Thursday, 25 August 2016

BOUT OF BOOKS 17 | Day 2 + 3

Running from Monday 22nd to Sunday 28th, Bout of Books is a week long readathon full of bookish challenges, chat and most importantly, reading. Read, read, read! This is my second time participating in Bout of Books, and this year I decided to update on my progress with mini wrap up posts at the end of each day.

You can find my Day 1 update here.

TUESDAY 23RD AUGUST
Having read close to half of Inside the O'Briens the previous day, I set myself the goal of completing it the following day.
TOTAL PAGES READ | 335
TOTAL TIME READING (APPROX) | 6 hours 30 minutes
BOOKS COMPLETED | 1

By end of day Tuesday, not only had I completed my current read, but I started another also. Switching format, I delved into an ebook... The only trouble with including ebooks in the readathon is the fact that my Kindle and me aren't getting on too well at the moment as it no longer shows me the page count of any given book. So I won't be updating the actual page count on ebooks until completed, just the percentage of said book. I just barely started The Woman in Cabin 10, with just 6% having been read.

WEDNESDAY 24TH AUGUST
We were out and about a fair bit on Wednesday, enjoying what is probably the last of the summer sunshine here in the Wales, which meant little reading time. Not only because we were having fun in the sun, but I felt a little 'meh' about reading to be honest. I feel like this every now and then, and some weeks I will go a day or two without reading in a week, which is why I tend to only read one book a week typically.

TOTAL PAGES READ | 335+
TOTAL TIME READING | 8 hours (ish)
BOOKS COMPLETED | 1

Being that I am partaking in a readathon currently, despite my mood, I did want to make a conscious effort to read at least once a day and so I did get in a little bit of reading on Wednesday - just an hour or so. I ended Wednesday with a total of 27% read in my ebook.

How is the readathon progressing for you?

Monday, 22 August 2016

BOUT OF BOOKS 17 | Day 1

Running from Monday 22nd to Sunday 28th, Bout of Books is a week long readathon full of bookish challenges, chat and most importantly, reading. Read, read, read! This is my second time participating in Bout of Books, and this year I decided to update on my progress with mini wrap up posts at the end of each day.

MONDAY 22ND AUGUST
I kicked off my reading bright and early in the morning with a cup of tea and fresh unread book. Throughout the day I managed to squeeze in snippets of reading here and there, but my two main solid chunks of reading were at the start and end of my day.

PAGES READ | 145
TOTAL HOURS READING (APPROX) | 3 hours 30 minutes
BOOKS COMPLETED | 0

I've been enjoying my reading so far, and whilst I definitely want to get as much reading done as possible during the readathon, I do want to keep it fun and not feel like a chore. I could have read for more than three and half hours, but after sharing this post I'm choosing to watch an episode of Gilmore Girls, not continue reading when perhaps I should. I definitely think there is such a thing as over reading.

So far I'm enjoying the book I have chosen to start Bout of Books with, and feel confident that I will likely have completed it by the end of day tomorrow. It isn't my favourite Lisa Genova book, but as with all her other titles, it's proving to be a gripping read!

I hope the first day of Bout of Books has been successful for you!

Saturday, 20 August 2016

WHAT I READ | August (Part 1)

| NOT ALL FOUR BOOKS ARE PICTURED AS THEY WERE ALL LIBRARY BORROWS AND SOME HAVE ALREADY BEEN RETURNED |

Typically, at the end of each month I share all the books I've read within that given period of time, however the month of August brings Bout of Books, and with the hopes of getting a good amount of reading in, I thought I'd share the books read in August in two parts (these posts can get lengthy on an average month, never mind one with a readathon in).

THE GIRLS BY LISA JEWELL (ALSO TITLED THE GIRLS IN THE GARDEN)
You live on a picturesque communal garden square, an oasis in urban London where your children run free, in and out of other people’s houses.

You’ve known your neighbours for years and you trust them. Implicitly.

You think your children are safe.

But are they really?

Midsummer night: a thirteen-year-old girl is found unconscious in a dark corner of the garden square. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?


MY THOUGHTS
I'd heard a good number of things in the run up to reading The Girls, and I feel perhaps my expectations were just a tad too high as I came away with a somewhat unsatisfactory reading experience. I enjoyed the overall plot of this story, however the ending did seem a little short and blunt for my liking. The community that the author built felt like it had depth and development, with the prominent characters being uniquely individual. Some of the elements in this book did feel a little romanticised in a way, and there were elements that irked me. I had a tough time rating The Girls and ultimately settled with three stars - it seemed the safest rating. I didn't dislike The Girls, but I wasn't blown away by it either.

OUR ENDLESS NUMBERED DAYS BY CLAIRE FULLER
1976: Peggy Hillcoat is eight. She spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children and listening to her mother's grand piano, but her pretty life is about to change.

Her survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions for the end which is surely coming soon, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared.

Her life is reduced to a piano which makes music but no sound, a forest where all that grows is a means of survival. And a tiny wooden hut that is Everything.


MY THOUGHTS
I have shared a full review of Our Endless Numbered Days - you can find it here.

IN COLD BLOOD BY TRUMAN CAPOTE
Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and both their children. Truman Capote's comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible yet entirely and frighteningly human. The book that made Capote's name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative.

MY THOUGHTS
I've been wanting to read this true crime novel for quite a while now, but it was one of those books I kept putting on the back burner for no reason in particular. After organising the way in which I keep my wishlist, I learnt that my local library carried a copy. I read In Cold Bloog in drips and drabs, not because the book didn't hold my attention, but because that's just how I tend to read non fiction books of any nature. Being true crime, there are some graphic elements pertaining to the crime that the book is examining, however if crime is a genre that interests you reading wise then I'd recommend picking this one up.

FINDING AUDREY BY SOPHIE KINSELLA
An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

MY THOUGHTS
I have read a little bit of Sophie Kinsella's writing previously, namely a couple of the books in her 'Shopaholic' series, and so knew I enjoyed her style of writing... Going in to Finding Audrey I was hesitant as to how anxiety would be treated, as someone with anxiety, and I came away impressed. The way in which the subject is handled was really well done - light but yet serious and knowledgeable at the same time. I really enjoyed the narrative from Audrey, particularly the observational comedy and style of voice, and found the book to be compulsive reading. Was it the best book I've ever read, no, but it is a YA book I'd recommend to others.

What have you read so far this August?