Monday, 21 May 2018

Bout of Books (22)


EVENT
Bout of Books

ABOUT EVENT
Bout of Books is a low pressure week long readathon, with the overall aim being to read - with the encouragement to read more than you usually would within the given time frame. There are challenges, chats and giveaways throughout the event, however participation is not essential or required; they're just an added interactive element to the readathon. 

Bout of Books has been taking place since 2011, with this being the 22nd event. If you'd like to know more about the readathon then you can find the 'About' page here.

TAKING PLACE
Monday 14th May - Sunday 20th May

MY TBR + GOALS
My hopes for this week of reading is to finish some of my books that currently have lingering bookmarks - that's four books in total. I'm not fussed if I don't complete them all - I don't think that's feasible - however I would like to make a good dent and give those books my sole attention... For the past month or so I've been starting many books, but not finishing many before starting more.

The books, as pictured above: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (on page 71), The Island of Adventure by Enid Blyton (on page 91), Spring: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons by Melissa Harrison (on page 85) and The 50 Greatest Train Journeys of the World by Anthony Lambert (on page 82).

For the first time during a readathon, I'll also be using my new (I bought it earlier this year) reading timer, calculating the total amount of time read during the week too.

DAY ONE
As I'm really engrossed in Into Thin Air right now, I'm kicking off my reading week with that. I spent 1 hour 7 minutes reading today, solely on this title.

DAY TWO
Today I read for longer, totalling 1 hour 44 minutes, with that being entirely spent on Into Thin Air. This is proving to be a really gripping non fiction book, that it reads as a novel in many ways, placing you right there on Everest.

It would be nice if I could gradually increase my total amount of reading daily... Unsure if that'll happen.

DAY THREE
It didn't happen... Oops! Today I read for 1 hour 38 minutes (not far off yesterday's reading time), and am so close to finished Into Thin Air - all of my reading time today was in the evening, and so I got a bit too sleepy, leaving me with 50ish pages left in the book.

DAY FOUR
Today I finished my first book of the readathon - YAY!

I got a little bit of reading time in during the morning, reading just under 30 pages of the spring anthology, with the bulk of my reading being done in the evening when I completed Into Thin Air. My reading time for the day was 1 hour 10 minutes.

DAY FIVE
Honestly, I'm surprised I got any reading done today, so was happy to have come away with 58 minutes of reading and making further progress with The Island of Adventure. I wasn't in a reading mood really - I often have these days at least once a week - however I took myself off to bed early, with no distractions, and got in a good chunk of reading time... And I felt good for having done that afterwards, as I definitely got swept into the bubble of the book.

I have hopes for getting a good chunk of reading done over the weekend.

DAY SIX
I read for a total of 1 hour and 22 minutes today - not quite as much as I was hoping for - but I'm happy with it at the same time, given everything else that I did do today.

The sun was shining and I think this inspired a want to armchair travel; all of my reading time today was spent on The 50 Greatest Train Journeys of the World, and I really enjoyed that. I have now covered a further three sections within the book, having traversed Mainland Europe, Africa and Asia... I have Australasia and the Americas left, which I'm keen to read as there are train journeys included that I already have a desire to travel on someday.

I had hopes of finishing The Island of Adventure this weekend, however I think I'm just going to focus on the train travel tomorrow and possibly finish reading that book.

DAY SEVEN
Finished another book - YAY - The 50 Greatest Train Journeys of the World. I spent a total of 55 minutes reading today.

CONCLUDING
I'm really happy to have completed two books on my readathon TBR! Time wise, I don't feel like I read much more than I usually do, if at all, however I do think participating in the readathon helped me to complete my books as I had a focus on them - whereas otherwise I may have just kept flitting between the four and making progress, but nothing significant. All in all, a great bout of books experience.

THIS READATHON IS HOSTED BY AMANDAKELLY
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Monday, 14 May 2018

READING RECORD | Week 19


Reading record posts are a look back on the week that has been, with notes regarding what I've been reading and just general bookish goodness.

This past week I took part in The Buzzword Readathon, and I've done an entire post detailing my reading for the event (which you can read here). The readathon itself had a TBR requirement, and so I picked some books to read for that whilst also reading from a non readathon stack of books - which is why I still have a 'Reading Record' post for this week. 

MONDAY 7TH MAY
Starting the week with The Broken Girls by Simone St. James (a title from my readathon TBR). As well as that, I spent some time in the evening reading a couple more of the journeys in The 50 Greatest Train Journeys of the World; I have now completed the UK section of the travels. 

