Monday, 19 August 2013

Ok, FINE, I'll Play

Bout of Books

I've been going back and forth in recent weeks about whether or not to do the Bout of Books (8.0, if you will!) readathon because unnnngh readathons that last all week, but also yay making me read more often in the week and stuff? ANYWAY, I'm a gonna do it because hey, why not track my reading for a week? Works for me!

ALSO- I have four library books out at the moment which I realise isn't THAT many, but at the same time, I own more than 200 unread books so actually it's far too many. The thing is, they're all so WELL REGARDED that I can't just take them back. So. My main goal for this week is to read some of them because then they can go away and I can stop looking at them guiltily. Also I need some JK in my life, and I picked up The Cuckoo's Calling last week, so that's just swell.

Regardez, les books!
So these are the library ones. Of them, I really really want to read The Cuckoo's Calling and Tell The Wolves I'm Home, and I feel like if I do that, I can take The Newlyweds and The Song of Achilles back without shame. (NOT that I don't want to read them too, but they can wait, I feel.)
And then THESE are the books I actually own that I want to read. I'm about 120 pages into Middlemarch, but I could definitely do with some loooong reading time with it (I... have not read enough classics this year. So the thing that's not being said here, is basically 'it's haaaard.') I know this pile is tiny, but I'm being realistic, AND these are basically the only books left of the books I said I was going to read this summer (minus The Corrections, which I'm saving so Alley and I can readalong it for moral support) and imagine if I actually managed to stick to that?! It would be mental, obviously.

And, for the purposes of togetherness, all the books:

Oh yeah. They're pretty.

To avoid clogging up everyone's blog feeds (and because, you know, I don't want to make THAT much of an effort) I think I'm just going to do a little sum up of the days reading at the bottom of this post and if I do any challenges (Might. Might not.) then I'll stick them on here too. So it'll be a nice, BIG post by Sunday. Yay?

Monday! You were alright. I didn't anticipate reading very much because Monday mornings are for catching up with US TV (Breaking Bad and True Blood, obvs) and then for reading about said TV and whatnot, and then, you know, work and stuff. But I did fine! I finished the Moomin book I was reading (One book down, yesssss!) before work (this is because I wake up early on Mondays to watch Breaking Bad... Apparently that's a thing I do now) and then this evening I had a bit of a read of The Fault in Our Stars (I thought I would either love it or hate it, and I definitely... One of those things [hate. It's hate.]) in spite of the great temptation to watch Pushing Daisies because apparently I really like reading! Who knew?! Anyway. Bedtime now. Or in a bit. Whatever.

Pages Read: 156
Books Finished: 1
Books Read From: Comet in Moominland, The Fault in Our Stars
Snacks: Swedish Fish. But someone finished my doritos and I am not pleased.
Non-Reading Activities: TV and Internet. Like my liiiiiife.
Reading Activities: Rolling my eyes at teenagers being dicks

I worked all day today to help out at work, so I didn't anticipate much reading being done because I only get half an hour for lunch and everything is stupid. I did get through one chapter of my Bill Bryson book (woo! One chapter!) but I also read during breakfast and then also for quite a bit of the evening- although I did of course have to watch The Great British Bake Off and ALSO Don't Tell The Bride because that's how I roll. But anyway, I think I did quite well, and oh yeah, what was that other thing? FINISHED ANOTHER BOOK. Fuck yeah. Even if it was a YA book which could be read immensely quickly, DOESN'T MATTER.
Today's page count is going to look HUGE because I'm counting the pages I read right before bed (and, so, just after I turned my computer off) too, so don't take it as fact or anything. Also, I have totally and completely sucked at visiting other blogs, but all I have planned for tomorrow morning is washing my hair so I will try to do some social activities tomorrow.

Pages Read: 237
Books Finished: 1
Total Books Finished: 2
Books Read From: The Fault In Our Stars, The Lost Continent
Snacks: Not really! Or not reading snacks, anyway. Had a little cake slice while watching the Bake Off, naturally.
Non-Reading Activities: Work and TV.
Reading Activities: Getting a welcoming hug from Bill Bryson familiarity and genuinely laughing at a funeral... I don't like what this book has done to me.

