Bout of Books 11

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I wasn’t going to sign up, but peer pressure has got the better of me, and I have a ton of books that need reading, so here I go. I’m in and I’m committed. In case you’re not familiar with 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 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th 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 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

My plan is simple, I’m going to read, and read a lot.

  • Finish The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar
  • Read The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters if I can get my hands on a copy before I see her on Aug 25.
  • Read and make notes on Skim and This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki before recording my first ever podcast appearance on WriteReads.
  • That can’t seriously be it, can it? Well, I have four blog posts that need writing, so does that count?

Have fun and good luck to all.

UPDATES

Monday: finished reading The Story Hour. (forgot to count pages)

Tuesday: read Skim. Started Expo 58 by Jonathan Coe.

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Summer Reading

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Who knew that making a Top Ten List could be so hard? I set certain limitations on myself for this list: no Advanced Readers Copies and at least some back list. I even included three titles from my 2014 TBR Pile Challenge, hosted by the Roof Beam Reader. And as always, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovelies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

Looking at the list now, I am realizing how terribly UN-diverse it seems. Rest assured, I will be reading other things this summer. I mean, two months and only 10 books? I can do better than that!

Bout of Books 10

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So this is my first Bout of Books. Do I have a plan? NO! Should I? YES!

I’ve cleared my schedule to a certain extent so I can dedicate myself to reading. That being said, my daughter has her school Swim-a-thon, which I’m chaperoning. I don’t have my schedule yet, but it goes on all week. And my mom is coming to visit.

My goal is to read 3-4 books. The candidates are:

  • The Transcriptionist by Amy Rowland – oops, finished this before the bout started!
  • Remember Me Like This by Bret Anthony Johnston  – done!
  • Smoke River by Krista Foss
  • Festival of Earthly Delights by Matt Dojny
  • Landing Gear by Kate Pullinger
  • and something from my TBR Challenge list

I’m also hoping to take part in two Twitter chats. This post is will be a sticky and will catalog my daily progress. Good luck to all! MONDAY – 120 pages read. TUESDAY – 100 pages read. WEDNESDAY – 172 pages read.

THURSDAY – Best day yet!! 229 pages read.

  • finished Landing Gear.

FRIDAY – 148 pages read. Mostly outside, in the sun.

  • started The Festival of Earthly Delights.

 

Bloggiesta Spring 2014

Bloggiesta-SP2014It’s kind of funny that Bloggiesta always seems to arrive when I need it most. Which is just another way of saying HELP,THIS BLOG NEEDS SOME LOVE. I am too overwhelmed to even give much thought to my To-Do list, so I will likely add to it over the next few days, but here is a start.

  1. Update Reviews List
  2. Catch up on reading to April 1
  3. Write three reviews
  4. Clean up Pinterest
  5. Update About page
  6. River City Reading’s PicMonkey Mini Challenge
  7. Doing Dewey’s Social Media (Especially Pinterest) Mini-Challenge
  8. Love At First Book’s Twitter List Mini Challenge
  9. Get ahead on Cover Wars
  10. Do March round up
  11. update LinkedIn

And I’m sure many other Mini Challenges will come my way. Good luck to everyone and get busy!

Spring Reading Thing 2014

I started this year off right. I did not commit to reading too many things and everything was manageable. Fast forward three months and things are quickly spinning out of control. Thank goodness Sandra at Musings of a Book Addict has come along with The Spring Reading Thing. I’m hoping this will give my spring reading some organization and structure.

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Continue reading

The Literary Blog Hop

lit-blog-hop-2014Hello and welcome to the Literary Blog Hop organized by Judith at Leeswammes’ Blog. Between now and Wednesday February 12 you can hop on over to the more than 40 blogs participating with giveaways and more! The focus will be on literary fiction with some good non-fiction thrown in for variety. Continue reading

The Missing Shade of Blue by Jennie Erdal

I read The Missing Shade of Blue by Jennie Erdal as part of the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge put on by Roof Beam Reader. I first came across this book in 2013 at the Edinburgh Book Festival. As a new resident of Edinburgh I was immediately drawn to it since it is set in Edinburgh. Also, Erdal’s other book, Ghosting, has been on my radar for years.

