Readathon 2017

Bout of Books Wrap-Up

Bout of Books - Reading InterWorldI can’t remember a time I read six books in one week. I’m sure it has happened, when I was a kid and had no significant responsibilities other than homework, practicing the piano, and cleaning my room. (Though that last one was pretty serious: My mom always checked under my bed and inside my closets.)

But finishing six books isn’t why I chalk up this Bout of Books as a rousing success. I don’t want to measure success by number of books read. I happened to pick up short books this time around. I also happened to be on vacation. Both plumped up my numbers.

What feels great about this Bout of Books is I enjoyed participating in the challenges, and I read from my existing library, just like I want to do all year long. I read (according to Goodreads) 1,395 pages, and they were interesting, thought-provoking pages, for different reasons.

Even with the best organization in the world, I doubt I’ll be able to keep up these numbers every week of the year. But it was an awesome way to start 2017!

The final numbers:

Day 7: I started Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.

Day 6: I read InterWorld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves.

Day 5: I read The Overcoat and Other Short Stories by Nikolai Gogol.

Day 4: I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition by J. K. Rowling and Jim Kay.

Day 3: I read Gidget by Frederick Kohner, Kathy Kohner Zuckerman.

Day 3: I read Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell.

Days 1- 3: I read Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende.


Bout of Books - The Overcoat
Bout of Books Day 5:

Once, when I was a little girl, I wished I had a time machine so I could relive the week before Christmas over and over again. My plan was to start on December 19, go through to the 25th, then cycle back to the 19th, ad infinitum. 

That’s how I’ve been feeling about Bout of Books this week, like the little girl enchanted by fairy lights, sparkly ornaments, and brightly dressed packages holding mystery and promise. Except this week, it’s the books that are enchanting me. And they came right out of my own library.

Currently reading: The Overcoat and Other Short Stories by Nikolai Gogol (e-book)

Read: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition by J. K. Rowling and Jim Kay (hardcover)

       Gidget by Frederick Kohner, Kathy Kohner Zuckerman (e-book)

       Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell (paperback)

       Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende (e-book)

Today’s prompt is “If You Like This, Try This”:

Since we all love recommending books, here’s your chance to share the love.

Example: If you like paranormal romance with bloodthirsty vikings, try Shelly Laurenston’s Call of Crows series.

Make sure you use the hashtags #BoBIfYouLikeThis and #boutofbooks on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, so we can see your recs.

I’m going to tie my recommendation to my current read: If you like Haruki Murakami’s fiction – the weird dreamscapes, irrational occurrences, and surrealist imagery – you might enjoy Gogol. In addition to being kooky, his stories can be quite funny as well.


Bout of Books Day 4:

Bout of Books 18 is shaping up to be my most productive readathon yet. I’m going to chalk this up to better organization and work at keeping it up!

On Wednesday, I finished another book, Gidget, the 1957 novel that spawned a franchise of surfer-girl movies, books, and television shows. I acquired the book a while back for the Gilmore Girls reading challenge we’re doing at Books, Ink. Which means…I’m three for three reading my own books this year.

via GIPHY

The book I started is also one of my own: the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It was a Christmas present in 2015. I’ve read Sorcerer’s and Philosopher’s Stone on paper. I’ve listened to the audiobook. But I’ve not yet read this illustrated edition. It’s about time!

Here’s my complete tally for the week so far:

Currently reading: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition by J. K. Rowling and Jim Kay

Read: Gidget by Frederick Kohner, Kathy Kohner Zuckerman

           Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell

           Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende

Bout of Books - Book Spine PoetryAnd now for the day four prompt:

Book Spine Poetry

A perennial favorite is back! Go hunting through your books and unleash your inner poet! Use the titles of your chosen books to create a poem. Snap a picture of your creation and share it with the hashtags #BookSpinePoetryBoB and #boutofbooks.

I’m not much of a poet, but I do love arranging my books!