Pfffffffffft. Did you hear that sound? That was the sound of not-much reading getting done. I read a bit this morning but spent most of it writing a scathing (SCATHING) review of The Fault In Our Stars, which I'm glad I did now so I could remember the things that most annoyed me, and also so that I can get rid of the book (getting rid of books! Success!) so it was worth sacrificing that extra reading time. I did start The Cuckoo's Calling though which so far is very good- It honestly has the best descriptions of London I've maybe ever read, but I don't know if that's just because I've been there a lot or whether it ACTUALLY makes it easy to picture. Either way, I'm right there with them. And I read a teeeny bit of Middlemarch last night and this morning. I'm trying. I would have read this evening but instead I went to have dinner with my friend which was lovely- friends are actually even better than books- or at least this one is, anyway. And I did visit some blogs today! Yes! Not... NEW ones, but still.
Tomorrow is my auntie's birthday so I believe we're going to do some kind of something (present giving?) before I have to go to work, so WE SHALL SEE how the reading goes. I always think I'm free on Bout of Books weeks (or... I did last time) and then things always keep popping up, but oh well! At least they're nice things.

Pages Read: 95
Books Finished: 0
Total Books Finished: 2
Cumulative Pages Read: 488
Snacks: Um... I had some pringles? They were nice.
Non-Reading Activities: Looking at the Ikea catalogue and hanging with my frieeeend.
Reading Activities: Wandering through London in my brain.

Suuuper quick update because it's late and I've been tired allllll day. But I read things! We ended up not going to see my auntie until lunchtime (i.e. about an hour before I had to go to work) which was lame in one way, but in another, oh the reading I did this morning! And then also I did reading this evening, before and after losing about an hour and a half on the internet (GIVE ME MY LIFE BACK, INTERNET). But, the important thing is, The Cuckoo's Calling is so good that my bath went cold and it's now really late and I don't even caaaaaare and really I just want to stay up and find out who did it. But I won't because of that sleepy thing.

Pages Read: 230
Books Finished: 0
Books Read From: The Cuckoo's Calling
Total Books Finished: 2
Cumulative Pages Read: 718
Snacks: More Swedish Fish, but that's pretty much it
Non-Reading Activities: Staring around tiredly and eating cake (seriously, I had two kinds of cake today! Go birthdays!)
Reading Activities: Trying to solve the case- I have not even a CLUE who did it.

I'm pretty ecstatic that it's the end of the week (3 day weekend, yo!) and I am SO TIRED. It's barely 10pm here, but I'm already contemplating sleep and I'm definitely (clearly) contemplating turning my computer off in a few minutes. It's MADNESS, I tell you! I'm in a brain state where I'm either going to fall asleep as soon as I turn it off, or stay up reading for another hour, and right now I can't tell which way it's going to go (but it's probably the former. SO TIRED.) Today's reading... I'd call it average. I didn't do the MOST reading in the world, but I didn't really slack, either. You'll see in the stats. I'm excited for tomorrow's weekendness- I'm going to go out in the morning to get a few bits, but I'm thiiinking that the afternoon might be dedicated to reading, glorious reading (and it doesn't hurt that it's supposed to be rainy either- perfect reading weather.) I'm sort of tempted to 24 hour readathon it, but I SHAN'T for I am sensible. Mebbe.

Pages Read: 169
Books Finished: 1 (Yes!)
Books Read From: The Cuckoo's Calling, The Lost Continent
Total Books Finished: 3
Cumulative Pages Read: 887
Snacks: Hmmm... I don't think I ate anything while I was reading today, actually! I did have a diet coke (natch)
Non-Reading Activities: Working and walking in 80-odd degree heat. Unpleasant.
Reading Activities: Gasping at The Cuckoo's Calling and then going a-travelling with BB.

Oh, Saturday, I had such grand reading plans for you, and yet... Nothing. Or hardly anything, I should say. A combination of things added up to conspire against me reading, including: waking up about half an hour before my mum wanted to leave the house (and she was giving me a lift to the station, I should add), forgetting to take a book with me so there was all this spare time on the train where I just sort of stared instead of, you know, reading, and then the shopping, and then the cake-making, and then the dinner making... There was not much time for reading, but it was still a pretty good day! (cake! Note: if you want a lot of random strangers to like your instagram photo, just tag it as vegan. Works every time.) But anyway, I did buy a few books so it wasn't a total bust!

