Bout of Books #11 – Update

And so my four weeks of read-a-thons comes to an end with Bout of Books read-a-thon #11.  And so does my vacation, and the reality of life sets in again.

I’m curious to see how many pages I read this week.  I felt I read more than each of the first three weeks, but then again, the one week I thought that I completely bombed, I actually read almost as much as the week before, so who knows?

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
~~  Chapter 5-15, p. 53-end (158 pgs)

Defence Speeches by Cicero

~~ p. 139-end (137 pgs)
The Sayings of the Desert Fathers
~~  p. 77-end (193 pgs)
Russian Thinkgers by Isaiah Berlin
~~   p.1 – 7 (7 pgs)  

Summer by Edith Wharton

~~  Complete (127 pgs) 
Montaigne’s Essays
      On Sadness
~~   approx (10 pgs) 

Planets in Peril by David C. Downing

~~ p. 31- 53 (23 pgs)

Books completed:

Defence Speeches
The Man Who Was Thursday
The Sayings of the Desert Fathers

Total pages read:  655 pages

Wow!  I’m really surprised that I didn’t make at least 700+ pages this week. So let’s calculate my overall vacation reading:

Total pages read:  2,673 pages

Total books finished:  13 books

Oooo, I like the “books finished” number, but I was really hoping to read more pages.  Oh well, between swimming and kayaking and badminton and biking and hiking and socializing, I probably did reasonably well.

How did your reading go this summer?  Do you feel that you’ve had more time to read?  Less?  Are you satisfied with your goals?

2nd Annual Beat-the-Heat Read-a-thon Update

While this read-a-thon does run until September 1st, I’m cutting it short because I am going to join the Bout of Book read-a-thon from August 18 to 24th.  This will effectively take me to the end of my holidays.  Honestly I don’t want to do any read-a-thons after that, because I know my reading time will seriously decrease and to keep track of it then, will depress me. 😀

This week was sort of a weird week.  I was fully planning to get tons of reading in but I had an unexpected holiday diversion.  I (by accident) swallowed a plum pit that got lodged in my throat.  Between an ambulance ride to a health centre, water ambulance off the island, another ambulance to the hospital and an emergency gastroscopy, my reading plans were obviously interrupted.

While finding this picture of a Canadian ambulance, I got a very interesting education on ambulances.  Why are so many of them yellow (Europe)?  It seems like an odd colour to choose other than that it would be easy to spot.  

So now that I’ve shared this completely embarrassing incident, let’s get to checking how my reading did go:

The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
~~  Chapter 1-4, p. 1-52 (52 pgs)

Defence Speeches by Cicero

~~ p. 107-138 (31 pgs)
The Sayings of the Desert Fathers
~~  p. 68-76  (8 pgs)
The Way of King Arthur by Christopher Hibbert
~~   p. 1-end (144 pgs)  

A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis

~~  Chapter 3-4, p. 47-end (65 pgs) 
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
~~  Chapter 8-21 p. 81-end (175 pgs) 


~~ p. 167-end  (137 pgs)

Planets in Peril by David C. Downing

~~ p. 1-30  (30 pgs)

Books completed:

Surprised by Joy (last week)
A Grief Observed
The Way of King Arthur
The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Total pages read:  642 pages

Wow!  I’m completely surprised that I was able to read that much!  I must keep plugging along though; I have a couple of “in-progress for a long time” books that I’d like to finish this week.  I know my two bombs for the summer are going to be Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, that I’d really hoped to finish, but time is running out and with it, any chance to squeeze out some time to read those books, I think.  In any case, it’s probably better to focus on what I have accomplished instead of what I haven’t.   Bout of Books, here I come!