Bout of Books Day 3:

I did more reading than I thought I’d manage on day two. Officially, I’m off this week, but I have prep work to do for the new semester that begins Monday. I’m also aiming to get a head start on other projects. Being meticulous about scheduling blocks of time for specific tasks is working very nicely!

Here’s how my Bout of Books Tuesday ended:

Finished: Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende

Read: Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell

I was so surprised by my quick progress through Rundell’s book that I haven’t picked out my next read yet. I might go with nonfiction.

Here’s the fun day three challenge from Bout of Books:

Book to Movie

Have a book you think would make an excellent movie? Now’s your chance to share it! Go as big or as simple as you want. Share fanart, casting choices, or just a book or series you think would be OUTSTANDING on the big screen. Use the hashtags #BoBBookToMovie and #boutofbooks to share your picks!

I would love to see how a talented filmmaker interprets Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi for the screen. My memory of reading the book is very visual. So much so that, months after reading it, I remembered a scene thinking I’d watched it on film. The narrative’s giant leaps forward through time would also make a fascinating challenge.


Bout of Books - 2017 in a pictureBout of Books Day 2:

Bout of Books got off to a great start for me. I began the day with Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende and have about 50 pages left to read. I read when I first woke up. I read for three hours on the train (to visit and from visiting my parents). And I stayed up until the wee hours with my eyes glued to the pages of this beautiful, heartrending story.

Today’s prompt is “2017 in a picture.” This photo, taken on New Year’s Day, captures what I’m shooting for this year: being more mindful and acting with intention. I mean this for both my reading life and life in general.

Doing Read My Own Damn Books in 2016 showed me that my massive, disorganized library can be a source of paralyzing overwhelm for me. I’ve found having a visual map can help, so I’m applying that concept to planning other parts of my life as well. In the past, I’ve relied more heavily on my digital calendar. This year, that will change.

The large spiral bound book is my new planner. It’s big. It’s detailed. I love it. My Nook – my faithful companion, my personal Tardis that takes me to new worlds and is bigger on the inside – is open to my brand-new bookshelves. I created nine of them with books I want to read according to genre.


Bout of Books #shelfies
My shelfies bring me joy. Can you tell, or do I need to *spell it out* (ha, wink, nudge)?

Bout of Books Day 1:

Bout of Books 18 is officially underway! That’s what I can all exclamation-point-worthy statement! (I threw in another one, for good measure.) Predictably, I started with a novel that didn’t appear on my initial list. Oh well, that’s me for you.

Today’s prompt is to introduce ourselves in six words. Here goes:

Me? Reader, writer, thinker, coffee drinker.

My first read for this readathon and for 2017 is Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende. It has been in my Nook for…an indeterminate period of time. It’s mesmerizing writing and so tense as I wait to hear Maya’s full story to unfold.

Throughout the week, I’ll be keeping track of my reads and challenges here.


Are you participating? If so, what are you reading? What are you working on/looking forward to in 2017?

8 thoughts on “Bout of Books Wrap-Up

  1. I *adore* your 6-word introduction! That’s perfect. This is my first Bout of Books, and I’ve had a blast thus far. I’m so jealous that you had three hours on the train to read. Today was my first day back to work after the holidays. All I wanted to do was read!

  2. Wow! You are making some great progress, Sally! I’m a bit jealous, actually. My Bout has not been as strong a showing as I would have liked. But, this is my first Bout, so we shall see how future ones fair for me. Any advice on how to improve my reading completion? 🙂

    1. Thank you, Jackie! This is definitely my highest book total in a readathon to date. One thing I’ve found helpful is to schedule my reading time throughout the day. It’s too easy for my free time to vanish is a haze of hyperlinks online! But honestly, I’ve been reading short books and novels for young readers, which I love and which are also fairly quick reads. All that said, I’d encourage you to enjoy yourself and not measure success by how many books you read. If I had chosen this week to finally read War and Peace, I wouldn’t have finished one book yet, but I’d be reading an amazing book! 🙂

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