TUESDAY 8TH MAY
Solely focused on readathon reading and completed The Broken Girls; I was totally gripped, finding myself pick it up at any & every opportunity. This was an ebook read for me, which I always tend to read a lot faster than physical books - I much prefer to read physical books though. 

WEDNESDAY 9TH MAY
I started my second book for the readathon today, beginning The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen. I've read a couple of books by this author before, and love the cosy feeling I get when enveloped in her stories. 

In the evening I made progress reading through Inside The Magic: The Making of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; I love behind the scenes books.


THURSDAY 10TH MAY
As well as reading for the readathon, I read another of the ghost stories from the Charles Dickens collection I've been working through recently. 

FRIDAY 11TH MAY
I wasn't in much of a reading mood at the start of the day... However, I knew the reason for this was because I wanted to get stuck into a new book I had got earlier on in the week and was trying to put off reading due to the readathon. By time evening rolled around, I found myself delving into said book - Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. 

I've really been enjoying books that have the theme of exploration running through them - expeditions and such - however I've mostly only read fiction within this area, so this real life account is going to be a different reading experience for sure. 

SATURDAY 12TH MAY
Finished reading The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen - I've shared some thoughts about the book in my readathon post. 

It was a good Saturday for reading, because I also finished the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them book and read a further two sections within Into Thin Air. 

SUNDAY 13TH MAY
On a roll with finishing books this weekend - read the last few ghost stories within the Charles Dickens collection, a book I have been steadily working my way through for a couple of weeks now. I really enjoyed reading more ghost stories by Charles Dickens; he is great at building an atmosphere. 

Before bed I read another section of Into Thin Air.

BOOKS MENTIONED

Happy reading!
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Sunday, 13 May 2018

The Buzzword Readathon


EVENT
The Buzzword Readathon

ABOUT EVENT
The Buzzword Readathon is a new, but intended to be recurring, readathon being hosted on BookTube (but you're able to join across all platforms) by BooksandLala + a co-host. The premise behind the week long event is to read books with the pre-picked buzzword in the title - the buzzword for this event is 'GIRL'. If you'd like to know more about the event, then you can watch the announcement video here.

TAKING PLACE
Monday 7th May - Sunday 13th May

MY TBR + GOALS

Alongside reading these titles, I will also be dipping in and out of some of the books I currently have bookmarks in, unrelated to the readathon... Because of this, I will be updating my readathon progress in this post, and will have my usual 'Reading Record' post up for the week as a whole too.

DAY ONE
I've kick started the readathon by delving into The Broken Girls by Simone St. James... Based on the 25% I completed today, I'm really excited to see how this story unfolds; the mystery is gripping.

DAY TWO
Focusing solely on The Broken Girls - picking the book up at every opportunity I got - resulted in me finishing it by the end of the day. The Broken Girls is a real page turner, with a haunting mystery that holds you throughout. I initially found it hard to get into with the different voices & time periods being shared, but after breaching the quarter way mark, it was easy enough to follow after that. If mystery/thrillers are your thing, then don't hesitate to give The Broken Girls a read.

DAY THREE
I've started reading the second book on my readathon TBR stack - The Girl Who Chased The Moon. I only read for about an hour today, but that was definitely long enough for me to get immersed into the cosy feel of a Sarah Addison Allen title.

DAY FOUR
Continuing with the Sarah Addison Allen title; again another hour or so was spent reading today. I'm really enjoying the magical realism element to this story, as well as the subtle mystery included too.

DAY FIVE
I wasn't in much of a reading mood today, especially as I have been putting off a want to start a new book that had arrived earlier this week, however I did sit and read The Girl Who Chased The Moon for a little over thirty minutes.

DAY SIX
Finished reading The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen - I did enjoy my reading experience with this title, however I think there could have been more of a depth and connection to the plot (which was good) had it been longer in length.

DAY SEVEN
I did read today, however not for the readathon.

CONCLUDING
I decided to end my readathon reading on Saturday, after finishing my second title. The reason for this is because I knew if I started the final book on my TBR it would run into the following week, where I'm also taking part in another readathon, and I just wasn't keen to do that. Overall, an enjoyable readathon experience, and I'd definitely take part in future events.

THIS READATHON IS HOSTED BY KAYLADYLAN
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Friday, 11 May 2018

BookTubers I've Been Loving (Spring)


As well as indulging in bookish content via blogs, I also happen to watch a lot of book related content on YouTube - much like us here in the book community, there is a whole community of like minded people talking all things books & reading over on YouTube. Unlike book blogging, where I'm quite active, I'm very much a silent watcher over on YouTube, however that is something I've been trying to work on this year - being more interactive via the platform. Whilst that does mean commenting more on videos and such, I also want to do this by sharing some of the BookTuber's whose content I've been loving of late (with the aim of this being a quarterly series). 