Pages Read: 83
Books Finished: 0
Books Read From: The Newlyweds
Total Books Finished: 3
Cumulative Pages Read: 970
Snacks: So much chocolate frosting. Also, doritos.
Non-Reading Activities: CAKE
Reading Activities: Pondering cultural differences and multi-cultural marriage.

For the purposes of completion... Sunday was a pretty good reading day, I neaaaarly finished a book but didn't because I had to go to bed early to go to the zoo (ZOOOOOOOO!) today, but I did finish it Monday morning so am tempted to count it in this count (but I won't because that would be a lie). Anyway. I didn't read so much in the morning, but from 5pm onwards basically all I did was read rather than my usual going-to-my-room-and-watching-internet-telly act on a Sunday. So that was good. In fact, the whole of Bout of Books has been generally good for me, reading-wise- I think last time I did it I sort of felt the pressure to take part (my own pressure, rather than anyone else's) whereas this time I was just like 'oh yeah reading, cool' and just prioritised it over tv. So, excited as I am to start watching telly again in the evenings (Pushing Daisies, I am coming to finish you!) I think I'm also going to make a better effort to read the things. She says...

Pages Read: 223
Books Finished: 0
Books Read From: The Newlyweds
Total Books Finished: 3 (NEARLY 4)
Cumulative Pages Read: 1193
Snacks: Grapes dipped in Nutella. Look into it!
Non-Reading Activities: Um... I did a facemask and saw my family?
Reading Activities: Being slightly perplexed by the plot direction of The Newlyweds...


  1. I'm just in the middle of Cuckoo's Calling and
    abso-effing-lutely loving it. JK! She's my literary crack dealer. And Bill Bryson is of course also fantastic. And Song of Achilles is a good read too. Middlemarch! I don't know if I can . . . it just looks so haaardd. I'd need a month of uninterrupted reading time to tackle that one. Maybe one day?

    1. Eeeeeee, how exciting! I'm so so hoping it's going to be the awesomest :). Middlemarch IS kind of hard! I'm just about to start my evening reading, and I'm like 'I... don't want to deal with Middlemarch today.' But I really want to love it!

  2. You MUST read The Song of Achilles! None of this 'it can wait' malarkey - it is the best and I loved it and I cried so hard at the end just should really read it :) You may, however, read it after you have got some JK back in your life because, well, JK!

    I'm sad that I don't get to play but I'm going on holiday on Thursday so I'd have to kick off today and wrap up on Wednesday (when I'm supposed to be finishing packing, probably) and it would all be a bit pointless TBH...I AM WITH YOU IN SPIRIT!!

    Read like the wind!!

    PS. I promise that I will forgive you if you don't have time to read Song of Achilles - I just wanted to make that clear in case you were like, "Jeez, Charlotte is super pressure-y today"!

    1. But I don't wannaaaaaaaa! (Or I do. But I'm not *desperate* to read it, as I've made clear by having it for... 5 weeks already!) But JK is deffffffinitely getting read :)

      Do you mean to say that you won't be reading on holiday?! That... Actually that makes sense cause I'm always like 'I will read many things' before I go away and I'll maaaaaybe finish a book but that's IT. So yeah, I WILL MISS YOUR PRESENCE THOUGH!

      I love your ps so much. Made me lol a bit. But I'm glad you won't hurt me or anything!

  3. I deliberated whether to join or not, too, but I did (obviously). :) You've got awesome books on your to-read list - I still have to read them as well, but I've heard so much praise about them. Good luck with your goals and have fun!

    1. I know, it's hard work deciding, isn't it?! And I'm preeeetty excited about all these books, I have to say :). You have fun toooo!

  4. Song of Achilles is just wonderful and heart-breaking. I read it from the library too, and keep meaning to get my own copy, it's that good!

    Enjoy the readathon :)

    1. BUT I SHAN'T READ IT (Or I might, I don't know. Not that you even asked hahahaha).

  5. BOOK PILES! PILES OF BOOKS! I am so pleased you're joining in. Not in the least because you have put three pictures of book piles in one post. That's just too cool, bro, too cool.

    The Song of Achilles must not be returned without being read! The thought of that happening has made my head hurt a little. I see that you're experiencing the book blogger persuasion (bullying) tactics right now...payback?

    ANYWAY. I hope you have an epic week with lots of reading and exciting reading related things.

