Bout of Books: Reading rhythm achieved

Bout of Books wrapped up yesterday. Here's my final tally of books read and reading goals (to find my reading rhythm and get lost in a book) achieved. I never know how to start these things. Do I just jump in? Do I give you a little background? Am I over-complicating things? (I do have a tendency to do that sometimes).

Well anyway. The Bout of Books readathon wrapped up yesterday. So how did I do?

Bout of Books

My goal was to get back into a reading rhythm. Meaning: I wanted to be able to get lost in a book without having half or one-quarter or two-thirds of my brain thinking about other things. Meaning: I didn’t keep track of how many pages or hours I read, just the books I read. Here’s the final list with a little asterisk next to books that fulfill #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks.

Read Death of a Travelling Man and Death of a Greedy Woman by M. C. Beaton

Mission “get lost in a book” accomplished with these two fabulous books. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth series is bliss. It’s an odd thing to say about murder mysteries, but there we are. Her stories have a wonderful sense of place and characters that are, for the most part, fully drawn. Each has her or his foibles and virtues. And the writing is lovely and witty and smart.

Read A Year by the Sea by Joan Anderson *

Anderson’s memoir is about the year she takes a time-out from her marriage and life. She moves to her family’s cottage on Cape Cod, takes on jobs around town (in a fish market, clamming), and has epiphanies. I’ll have more to say about this book after I’ve had a think about it. For now, I’ll say my favorite parts were her descriptions of the natural world, which were lovely and transporting.

Read Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne *

This book is like chocolate: It chases away dementors (metaphorically speaking). The characters are so endearing and their adventures so heartening. Nothing is perfect in the Hundred Acre Wood, but it’s a lovely community! I used to think Pooh was my favorite. But I might be going over to Camp Piglet…

Read Books 5 – 10 in The Odyssey by Homer *

I love this poem. But I realized something this week: It’s not a book I can read in large doses. It demands to be read slowly and carefully and to be savored. My new strategy is to read one or two books a day.

Finished Harry Mount’s Odyssey: Ancient Greece in the Footsteps of Odysseus by Harry Mount

Mount has a charming, self-deprecating voice. Meanwhile, he’s erudite and knowledgeable. The book is overflowing with fascinating info delivered with (at times) a somewhat gossipy vibe that makes it fun and engrossing. I’m so thankful to this Guardian review for introducing me to Mount’s book.

Ah, I do love readathons. And I only have to wait five more days until the next one: Take Back Your Shelves starts Friday!

4 Replies to “Bout of Books: Reading rhythm achieved”

  1. Aww Winnie the Pooh. Never read anything about him. Only saw the movies when I was a kid. Love him 🙂 I love read-a-thon too. My next read-a-thon is: #Hotandspicyreading fra 1-7th of september. Literatureads on youtube is one of them who created it. Never visit your blog before. Love the quote by Henry James.

  2. Congratulations on getting your reading groove back! And it’s so cool that you did it with books that you genuinely enjoyed, not book s you sort of liked but pushed yourself to finish.

    Speaking of which, I was really intrigued by what you wrote about realizing you can’t just read “The Odyssey” in one fell swoop. I also have books like that, where you need to come out of them for a while, and while you’re in them, you need to appreciate and linger. Glad I’m not the only one!

    1. Thank you, Alysa! I realized that I was trying to read “The Odyssey” the way I’d read a contemporary book, but of course I can’t. It seems really obvious, but I hadn’t embraced it. I’m not going to pick it up every spare moment because I need to know that when I pick it up I’ll have a big chunk of uninterrupted time to spend with it. I’m reminded of why I like to have more than one book going at a time – so that I have at least one read that I can dip into for 15 or 20 minutes without feeling like I’m being rushed.

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