October AYearAThon

I took part in the AYearAThon for the first time last month and posted about it here. I wasn’t sure if I was going to do it again as I didn’t know if I’d be able to stick to the themes but was tweeted by the AYearAThon twitter account after my last post saying that themes are optional so here I am again! I did try to fit my reading into the theme (mental health), just loosely, and then hardly got around to reading anything anyway as I was busy with the start of the university year.

I was still reading George Orwell’s 1984 when the readathon started and so first off I finished that which was okay, but not great. I was disappointed with it really; it just wasn’t my sort of thing, it was just too depressing, I didn’t connect with the main character on any level, and just never got gripped into the story. It picked up slightly nearer the ending but ultimately just felt like it was a bit of a letdown and lacked any sort of moral or message that interested me.

Finally finished reading 1984! 😃📚

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I then had to read the first chapter of Regeneration Through Violence by Richard Slotkin for one of my classes which took me a lot longer than I wanted it to because I dislike reading theory and am just really slow at getting through that sort of thing. It was kind of interesting; talking about the creation and continuation of myths, but as it is still the start of term I am unsure how it will be fitting into my course and be useful.

It was only then that I started on my mental health themed books, and didn’t even get close to finishing them. I just read 2 chapters of my anxiety book, and 2 of The Ego and the Id by Sigmund Freud, which is for my dissertation and which was better than I thought, I felt like it was a little clearer than his writing normally is, although I’m not very far in and I may just be getting used to the way he writes rather than him getting clearer.

So I didn’t really get far in this readathon but felt like it was still worth posting about because I still got more done than I would have otherwise just because I was so busy and not really interested in what I was reading.

Here is the link to the AYearAThon Goodreads group.

And then my next post will probably be a wrap up for one of my next readathons this month; Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon which you can find here, or the Duodecathon which is here. Subscribe if you want to see my posts on those, and comment below if you’ve read 1984 and if you agree or disagree with me 🙂

September Book Wrap Up & October TBR

September Book Haul

I just ordered some books for uni this month so I’m not really excited about them but I ordered 7 in total and they are:

  • The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
  • Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
  • Ladybird Tales: Little Red Riding Hood by Vera Southgate (a children’s version for my dissertation which will be a nice easy read)
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter (I’ve read this before and it’s great but am using it for my dissertation so needed to buy a copy in order to read it again as I borrowed it from a library last time)
  • The Ego and the Id by Sigmund Freud
  • Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut

September Reading Wrap Up

I started off with the AYearAThon for which I read:

  • A small poetry book from my university’s writing society
  • Samplers for Ink by Alice Broadway, Girl Hearts Girl by Lucy Sutcliffe, This Raging Light by Estelle Laure, Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven, All Fall Down by Ally Carter, Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt, and Broken Sky by L.A. Weatherly.
  • Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
  • Beyond the Pleasure Principle by Sigmund Freud
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

My post for the AYearAThon is here. And I have a separate post on We We Liars here.

I then read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater which I loved and have a post on here.

Next, I finished Calm by Michael Acton Smith, which was lent to me by a friend and was pretty nice. I liked the whole theme and the pacing with all of the pictures and different sections on different aspects of life (e.g. food, sleep, and work), but wasn’t into the idea of all the activities. Overall it was helpful and nice to read so I’d recommend it to practically anyone, especially if stressed out or going through a bad time.

I then went back to George Orwell’s 1984 which I had read a few chapters of months before then put down. I’ve still not finished it and it also meant that I didn’t take part in the Duodecathon this month but I’ll hopefully do that readathon again next month anyway.

October TBR

First off I’ll finish 1984, then the AYearAThon is at the start of the month with the theme of mental health so I thought I could read a book I have about anxiety, the Freud book that I got this month (as psychology is kind of menatl health related? Close enough!), and then if I have time for another one just another psychology book for uni probably.

I’d then like to do some more dissertation reading so Ladybird Tales: Little Red Riding Hood, Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, and The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories. Then classes start for me this month so I need to read Blood Meridian and The Naked and the Dead along with probably about 4 other books although I haven’t been told what these are yet.

