Now, firstly, I don't want this to come across as a "look at me, I'm great, look how much I can read in a week" type thing. When I go into reading mode, as I call it, I literally spend every spare second reading. Always have done, I used to pull all-nighters with a pile of library books when I was a child. So seriously, it's just the way I do it - I'm not trying to one-up anyone. I'm genuinely just a fast reader & I just really love talking books!
So - you may remember in my last post, I talked about Booktube-a-thon 2014. It ran from July 14th-21st, and it was an epic collaboration between several booktubers, bloggers and readers all over the world. Everyone involved did an amazing job, and I even got to take part in a few twitter sprints when the boys took their afternoon nap. The sprints were really fun, they had challenges like "read for 15 minutes and find a weapon in your story" or "you're getting hungry, list all the food you find over the next 10 minutes" - it was great to feel like part of a community with other people all reading at the same time from many different parts of the world.
Here's a quick recap of the challenges:
- Read a book and watch the film adaptation. DONE
- Read a book with the colour red on the cover. DONE
- Read a book chosen by someone else. DONE
- Start and finish a series. DONE
- Read a book with pictures. DONE
- Read a book from the genre you've read least from this year. DONE
- Read 7 books and/or 300 pages a day. DONE
As Chloe mentioned in her results post, I think this really proved just how much you can read if you put your mind to it. I've had books on my TBR (to be read) list for years - I could easily scratch some of them off the list if I wanted to do this again. It was definitely intense - I didn't watch any TV all week (not that I missed it) and I read when the boys were napping or while I was giving them bottles. I had a few 5am starts so that definitely helped to get more reading in! I'm totally burnt out after it though, the leg even fell off my glasses on Monday morning (genuinely, just plopped off) so I won't be doing the whole book-a-day thing again any time soon. Here's what I read:
Monday: I read "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman and started "Where She Went" by the same author.
Tuesday: I finished "Where She Went" (completing the series challenge) and read "Rosemary's Baby" by Ira Levin (half of the book/movie challenge). I started "Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell that night (red on the cover).
Wednesday: I finished "Fangirl" and read the first few chapters of "In the Shadow of Blackbirds" by Cat Winters (a book with pictures included).
Thursday: I finished "In the Shadow of Blackbirds", read "Bossypants" by Tina Fey (least-read genre) and started "Butter" by Erin Jade Lange (chosen by someone else).
Friday: I finished "Butter", thus completing all the reading challenges for Booktube-a-thon!
I really, really enjoyed "Butter", "Fangirl" and "Rosemary's Baby". I liked "In the Shadow of Blackbirds" a lot, it was a nice unique little book and the photographs were great. I did like "If I Stay", but I didn't like "Where She Went" as much. I was most disappointed by "Bossypants" - but I think I'd built it up in my head to be this amazingly unputdownable laugh-a-mintue read, and it wasn't. I really enjoyed the last 40-50 pages of it, but I found some of the TV sections boring. I'd wager that's because I've never seen the shows nor have I any interest in them, but for fans of Tina's TV work I can see how it would be really enjoyable. She definitely doesn't hold back on behind-the-scenes information like some celebrities (coughMelissaJoanHartcough). I was so happy to have finished the challenges this year because I missed out on the entire Booktube-a-thon last year and I was raging.
I had a few Netgalley requests granted, and I had a new book pre-ordered on Amazon that arrived on my Kindle at midnight on Saturday, so I kept reading.
From Friday to Sunday, I also read:
Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris - I tried to read this before I knew anything about David Sedaris and I didn't get it at all. I saw it on my reader and it was really short, so I read it and knocked a good laugh out of it, as with all of Sedaris' work. I think there are collections of Christmas stories marketed under the same name, but mine is the one with the cover above and only has the short stories about his time as a 33 year old Macy's Christmas Elf.
Tape by Steven Camden - This was a request granted on Netgalley. The idea was so good - a 13 year old girl moves in with her Grandmother after her parents die. While rooting around the spare room, she finds a tape. Back in 1993, Ryan records a tape about things that are happening in his life. How are they connected? The one thing that annoyed me the most about this book was the lack of quotation marks to show dialogue. A phone conversation is written like this: - Hello. No. What do you mean she wasn't there. Was she there. Are you kidding me. Are you messing with me. Yes. Okay. See you tomorrow. (not actual dialogue, but you get the idea). Conversations are like this (also not actual dialogue):
Ameliah walked into the kitchen. Her Grandmother was chopping carrots.
- Hello dear, are you hungry?
- Not really.
- Did you eat?
- You must be hungry.
- I said, I'm not.
- What are your plans for tonight?
- No plans.
I found it incredibly hard to read and hard to follow. My heart broke when I got to the end (seriously, when I didn't fling this at the wall at 58% it's a miracle) and read that the author had been dreaming about this story since he was 10 - it must be a dream come true for him but my god, it was a chore to read. I do hope younger teenagers enjoy it.
The Rain by Virginia Bergin
This is a YA (young adult) novel. It's a genre that I've been getting into more & more lately, the writing is generally so good and the genre has come a hell of a long way since the nineties. I requested this on Netgalley but got turned down - I really, really wanted to read it so I pre-ordered it on Amazon and it arrived at midnight on the release date. Ruby Morris is a typical 15 year old teenager - loves her phone, her friends, tea, doesn't really like her Stepdad, whinges a bit, and has a massive crush on a boy at school. She has just locked lips with said boy at a party when it starts to rain - and the parents of the party-thrower freak out. All the guests are rushed inside, because this is no ordinary rainshower - it's a national emergency. One drop of this rain will kill you within 3 hours, in a grotesque and painful way. Ruby is a brilliant heroine, because she's real! She doesn't automatically turn into a brave Superhero. She bitches and whinges and moans about the inconvenience of the killer rain and the fact that she has to use a bucket as a toilet. There are hilariously funny moments - like her reasoning behind looting a shop - but also some very touching ones, like the scenes with Simon, her Stepdad. It's a brilliant book and one that demonstrates how worthy the Young Adult genre is of its increasing popularity among older readers.
I watched the movie version of Rosemary's Baby on Sunday - as I predicted, I found it much harder to find time to sit and watch a movie than I did to read! The movie stayed very true to the book, there were only minor differences and I enjoyed watching it. I will track down more of the same genre.
So there it is - over for another year! I loved every second of it, and I look forward to Booktube-a-thon 2015. Thanks so much to Ariel and all involved for making it such a fun experience.
I'll leave you with one last picture - the definition of WINNING at a car boot sale. €3 for all these - I nearly took hand and all off her.
Please check out the blogs below to see how some other Irish bloggers got on! If you took part, please link me so I can add you.