So, onto the content creators...

On her channel, Lauren shares a wide variety of content but with a predominantly bookish background - with vlogs, hauls, TBR's and so much more to be found. Not only do I love Lauren's content as she has kind of an eclectic reading taste, like myself, but she has this amazing bubbly personality that just oozes through the screen; you feel welcome on her channel. Lauren also hosts 'Cosy Reading Night', which I took part in earlier this spring (for the first time) and it was a lot of fun!

If you were to watch just the one recent video... D is for... Dress Sizes (not a bookish video, but one I'd recommend to anyone & everyone)
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HELENE JEPPESEN
A Danish YouTuber, I've been watching Helene for many years now (in fact she was one of the first BookTuber's I discovered) and have especially been enjoying the content she has been putting out so far this year. Not only does Helene share a wide variety of bookish content, but her apartment is just beautiful, especially her wall of bookshelves. I absolutely love watching her monthly reading vlogs, and although Helene reads quite widely, you'll often find her with a classic or some literary fiction in hand.

If you were to watch just the one recent video... Book Hangovers (we all get them - Helene shares some of the good & bad book hangovers she has experienced)
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Jen is an author & book reviewer who leads a rather literary life. I've yet to read any of Jen's fiction writing, however her non fiction title, The Bookshop Book, is one I pick up time & time with it possessing a real comfort reading quality for me. On her YouTube channel, Jen shares all about her current reads and hauls books, as well as having a more personal element to her content, opening up about her health, doing Q&A's and also sharing a weekly vlog once a month (some of my favourite videos to watch as she leads such an interesting life).

If you were to watch just the one recent video... Bookshelf Tour | 2018 (you'll love a nosey at Jen's book collection... Well, us bookworms love to nose at any book collection really)
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So there you have it, the three BookTubers whose videos I've been gravitating towards the most so far this spring... Not only do I click on their videos straight away when browsing my subscriptions, but I also always come away with at least one book recommendation when having finished a video.

FUN FACT | I once attempted to make a YouTube video, a book haul in fact, and it was probably the most cringe thing of my life. It's safe to say that it'll never see the light of day on a public platform!

If you're someone who watches book related YouTube videos, I'd love to know some of your favourites.
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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

READING RECORD | Week 18


Reading record posts are a look back on the week that has been, with notes regarding what I've been reading and just general bookish goodness. 

MONDAY 30TH APRIL
Going into this week, knowing that I'm taking part in a readathon in the coming week (with its own separate TBR stack), I'm keen to finish off some books that have bookmarks lingering in them... I'm particularly keen to finish my main read of To The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey, which I made some small progress in today. Less than 100 pages left.

TUESDAY 1ST MAY
Started the day with 15 pages, or so, of spring nature writing from the anthology I'm currently dipping in and out of.

Today I finished reading To The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey - I've been reading this book for a good few weeks now, as regular readers will note, but that's because it is the kind of book I find to be best appreciated at a slower pace. To The Bright Edge of the World is an epistolary novel (told through documents) that has so much substance and depth to it, especially with diary entries included. A truly beautiful story. 

A quote I quite like, and have taken away from my reading experience, was found on page 402 of my copy... 
'It's humanity. We're complicated and messy and beautiful.'

WEDNESDAY 2ND MAY
Read one of the Charles Dickens ghost stories in the evening - a longer length one.

THURSDAY 3RD MAY
No reading completed today.

FRIDAY 4TH MAY
In the morning I read a further 35 pages of the Enid Blyton book I'm currently reading, and in the evening I read another of the ghost stories by Charles Dickens.

Before bed I decided to flick through my illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, just admiring the artwork and fighting the want to reread HP. After doing this, I then picked up, and read the first section of, The Making of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. I love behind the scenes books like this, and this was an absolute bargain, with my husband buying it for me from the supermarket a couple of weeks ago for just £1!

SATURDAY 5TH MAY
Made further progress in the collection of Charles Dickens ghost stories.

SUNDAY 6TH MAY
Ending the week, I've resigned myself to the fact that no other books with bookmarks in will be completed before the beginning of The Buzzword Readathon, and I'm okay with that. Today I did read about a few more UK train journeys in The 50 Greatest Train Journeys of the World.

BOOKS MENTIONED

Happy reading!
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Sunday, 6 May 2018

Blogs Posts I've Enjoyed Lately (10)


With so much content being shared within the community - bookish and otherwise - it is impossible to keep up with everything (even your favourites sometimes!), so with no fixed regularity I'll be compiling a list of links sharing a number of blog posts I've enjoyed lately. 