After the AYearAThon I also want to take part in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and the October Duodecathon so hopefully those will help me get through these books!

Here are the links to the different readathons: AYearAThonDewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, and Duodecathon.

 

How was your September reading? What are you planning on reading in October? and are you going to take part in any of the October readathons that I mentioned? Comment below and subscribe if you want to see more – My next post will probably be a wrap up post for the AYearAThon 🙂

 

AYearAThon – September 2016

I think this is my first time taking part in AYearAThon despite having been in the Goodreads group for quite a while (which you can find here: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/123987-ayearathon). The theme for this month was small books, specifically under 200 pages, which was quite nice as it made me feel like I was doing a lot more reading than I actually was just because I was getting through the books so quickly (although half of these aren’t really books I guess).

I started off with a small poetry book from my university’s writing society that I got early this year, then went into the the samplers that I got from Yalc in July (which I talked about a little in this post: https://emlinian.wordpress.com/2016/09/07/july-august-book-wrap-up-september-tbr/).

The first sampler was for Ink by Alice Broadway which I thought was amazing and just had such an interesting concept as it’s based in a world where once somebody dies their skin is stretched out and made into a book about their life based on the tattoos everyone is given for certain events in their life. I would say that this was my favourite sampler and would love to read the full book.

My second one was then Girl Hearts Girl by Lucy Sutcliffe which is about a girl going to see her girlfriend for the first time since they met online. It was a really cute story, yet I feel like the teaser was a short story on its own, and so although I liked it I don’t think I’ll pick up the whole book.

Next up was This Raging Light by Estelle Laure which was is about a girl whose parents have left her alone with her younger sister and so she’s trying to look after her sister while pretending that her mum is still there and that everything is okay. It was actually my least favourite sampler, mainly because I felt like it was aimed at a younger audience than me so I couldn’t connect with it so much. I’ve still added it to my to-read shelf on Goodreads though so I may still get around to read the whole book.

I then moved onto Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven which I really liked, and is a dual-perspective novel between a boy and a girl as she starts at his school. I like dual-perspective books and I loved the voice of Jack and the concept of a character who can’t recognise the faces of the people around him just because it’s such a foreign idea to me. Another one that I’d really like to read the whole book for.

Next up was All Fall Down by Ally Carter, the first book in the Embassy Row Series, which I feel like I still can’t describe after reading the sampler but I’ve really enjoyed the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society Series’ and even considered picking up this book before so although the sampler was just fine rather than amazing it is still a book that I want to read and will probably get around to.

The last sampler was a book that contained 2 stories; Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt, and Broken Sky by L.A. Weatherly. I started with Unconventional and was a bit disappointed as I’d loved the cover but the story wasn’t what I’d thought that it would be, but it still seemed promising so I’d like to read it and found her other novel The Last Summer of Us on Goodreads which I think sounds even better. Broken Sky is then the first in the series and about a girl on the run which seems like it’ll be really action packed, the same sort of feel as lots of Sophie McKenzie’s books which I love. One that I definitely would like to read the rest of.

I then read Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell, which I thought was a sampler but actually just a short story, focused on a girl who goes to wait in a line for a few days before a Star Wars premier. Not being a fan of Star Wars, and having never been to, let alone waiting in line for, a movie premier, I didn’t really get into the book in that aspect, but the general story was okay, just not amazing.

I then finished Beyond the Pleasure Principle by Sigmund Freud which I had already started before the readathon. This was just a book I needed to read for uni, and frankly, I hated it because I always find it hard to follow Freud’s writing and so it was just really tedious to read and I’m going to have to look at some summaries and notes online to check I didn’t miss any important points.

Lastly, I read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, which is technically over 200 pages, but not by much so I decided that I was going to count it. I am so glad that I read this book because I had wanted to for ages but never got around to it, then I got the Zoella book bundle which included it and thought that I’d read it for the readathon, and it was seriously one of the best books that I’ve ever read. I want to do a whole post just on this book though so that’ll be up later on.