I love reading books sets in places I know, and with that in mind I’m glad that I waited to read The Missing Shade of Blue. It is definitely a very Edinburgh book and gives a good feel of the city. Now that I know the city better I was able to picture exactly where the characters lived and conducted their lives.

The story is told by Eddie, a French translator who has come to Edinburgh to work on a book of David Hume‘s essays. He is quickly befriended by Harry Sanderson, a philosopher at the university, and becomes embroiled in the life of Sanderson and his wife. To large extent the novel is really about Sanderson and the scandal that envelopes his life.

As a lover of literature, I was keenly aware of the role that novels played in The Missing Shade of Blue. Eddie grew up in a bookshop in Paris and sees the world through the frame of books. He and Sanderson often refer to how life is sometime similar (or utterly dissimilar) to a novel.

Who would like this book? Erdal is a fine writer and I thoroughly enjoyed The Missing Shade of Blue. Language and words play a key role in the novel, as you would imagine when the main characters are a translator and a philosopher. Erdal does a commendable job at bringing Scottish life, fly fishing and Edinburgh to life. So far one of the aspects I’ve overlooked is fly fishing. The only other book I’ve read where this sport takes a starring role is Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday (don’t bother with the film, the books is so much better). Erdal’s book is not as humorous as Torday’s but brought the sport to life much more for me.

Mini-Bloggiesta: To-Do List

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Yep, it’s that time of the year again, time for a little house cleaning. Bloggiesta happens twice a year with two additional Mini-Bloggiestas to help all of us bloggers keep our blogs looking and working their best. This is my first time participating and I have quite a bit I’d like to accomplish.

  • fix links on author archive page
  • update author archive page
  • add other bloggers’ challenge buttons
  • catch up on reviews
  • make reading schedule
  • copyright my blog

In addition to the things listed above, I’m also going to try to participate in as many challenges as possible. They are a great way to learn new blogging skills, and let’s just say that I am not that techno-savvy to start with.

Shorecliff by Ursula DeYoung

Shorecliff by Ursula DeYoung was the first book i read for Jazz Age January, generously hosted by Leah over at Books Speak Volumes. The story is about a large family who all come together at the summer home on the shores of Maine in the early 1920’s. Lurking in the background is the knowledge that something scandalous is going to happen and the narrator feel responsible for it.

I am not a huge fan of first person narrative. I think it is difficult to pull off well. In the case of Shorecliff, the narrator comes off as being rather puritanical, more so than a 13 year old should be. On numerous occasions he seems to be be overly shocked by minor indiscretions, making the reader think at every turn, Oh is this the scandal that has been alluded to for the last 100 pages?

My other complaint about the novel is that it didn’t have a very pronounced Jazz Age feel. That normally wouldn’t bother me so much, but I was reading it to kick off Jazz Age January so I wanted something a little bit more evocative of the age. Perhaps I should have gone with The Great Gatsby.

Who would like this book? Shorecliff is a good read if you like family dramas. I love novels about families getting together at summer homes. You just know that some secret is going to emerge and ruin everything. I was hoping Shorecliff would be a little bit more like Tigers in Red Weather, but that comparison is unfair. Shorecliff is tamer than Tigers and more understated.

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 2014

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A new year is upon us and with it new challenges. Since I like to read international fiction, I’ve decided to challenge myself by participating in the Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 2014, brought to you by Giraffe Days. Giraffe Days offers various levels of challenge from Happy Camper(reading 2 books) to Seasoned Traveler for the intrepid. I have opted for the Seasoned Traveler, for if I am anything it is intrepid. Requirements are as follows:

  • The Seasoned Traveller doesn’t do anything by half-measures: they go the whole hog and the more obscure the better!
  • Read 12 books over the course of the year, each set in a DIFFERENT country
  •  Books selected should include ones set in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia+New Zealand, North America and South America. The Middle East is a bonus.
  • You do not need to plan ahead but it might help you keep on track
  • No re-reads
  • Any genre is okay (including non-fiction) BUT books MUST be set in a specific country or region with a noticeable attention to the location or environment; some genre books won’t be much use for this challenge

Bon voyage!!