BOOKISH 
Vivatramp | How to Survive A Book Buying Ban (an old-ish post, but tips that are always welcomed)
Musings of a Literary Wanderer | Is It Hard to Fairly Review a Favorite Author? (great discussion topic - I do tend to think I sound biased when doing so myself)

BOOK REVIEWS

NON BOOKISH
Girlxoxo | On Creating A Slow Morning Routine (I'm all about a slow paced morning)

Happy perusing!
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Friday, 4 May 2018

READING RECORD | Week 17


Reading record posts are a look back on the week that has been, with notes regarding what I've been reading and just general bookish goodness.

MONDAY 23RD APRIL
Today I did a bookish thing that I never imagined myself doing - I reorganised my bookshelves so that my unread books are now mixed in with my read books. I know this is how many people organise their bookshelves anyway, so no big deal to some, however I've always had an unread shelf. I've kept an unread shelf for many reasons, but mostly so I can easily differentiate between the books I have & haven't read. However, I am also very particular about how my books are organised on my shelf, and in the space I currently have things just weren't working... I needed the unread shelf to categorise my books how I like them. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it yet, and I have a feeling some titles will sit longer unread than if they were on an unread shelf, however I'm trying to use the space I currently have in the best way possible. I'd love to know if you separate your read & unread books.

Little reading completed today, spending thirty minutes in the morning reading nature writing in the spring anthology I'm currently working through.

TUESDAY 24TH APRIL
I made good progress with To The Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey.

Learned of the Buzzword Readathon today, which is a week long readathon hosted on booktube but you can take part regardless of what social media platform you use. The event is being hosted by Kayla (or Lala) from BooksandLala & a co-host. The premise behind the readathon is reading books with a buzzword title (this buzzword being 'girl'); this is the first readathon but it will be a recurring one. It is taking place on May 7th and lasting the week. I'm definitely taking part!


WEDNESDAY 25TH APRIL
Enid Blyton is an author whose work I have been reading more of lately, and have found myself falling in the love with her children's writing - today I started a new series of hers by picking up The Island of Adventure. I'm now slowly working my way through two series she has written; I love the adventurous nature of her writing & can't wait to share that with my son some day.

Ending my day by reading a ghost story written by Charles Dickens; I have a bookmark in a collection of short stories by him.

THURSDAY 26TH APRIL
No reading completed.

FRIDAY 27TH APRIL 
This evening I read another of the ghost stories written by Charles Dickens.

SATURDAY 28TH APRIL 
This weekend as a whole is likely to be of the slow reading kind, as unusually for us, we have quite a few plans.

No reading completed.

SUNDAY 29TH APRIL
Ending the aforementioned busy weekend with a relax in the bath and another Charles Dickens ghost stories.

BOOKS MENTIONED

Happy reading!
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Wednesday, 2 May 2018

READING WITH MY FOUR YEAR OLD | April


Once a month I like to sit down and share a little about reading my with son and children's books in general. Being a bookworm myself, I'm sure you can imagine that I champion reading with children from a young age, and I hope that these types of posts not only inspire that but also share new titles that others may not have heard of. 

Today I'm sharing the three books Alexander picked out at the school book fair. 

Here in the UK we celebrate World Book Day throughout the school system, with children dressing up as their favourite characters from books and often times ending that school day with a book fair. World Book Day is in March, however due to heavy snowfall experienced then, many of the schools had to cancel the event and opting to redo - including Alexander's school, with the redo being the last week of April.

This was my first time attending the school book fair as a parent, having such fond memories of it as a child myself, and so my bookish mama heart was feeling full experiencing this with my own child for the very first time.

ALEXANDER'S BOOK FAIR PICKS
*I was unable to find a Goodreads link for the sticker book*

These titles sum up Alexander's interests really well - he loves books with animals in, especially dinosaurs, and has really gotten into sticker activity books lately. We've read both the fiction titles mentioned, and they were greatly enjoyed.

Dinosaurs In My School is a book that says it all in the title really; a little boy's school is overrun with dinosaurs and causing havoc with the day to day running of the school. The rhythm in this book was really engaging and I love that it includes a good variety of dinosaurs.

In Is That An Elephant In My Fridge? a not so tired boy decides to count elephants to see him off to sleep as opposed to sheep, however his house is soon full of far too many elephants up to all sorts of mischief & mayhem... In the end he decides to listen to his mum and count sheep instead. This is a really fun bedtime story, sure to induce laughter.

Side note | Alexander dressed up as Gekko from PJ Masks for World Book Day... Technically a TV show, but we do own four books adapted from the series.
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