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I’d love to do the AYearAThon again but it depends, on what the themes are as I’m going to have to read a lot more uni books from now and so will be more restricted on what themes I could do, and I’d rather read the books that I own but haven’t read than spend money on new books to fit with the themes.

June Book Wrap Up & July TBR

June Reading Wrap Up

Most of my reading through June was for the Tome Topple Readathon which I posted about here:

https://emlinian.wordpress.com/2016/06/21/tome-topple-readathon-wrap-up-june-2016/

So the only books that I actually finished this month were for that and were:

  • Lady Midnight by Cassandra Claire
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum (15th Anniversary Edition) by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean
  • Gone by Michael Grant

I didn’t have time for the Duodecathon this month as well so have had to skip it but will hopefully be able to participate in the next one, and catch up on the challenges later.

June Book Haul

I did however buy a lot of books this month!

First off I bought the Zoella WHSmiths Bookclub Bundle which includes:

  • All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward
  • Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
  • The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
  • Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher

Then I got Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings because it was on sale and I love Sasha’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/abookutopia).

Before finally using up all of my audible credits to buy:

  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  • The last 4 of the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling
  • Binge by Tyler Oakley

July TBR

So I’m actually writing this in July so have already read Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen and The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling, both of which are great and I will talk about them in July’s wrap up if not in separate posts.

I would also like to finish Binge, reread Scarlet by Marissa Meyer and read On the Road.

I haven’t planned out the duodecathon yet so I may have to change or add some books, but this is all that I have planned for this month anyway.

 

In separate news, I’m going to Yalc in London in July (the YA Literature Convention) which I’m really excited about, so there shall probably be quite a few books bought this month too, and I hope anyone else going has a great time as well!!

 

Tome Topple Readathon Wrap Up (June 2016)

I took part in another readathon for 2 weeks, the Tome Topple Readathon which focuses on reading tomes (books over 500 pages) and was really fun. I loved how active their twitter account was and the challenges so would love to do this one again sometime.

Wrap Up

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Claire

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)

Batman: Arkham Asylum (15th Anniversary Edition) by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean – I had already started this so only read 48 Pages but isn’t a tome anyway, just my book for the graphic novel challenge

Gone by Michael Grant

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Challenges

I completed all of the challenges which is awesome so here’s the list and which of my books counted:

Read more than one tome (500+ pages)  – I ended up reading 3 tomes

Take a graphic novel break (doesn’t need to be over 500 pages!) – For this I read the Batman graphic novel

Read a tome that is part of a series – All 3 of my tomes are actually the first book in their series

Read over 500 pages in one week – I read Lady Midnight in 3 days, The Cuckoo’s Calling in 4 days, and Gone in 4 days so I completed this challenge will all 3 tomes too

Read an adult novel – I read The Cuckoo’s Calling for this one

Links

Here’s the link to the main post for Tome Topple including the YouTube video:

Tome Topple Readathon Sign-Up | Readathon + Giveaway

And here is where I find out about readathons:

http://www.littlebookowl.com/p/read-thon-calendar.html

My next readathon will be the June Duodecathon which I will do a wrap up post for too.

Exam Period Reading Wrap Up

ReaThis is just going to be a wrap up of my opinions on the books I read through the couple months of exams and revision, so I’m not going to go into a load of detail or give proper reviews but just random thoughts about each book.

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling (Audiobook – Stephen Fry Edition)

The Harry Potter series has always been a part of my life pretty much, but over the last couple years has become a really large part of it. I have met a lot of friends through the fandom and had a lot of fun because of it all. The Stephen Fry audiobook versions finally became available on Audible so I thought it would be a great way of being able to reread the series. I think that I last reread the series before reading the Deathly Hallows for the first time, which must have been about 7 years ago now, and there is just so much that I had forgotten and really appreciate now. The narration by Stephen Fry is amazing and I’m going to continue with listening to the series as I have some spare audible points saved up.