The Monster Read-a-Thon – Update

My Monster Read-a-thon is now complete.  I knew that this week would be a little disjointed as I had a small diversion from my vacation to attend a softball tournament.  So let’s see how I did compared to my personal read-a-thon of last week:

The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman
~~  p. 368-end (143 pgs)

Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis

~~ p. 117-end (68 pgs.)
The Sayings of the Desert Fathers
~~  p. 45-67  (22 pgs)
The Way of King Arthur by Christopher Hibbert
~~  Chapter 1, p. 1-27 (27 pgs)

A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis

~~  Chapter 1-2, p. 1-46 (46 pgs)
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
~~  Chapter 2 – 7  p. 21-80 (59 pgs)

Barchester Towers
~~ p. 292 – end  (126 pgs)


~~ p. 1-166  (166 pgs)

Books completed:

Barchester Towers
The Guns of August

Total pages read:  657 pages

The read-a-thon was a little under my page count compared to my first week’s Personal Read-a-thon, but considering the distractions, it’s not half bad.  We’ll have guests for a couple of days this coming week, but I’m planning to ignore them to read  ………….. ha, ha, I’m kidding (I hope you all knew that!).  I’ll have to really concentrate on my reading on the days that I’m free.  For the next read-a-thon, which is the 2nd Annual Beat-the-Heat Read-a-thon, I’m hoping to complete a few more pages and a few more books.  We’ll see how it goes ………..

Personal Read-a-Thon – Update

Well, I’ve come to the end of my personal read-a-thon and the Monster Read-a-thon starts tomorrow, so it’s time for an update of my accomplishments.

I’ve realized that in addition to the many other reasons why it’s not good to have so many books in your currently-reading pile, the fact that I have read from many of them during this time, makes listing them and calculating the page count quite a time-consuming chore.  But here is what I’ve managed to read:

The Terror by Dan Simmons
~~  Chapter 3-21  p. 30-280 (250 pgs.)
The Book of Margery Kempe
~~  Chapter 52-end p. 161-332 (171 pgs.)
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
~~  p 1253 – 1392 [end] (139 pgs.)
The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman
~~  p. 277-367 (90 pgs)
The History of the Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer
~~ Chapter 47-48 p. 335-354 (19 pgs.)
The Sayings of the Desert Fathers
~~  p. 31-44  (13 pgs)
The Essays of Montaigne
~~  Introduction and some letters
      reading an e-book Vol 1 & 2 so hard to say
      let’s log it in as (17 pgs)
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
~~  Introduction & Chapter 1  p. 1-20 (20 pgs)

Books completed:

The Book of Margery Kempe
War and Peace

Total pages read:  719 pages

I’m happy that I’ve completed two books, but I was hoping to get through more.  I’m going to have to be especially diligent this next week because I’ll have an interruption in my vacation plans that will make it more difficult to read.  Yet after that, I’ll be back on track and looking forward to picking up my reading pace.

Isle of Shoals
Childe Hassam
source Wikiart

Read-a-thon, Read-a-thon, How Many Read-a-thons?

I’m finally on holidays, and this, of course, means that I’ll have a large amount of time to devote to reading.  This is a very good thing, because my currently reading pile is embarrassingly large.  I was looking for a read-a-thon starting now and running throughout my holidays, but I couldn’t find anything that quite fit.  So I’ll be doing the following, tailoring each to fit my available reading schedule:

From July 29th to August 3rd, I’ll be doing my own personal read-a-thon.

From August 4th to 10th, I will participate in The Book Monsters, Monster Read-a-thon.

The Monster Read and Review-a-thons are a great chance for us all to get together, read some fabulous reads, and get to those reviews that we know have been sitting there waiting to be done for a little too long. You can read as much as you want. Review till you cannot review anymore. Whatever works best for you! In addition to the Thons, we will be hosting some fun related challenges, great prizes, and a Twitter party

From August 11th to 17th, I’ll be participating in the second annual Beat the Heat Read-a-thon

The Beat the Heat Readathon runs from August 11th to September 1st. What does this readathon entail, you ask? Well, read as much or as little as you want – the main point is to READ! You set your own goal, and for three weeks you read as many books as you can/want to reach your goal!

There will be mini-challenges throughout the Readathon for participants, along with a grand prize giveaway at the end!

Sign up here at Novel Heartbeat or over at Phantasmic Reads. You may join whenever you like, but to be eligible for our grand prize giveaway, you must sign up by August 24th.

To join, all you have to do is make a sign-up post – even if it’s just a “Let’s do this!” thing – and add your post URL to the linky below! You can put your goals and progress (will be required for the final giveaway) in your sign-up post, or you can make it separate. Totally up to you! (You are welcome to use the template we provide as well.)