    1. I know right? It's important to separate the library books from the ones I own, I think. Makes everything clearer!

      I don't know if I can do The Song of Achilles! LEAVE ME ALONE! At this rate I'm just reading books I own, which is actually a very very good thing. So maybe I'll return them alllll without reading them (except The Cuckoo's Calling, because I paid 50p for that sucker!)

  6. That certainly is a lot of books. I just finished The Cuckoo's Calling and it was a really good read. The Song of Achilles I haven't gotten to yet either, it's something I kind of want to read, but something more enticing always comes along. And Middlemarch... yowza! Good luck this week!

    1. Aw, thank you! And yeah, Middlemarch... I don't even know how I feel about it yet, except, ouch your words hurt my brain!

  7. Wonderful goals. I look forward to seeing what you think of The Cuckoos Calling. I have that on my TBR. Enjoy.
    -Dilettantish Reader

    1. I think I'm going to start The Cuckoo's Calling tomorrow! Exciting stuff :)

  8. Yay yay yay! Glad you joined.

    So yeah, awesome books, and read totally read more than me on Monday! And I didn't even watch any awesome tv. Instead I was watching my niece and nephew and duuuuuude they're so much more distracting than I thought they'd be.

    1. Me tooooo! It's really making me read this time and I'm glad!

      DAMN CHILDREN AND THEIR WAYS. But for reals, watching kids do stuff is kind of awesome and I can totally put reading aside for it. For a bit, anyway.

  9. Thank you for saving the Corrections for our mini support group readalong.

    Good luck with this mega readathon that looks like fun. It is way too much pressure for me but I'm enjoying watching you guys

    1. That's ok, Alley. Even if it stops me from completing things, I'll do it for you. I'd even throw my pie for you. (BE MY PRISON WIFE)

      Well, that got weird. And yeah, LAST time I did this I did that thing where I go 'ungggh, I have to READ now?' and so I didn't which was stupid. But this time I'm just like 'reading! Fuck yeah!' which is good. So not pressurey unless you let it be so, is what I'm saying.

    2. Well then. Prison wife, huh? Vanilla and vanilla swirl swirl swirl (OMG I NEED TO START OITNB AGAIN)

      I would consider this readathon except for the fact that work has been INSANE (damn you, other people's vacations) so when I get home I'm like "I could read, or I could space out while watching stupid TV. What's that? A Law & Order SVU marathon? If you insist." (This MAY or may not be what I'm doing right now. [It is.])

    3. God, I love Crazy Eyes so damn much (ME TOOOOOOOO)

      I HATE OTHER PEOPLE AND THEIR HOLIDAYS! This is why I had to work a full day yesterday! (Lame thing to complain about... but when you're USED to working a half day it's like nooooooooooo!) TV is the awesomest though. You're doing a TVathon. It's cool.

  10. Yay for the Fault in our Stars hate!! Or well, not so much yay as thank god I'm not the only person who doesn't think it's the greatest thing since Skarsgard!

    Also, if it's ok with you and Alley I wouldn't mind taking part in the Corrections readalong, because book has been sitting on my shelf glaring at me FOREVER (although I totally get if it's a prison wife thing).

    1. There will never be a greatest thing since Skarsgard. But if there was, it wouldn't be THAT FUCKING BOOK.

      You can OF COURSE read The Corrections with us! I'm thinking maaaaybe October, if everyone's amenable? (By everyone, I mean the three of us. Obvs.) And yeah, it's not so much a prison wife thing as a 'This book is SO big, how can we bring ourselves to read it alone?!' thing. So you will be extremely welcooooome :)

    2. Yay more people to the "YOU WON'T DEFEAT ME ME, CORRECTIONS" readalong party.

    3. YAY INDEED. Dammit Franzen, we will defeat you with our lady brains (am I just making up that he's a misogynist or is that a thing?) Does October sound good Alleyyyy?

    4. October sounds good to me!

      P.s. I can't WAIT until your snarky review. CAN'T WAIT.

  11. Haha you and your "I'm not getting much reading done" and TWO BOOKS! I was really proud of my two books (novella and YA).

    1. My two books have been a children's book and a YA book, so it's not *that* good! ONE DAY I WILL FINISH A BOOK FOR GROWN UPS. But it is not this day.

  12. Wait a minute, WHEN DID THIS POST HAPPEN?! I've been all like, "Huh, I wish Laura was doing Bout of Books" and then I saw your challenge entry and came hunting and HERE YOU ARE. Blog stalker fail!