Everyman by Anonymous

So this is just a play that I had to read for university and it is basically just an old morality play where a character called Everyman is told that he is going to die and so has to go around and find evidence that he’s a good guy before he is then judged by God. I found this pretty hard to read because although the story is really simple, the language is hard to get through and the iBooks edition that I was reading wasn’t always clear about who was speaking.

Light in August by William Faulkner

This was another university book and I read it through the audiobook, and although I think that this is a good book, and has some really interesting messages, I did not like reading it. Basically, parts of it just made me uncomfortable, which I understand is kind of the point, but still just means it’s not fun to read, although I would still say it’s worth reading, just be aware of this.

Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare

Another university book, but I really like Shakespeare so it was fine, my only problem was that I had to revise both this and his other play The Merchant of Venice at the same time and so kept getting confused between the two. However, Measure for Measure is a comedy about a law forbidding sex outside of marriage, and so Isabella’s brother is going to be executed and she has to go prevent, it which basically means a bad time for her. It’s a pretty short play and I quite liked it, but I do prefer Shakespeare’s tragedies to his comedies.

The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione

So this book was yet another university book and consists of 4 sub-books: book 1 is about what makes a great courtier in general, book 2 is about humour, book 3 is about what makes a good court lady (and stories of women being brave etc), then book 4 is what makes a good ruler and good politics. My favorite was book 3 which is strange because it also made me the most annoyed as some of the statements in this one from certain characters are pretty misogynistic, but then that just made it interesting in comparison to the rest of the book which I thought was mostly really dull.

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Claire, Maureen Johnson & Sarah Rees Brennan

I loved this book! Obviously, this one is not for my university course but was just for fun, as it is a collection of short stories so was quite nice to read over a long time while revision was going on. Cassandra Claire has quickly become one of my favourite authors as I read the mortal instruments and infernal devices series, along with watching the film and first series of the TV show (which I am obsessed with and cannot wait for the next season). I thought this book was just great as it gave some brief background to Magnus’s life and I liked the later stories especially, but don’t want to really say any more about that here because of spoilers about the mortal instruments series. Basically to avoid spoilers in any of Cassandra Claire’s books make sure you read them in the order that she wrote them because the series all overlap, which is a lot of reading but so worth it!

The Faerie Queene (Books 1&2) by Edmund Spenser

Back to university books I had to read the first two books of this, and so due to the language being so tricky I had the audiobook on while I read the physical book which worked pretty okay. Shmoop has amazing summaries for each canto if you need to study this, but I really didn’t like this book. It’s meant to be a great English epic about knights and quests etc. but I feel like a lot of the plot is repetitive and then, in the end a lot just comes down to fate/chance.

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

So this one is really similar to The Book of the Courtier as they can be seen as handbooks for how to be a good prince/courtier. Again, I’d say this was pretty dull, but was good to use in comparison with Castiglione in an exam.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon

So it has been 20 days since I last posted even though I said it would only be a week, but in this time, I finished my last piece of coursework for the year and have planned and begun my exam revision too. I then decided to take part in Dewey’s 24-hour readathon for the first time both because I thought it would be fun and because I have a LOT of books to read in my revision.

The readathon began at 1pm here in England but I didn’t start until 7pm, yet on day 1 I finally managed to finish Everyman (by Anon), a play from the 15th century that I had been halfway through for months despite how short it is. I then read 6 chapters of Light in August (by William Faulkner) on audiobook before taking a break from uni books to start The Rise of the Hotel Dumont (by Cassandra Claire and Maureen Johnson) which is one of the stories within The Bane Chronicles.

On day 2 I then finished The Rise of the Hotel Dumont before listening to another 6 chapters of Light in August until the readathon ended at 1pm again.

However, after the fun of the fun of the readathon I then didn’t want to wait until the next of Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathons in October so tracked down a list of readathons happening this year and there just happened to be another one on there starting today! So having finished a 24-hour readathon, I have now begun a week-long one: the Duodecathon (which can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/156177-duodecathon).

Details for Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon for anyone who wants to join in October: http://www.24hourreadathon.com/

Hope any of you participating in the readathon had fun, and if you didn’t participate I would definitely recommend it!