it all.
They also stocked all the bookish stationery – bookmarks, book covers, reading lights, notebooks and journals, book stands, calendars, mugs and bags with bookish logos, they really did have the lot.
They also had a plentiful supply of DVDs and CDs on offer as well.

There were huge, comfortable armchairs situated at various places throughout the store, and I used to love the fact you could select a book from any shelf and take a seat to read a while, without even purchasing the book. The atmosphere was so welcoming and casual, and the staff were very approachable.

They had great displays, with new and recommended books, and it was always easy to find your next ‘must read’.

Within the bookstore there was a coffee shop, so you could find a great read then go and sit with a leisurely cup of tea or coffee and a piece of cake, then sit watching the world go by or reading a few pages.

It was a wonderful place, and I was sad to see it close as there’s nothing to rival that place closer to home, and it being some distance away made a trip there something to look forward to.

 

Trees of Reverie September 2014 Read-A-Thon Reading Goals and TBR List

How much do you plan on reading?

I would like to read for at least half an hour each day. Aside from that I don’t really have any targets. I tend to get distracted during read-a-thons with checking out other peoples blogs and adding to my TBR list, which I love just as much as reading, so I’ll be happy with whatever I manage to read. From the list below I hope I’ll finish at least one book, but as long as I read something from each of them, I’ll be happy.

List of the books you plan to read –

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
The Summer Without You by Karen Swan
Before I Go To Sleep by S J Watson
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Why did you choose these books?

Most of them are from the library and have requests on them, so some of it is necessity, although I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of both The Paying Guests and The Bone Clocks, so I would certainly have been reading those books now anyway. I’ve also had it in mind to read more Rainbow Rowell novels too, so now seems like the perfect opportunity to do that.

What do you look forward to reading the most?

The Paying Guests. I’ve read a few Sarah Waters novels before and really enjoyed them, so I have high hopes for this book.

Do any of these books count towards some Reading Challenges?

I’m doing the Goodreads challenge, and have challenged myself to read 35 books this year, so anything I manage to finish will go towards that total. I’m also including a list of read-a-thon challenges that have caught my attention, and hopefully some of the books will count towards those goals as well.

Potential Read-A-Thon Challenges:

Read a book by an author you haven’t read before
Read outside
Read out loud (read a minimum of one full page!)
Read a book with an LGBTQ+ character
Read a book you’ve heard a lot of good things about
Read a book with an upcoming movie adaptation
Read a book you’ve been meaning to read
Read a book you’ve had lying around unfinished

Progress Updates:

Sunday 14th Sept:  

I’ve had a leisurely start to the read-a-thon, and managed to read 50 pages of The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. Sometimes you find a book that you fall straight into right from the very first page, and that’s what has happened for me with this book. I’m really immersed in the world of Frances and her house guests, and can’t wait to read more.

I’ve also participated in the first of the Daily Bookish Challenges, and am going to make a post featuring some of my entries later during the week.  EDIT:  Day 1 Challenge

I really want to have a go at some reading sprints too. I think I’ll read one of my other books for these, so I’m making progress on more than one book each day.

Number of pages I’ve read today: 50
Total number of pages I’ve read: 50

Monday 15th Sept:

Another decent days reading today. I had hoped to read a variety of books during the read-a-thon, but at the moment The Paying Guests has me so devoted to the characters and story that I don’t think I could tear myself away in favour of something else. It’s a really good read, so I’ll stick with it for now.

I participated in the second of the Daily Bookish Challenges, asking you to talk about your favourite author and their books.  I could have written so much more on this topic, but thought I’d better limit myself at least a little bit!  Posted HERE

Number of pages I’ve read today: 60
Total number of pages I’ve read: 110

Tuesday 16th Sept:

Still reading The Paying Guests. Still can’t bring myself to put it aside in favour of one of my other read-a-thon TBRs, so it’s onwards with this great story.

I wrote an entry for the Daily Bookish Challenge day 3, about my dream bookshop, which I’m pretty certain was once a real place.  Will be posting my challenge entries later on this week. EDIT:  Posted HERE

Number of pages I’ve read today: 70
Total number of pages I’ve read: 180

Wednesday 17th Sept:

I managed to read quite a lot today, and, you guessed right, I devoted my reading time to more of The Paying Guests. I really don’t think I’m going to be able to read another book until I’ve finished this one. It really is a good read, and I have a feeling we’re reaching a pivotal moment in the story, so I couldn’t possibly set it aside right now.