    *pause* OK, I just recovered from a minor heart attack where I thought Neil Gaiman was in the shop but it was just his could-be-twin-brother. *breathes normally again*

    Oh dear god I'm actually starting to wonder if I should just throw TFioS out the window without reading it all but now I kinda think I should just so we can compare notes later. Hey, if it's a quick read then no harm, no foul, right? Also, I'm a total book crier so maybe I'll like it. I LOVE THAT BILL BRYSON BOOKS. And all Bill Bryson books, as you know. I'll be back to stalk you like a proper blog wife now I know you're rockin' this readathon with me! :D

    1. ELLIE! I did only decide to do it on Sunday and then this went up on Monday but with another post? So maybe you just missed it cause it was at the top of my blog for like an hour? But yes, here I ammmmmm!

      IMAGINE IF NEIL GAIMAN DID COME IN THOUGH?! That would be awesome. I mean, I think, having not read any of his books and all. (I just had a 'why was she at the shop though? It's Tuesday!' moment, but actually it is Wednesday and that is just GLORIOUS.)

      Well, you should probably read it for the lols? (BAD) I don't know, I wouldn't exactly recommend reading it, but at the same time you *could* probably finish it in a day and imagine how we could RANT to each other about it! That might be the only thing that makes it worth it, actually. EVERYONE told me they hate that Bill Bryson book (Or, don't like it that much) so firstly THANK YOU, and also I get why they don't because it's his first book and all so he probably hadn't worked out his whole writing style properly yet, but I'll bet it's still goooood. And yes, come baaaaack!

  13. I love it when I find blogs whose lists aren't full of YA! Because... well, mine is and I stay so out of the non-YA loop that it's nice to see what else is out there.

    Great choices!

    1. Aw, I think it's definitely good to branch out from the genre you read the most! I try to read a wiiide mix of things, but YA definitely gets neglected for... reasons. But yes. Thank you!

  14. Hallo, Hallo! :)

    I am making my rounds to all the lovely Bout'er blogs that I discovered at the start of the Bout! :) I wanted to drop back and see how you were progressing! Middlemarch is one of the classics that I have wanted to read myself, and I understand how sometimes you read what you check-out first, verse getting to the books already on your shelf! Appears that as book lovers, we all try to strike that balance at one time or another! :)

    I wasn't sure if anyone else was journalling their days! :) I started to do that myself, so I could keep a record of what I was reading/doing whilst the Bout was going on!

    I, too, am curious about the new Rowling book! I have it on hold but I'm in the first 30+ who wants to read it! Laughs.

    Your doing a great job!! :)I had a few rough patches myself so don't worry! Its only Thursday!! :)

    1. It really is so difficult choosing between library books and ones you own. Because you SHOULD read the ones you own, but the library ones are all SHINY and new... Sigh.

      Sometimes I like journalling my days more than actually reading! But yeah, don't worry, you're not the only one! And I had to wait a while for the Rowling book tooo, but not as long as I'd feared so hopefully you'll be lucky.

      And it is indeed only Thursday. Plenty of time to read all the things this weekend :)

  15. You are kickin readathon ass! I've also been really bad about getting around and visiting blogs. Between reading things and life things, internet things kind of get pushed to the side a bit.

    And now I need to find some cake, because I'm jealous of all your cake-having over there.

  16. I WANT TO 24 HOUR IT! And I really want to read your scathing review, except maybe I DON'T because then when I read the book I'll be all primed to hate it without even giving it a chance. It's not looking good though, with both you AND Hanna hating it so hard... :(

    You read a shit-ton already, so be quiet and eat some more cake. And maybe get a hot bath today so you don't get hypothermia or anything. *stares out at pouring rain and has to remind herself that it isn't actually November even though it feels a bit like it*

    My blog is still dead - as are a few other people's, from the angry comments on the Google forums - so for now I'm just readin' and Tweetin' and MAYBE I'll write some reviews in a notebook like a frickin' Bronte or something. I daren't type them up anywhere on Blogger because it'll only delete it all again. Also I should get on with those challenge entries after a day of groaning with pain yesterday. I AM A CRAP GIVEAWAY HOSTESS. :(

    Happy reading today sweetness, it's a good day for it if you have even half the rain we've got up here... READ LIKE THE WIND! THROUGH MY TREE! Impromptu Dirty Dancing reference. YOU'RE WELCOME.