In order to enter for the grand prize, you must have a post to keep track of your progress so we can see that you participated.

then, from August 18th to 24th, I’ll participate in the 11th Bout of Book Read-a-thon.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Previously, I’ve only participated in one read-a-thon, and that was only for 24 hours, so I am a little perplexed as to how to tackle these longer read-a-thons.  I am so terrible with lists and focussing on specific books, that I don’t want to go that route.  Should I aim for a set number of pages?  I have no idea the average number of pages I read per day/per week.  Yikes!  So I think I’m going to set my goal at 50 pages a day (this should be easy) and raise the count when I see how I’m progressing.

As for books, as I said, I have a disconcerting number of books to complete, as well as some new ones that I want to read.  Here are some books on my list:

Currently reading:

The Guns of August – Barbara Tuchman

War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
Antigone – Sophocles
The Book of Margery Kempe
Surprised by Joy – C.S. Lewis
Le Morte d’Arthur – Thomas Mallory
The Decameron – Giovanni Boccaccio
Barchester Towers – Anthony Trollope
The History of the Ancient World – Susan Wise Bauer

New Books:

The Terror – Dan Simmons (thanks to Andrea @ Tasseled Book)
Russian Thinkers – Isaiah Berlin
The Man Who Was Thursday – G.K. Chesterton
The Screwtape Letters – C.S. Lewis
Metamorphoses – Ovid
The Universe Next Door – James W. Sire
Porterhouse Blue – Tom Sharpe

I’ll update when I’m able, but the plan is to read, read, read.  So, happy summer reading to everyone!

** Edited to include the Monster Read-a-thon, kindly suggested by Masanobu at All the Pretty Books **

Read-A-Thon Update – January 4th

My first participation in a Read-A-Thon happened on January 4th and, for my first initiation into this 24 hour marathon, I was pleased how it went.

Beginning at 8:03 am, I got off to a great start, reading one-third of Wuthering Heights for a read-along that I was considering.  The weather was lovely for this time of year, yet I resisted its lure to delve into one of my History challenge books, The History of the Ancient World.  In fact, I was doing so well, that I figured I could relax my rigid regime and take my reading outside along with my silent reading sentinel.

Reading Sentinel!

Warm, yet brittle sunshine flooded the pages of Mrs. Dalloway but I had perhaps made a calculated error in bringing my camera with me, and for the next hour I was distracted by texture, light and layering.  Sigh!

Texture, light, layering …… Voila!

I consoled myself with the excuse that I was still engaged in a creative task but Mrs. Dalloway was not happy, so I went inside, read some more and then convinced myself that I needed a walk to open my mind to Woolf’s “stream-of consciousness” style of writing.

The end of Paradise

The hike sent oxygen to my brain but, sadly, didn’t make me more enamoured with Woolf’s novel, so I began The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe before dinner to get a start on my C.S. Lewis Project.

After dinner I was able to buckle down and get a good 4 uninterrupted hours of reading accomplished.  I really tried to get to War and Peace because I am baby steps to the end, but after reading a few chapters and realizing that I was not understanding anything because of need of sleep, I decided to end the experiment.  My first read-a-thon completed!

I would consider it an initial success with room for much improvement.  In the 16 hours I was awake (you notice I have deliberately avoided the word “reading”), I managed to read:

Wuthering Heights  – read one-third
Mrs. Dallowayread one-third
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobecompleted
The History of the Ancient Worldread about 60 pages
Prince Caspianread one-quarter
War and Peaceread a pitiful 2 chapters

2nd Annual Classics Club Read-a-thon

The Classics Club is having their 2nd Annual Read-a-Thon and I’ve decided to participate ……. or at least do my best.  It begins at 8 a.m. on January 4th, 2014 and ends 24 hours later on January 5th.  What a great way to finish off some of those pesky classics that you weren’t able to complete for 2013 and get ready to start a new year!

My guess is that I will be trying to finish War and Peace, Tales of Ghosts and Men, and will be trying catch up to the schedules of David Copperfield, and His Excellency, Eugene Rougon.  If a miracle happens and I happen to finish a few of these books before 2013 ends, I will have The History of the Ancient World, The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Wizard of Oz and The Great Gatsby to start off the year.

I’ve never participated in a Read-A-Thon before and I’m really looking forward to it!