Number of pages I’ve read today: 120
Total number of pages I’ve read: 300

Thursday 18th Sept:

I don’t feel as though I’ve had much time to devote to reading today, and wish I’d had more, but I did manage to read another 80 pages, so all is not lost. Guess which book I’m still reading?

Number of pages I’ve read today: 80
Total number of pages I’ve read: 380

Friday 19th Sept:

Another slow-ish day of reading today. I don’t know why but there seemed to be countless other things requiring attention. I did still manage to get some reading done, and I’m still really enjoying The Paying Guests. As I’m reaching the latter stages of the book my mind has turned to writing a review, and I’m wondering if I can do the book justice.

Number of pages I’ve read today: 70
Total number of pages I’ve read: 450

Saturday 20th Sept:

I’ve been out today so haven’t much time chance to read, but I did manage to grab another 50 pages of The Paying Guests. I wonder if at this point I’m deliberately slowing down with my reading because I don’t want this book to end? It’s definitely possible.

I wrote an entry for Day 7’s Bookish Challenge too, which will be included in my next Challenge update post.

Number of pages I’ve read today: 50
Total number of pages I’ve read: 500

Sunday 21st Sept:

I finished reading The Paying Guests. I really have enjoyed this book a lot, and will be writing up a review for it sometime in the near future. So, before I start my next read, I might have another few pages of The Summer Without You. After that it will be on to Eleanor and Park and the The Bone Clocks.

Number of pages I’ve read today: 566
Total number of pages I’ve read: 566

Monday 22nd Sept:

Thought I’d tackle a few pages of a book that I’ve had lying around for one of the Reading Challenges, so went for The Summer Without You and managed 80 pages. I don’t know why I’ve been reading this book for so long, because when I come back to it it’s actually quite good. I think I’m easily distracted by new library books which I know will have long waiting lists and therefore a limited loan period.

Number of pages I’ve read today: 80
Total number of pages I’ve read: 646

Tuesday 23rd Sept:

I’ve had a really good day of reading today, and managed to read some from two books – The Summer Without You and Eleanor and Park.

Number of pages I’ve read today: 154
Total number of pages I’ve read: 800

Wednesday 24th Sept:

Today I’ve been reading from two books – I read 135 pages of Eleanor and Park, and 70 pages of The Summer Without You, which I’m getting on with quite well at the moment. I really want to start reading The Bone Clocks, but I think I’ll stick with Summer for a short while longer.

Number of pages I’ve read today: 205
Total number of pages I’ve read: 1005

Thursday 25th Sept:

So, what did I manage to read today? Well, I read the last 90 pages of Eleanor and Park, so I’ve finished that book now, and will be adding a review soon, and I also read another 70 pages of The Summer Without You. I really want to starting reading The Bone Clocks today as well, so not sure how much more progress I’ll make on Summer.

Number of pages I’ve read today: 160
Total number of pages I’ve read: 1165

Friday 26th Sept:

I’ve started reading The Bone Clocks!  So far it’s really good, and I can’t wait to read more.  For now I’ve read 72 pages, and I read another 40 from The Summer Without You.

I’ve also written entries for some more of the bookish Challenges, and will be putting them all together into a separate post soon.

Number of pages I’ve read today: 112
Total number of pages I’ve read: 1277

Saturday 27th Sept:

I can’t believe the end is in sight! It’s been great, and over all too soon. I’ll be posting a final summary post some time after this, but for now I want to lists my last day’s reading progress.

I read another 50 pages of The Summer Without You and another 30 pages of The Bone Clocks.

I’ll be posting my final Read-A-Thon summary separately in a little while.

Number of pages I’ve read today: 80
Total number of pages I’ve read: 1357

The Sunday Post #3

SSsmall SundayPost Stacking the ShelvesIMG_2789

Showcase Sunday is hosted by Vicky @ Books Biscuits and Tea.  For more information about this feature and how to join in click here.

The Sunday Post is hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received.  See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.  If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief.


 

Not a bad week in terms of reading for me. I’ll probably finish Stone Mattress very soon, which has been a wonderful read.  I’m always a little anxious for my next read when I’ve just finished something so good!

New to my shelves this week:

Firstly, my Library Loot, which in a rare turn of events only consists of one book this week.  It is the new Sarah Waters novel, The Paying Guests. I was really pleased to get the email saying this one was available, as I’ve read her previous books and enjoyed them, so I’m looking forward to starting this.

For the first time in I don’t know how long I actually purchased books.  Not just one, but two!

It happened quite out of the blue. I’ve been thinking of reading Throne Of Glass for a while now. Every blog I see has nothing but the highest praise for the series, and I rather feel as though I may be missing out on something. I’ve had the e-book on my Wishlist for a while now, but kept holding back because I have SO many other books to read.
Then I saw it on Twitter that the book was 51p for a short time only. I’ve never moved so fast in my life. I have a feeling that this purchase is going to lead to a few more, but that’s good, isn’t it?

I also bought Before I Go To Sleep as an e-book too.  I’m pretty certain I borrowed this one from the library a couple of times, but somehow never got around to reading it because I had too many other things to read (familiar story!), so now there’s no excuse for not reading it.

Books I’ve Reviewed This Week:

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Books That Have Caught My Eye This Week (Must find out more):

The Taxidermist’s Daughter by Kate Mosse  – I’ve read most of this author’s work up to date, so was pleased to find out that she has a new book coming out.  I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of this.

Events I’ve participated in:

#bookadayuk on Twitter.   I’m going to make a post featuring all the suggestions for books that I’ve submitted so far, possible some time next week.  It’s running all through this month.  For more information, see this post on Welovethisbook.com

Also, there is going to be another Trees of Reverie Read-A-Thon starting very soon, so if anyone is interested in joining in (this will be my second) then see HERE for more information

Other Posts This Week:

Top Ten Tuesday – Characters at my Dinner Table
Thursday Thoughts – Audio books

Book Review: The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Scotland, 1844. Aileana Kameron is a lady, and as such society expects certain things from her – to attend the assemblies, fill her dance card, and demurely charm potential suitors in order to make a good marriage match.
This is unfortunate, as Aileana is also the last of the Falconers – women with the ability to fight and kill the fae – and spends her evenings out with her fae mentor Kieran (who, for reasons unknown has honed Aileana’s hunting skills to perfection against his own kind) hunting the fae in the hope of finding the one who murdered her mother, so that she may have vengeance.

Trouble is coming – after an age-old battle the fae were imprisoned beneath the city, but the seal holding them captive is weakening and Aileana and Kiaran must try to stop this happening, or the city and everyone Aileana cares about will be destroyed.

I really enjoyed this fast paced adventure. I’ve never read a book featuring the fae before, and so loved the inclusion of all the different types of fae, some of which were more monstrous than I probably expected (my initial thought upon hearing ‘fae’ is the small, sweet winged creatures from fairytales.)
I liked Aileana as the central characters, and her motivations for her seemingly impossible task. Also… Kiaran. Yes, I liked Kiaran very much. Faestruck, anyone?
The supporting characters of Gavin, Aileana’s friend and also a Seer, and Derrick, the pixie who lives in Aileana’s room and has a penchant for honey and stealing things were also good.

The ending! I won’t give anything anyway, but I just can’t believe it was left that way. I was left thinking ‘No, you can’t end it like this, I need to know more, please’, so I really hope there will be a sequel to this book.

My rating: 4/5

Book Review: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Upon hearing the Beatles song Norwegian Wood, Toru Watanabe started to remember his youth and the women who featured prominently in his life.

Naoko is the girlfriend of Toru’s best friend, Kizuki, who killed himself. The two of them grow closer in the wake of his death, and Toru believes he is in love with the troubled Naoko, to the point where he offers to wait for her while she attempts to find peace of mind in a sanatorium, however long it takes.
Midori is a girl taking the same class as Toru, and the two become close friends. It is not until much later, and possibly because of his situation with the fragile Naoko that Toru realises his real feelings for Midori.

I read 1Q84 by the same author and really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to reading this. At first I wasn’t sure whether it was for me – it lacked the fantasy element of 1Q84 and was far more grounded in reality (although in the translator’s note at the end this was exactly what Murakami was going for, a simple, direct tale, as a writing adventure or challenge).
I continued reading and somewhere along the line the narrative really gripped me and I couldn’t put the book down. I really liked Midori as a character, and felt a little frustrated that it took Toru so very long to realise and acknowledge his feelings for her.
The writing is beautiful, with some really good imagery, and thought-provoking ideas.
Overall, a good read, if not initially what I was anticipating.

My rating:  3/5

Book Review: Looking For Alaska by John Green

When I began this book I wasn’t sure it was for me. (In fairness, I had just finished reading The Dark Tower prior to this, and I absolutely adored that book, so whatever I chose next would have to be really good).
I continued reading because I was drawn in by the way the chapter headings counted down the time ‘before’. Before what? I wondered, and so I carried on, because I had to know.
And I’m really glad I stuck with it, because After, well…

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