Weekend Update: August 2017 Reading Wrap-Up

Posted by on Sep 3, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Monthly Reading Wrap Up | 4 comments

Weekend Update
August 2017 Reading Wrap-Up

August 2017 Reading Wrap-Up

This was a good reading month for me.

Here’s what I read in August

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

How I Married a Marquess by Anna Harrington


Graphic Novels and Comics

My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris (review coming this week)

Descender Vol. 4: Orbital Mechanics (review coming this week)


Short Stories
When a Child is Born: A Chronicles of St. Mary’s Short Story by Jodi Taylor


Hope you had a great reading month in August. What was the best book you read last month?

Read More

Bout of Books 20 Wrap-Up

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Bout of Books, Fun | 1 comment

Bout of Books 20 Wrap Up

Bout of Books 20

Bout of Books 20 ended last night. It was my thirteenth Bout of Books and I’ve got the next one marked on my calendar the week of January 8th-14th.

Once again I had a great time having a reason to say ‘nope, it’s Bout of Books and I’m going to read instead”.

I had a great reading week. The main reason I like Bout of Books is that it’s a low-pressure readathon. I never feel like I need to stop doing everything else to just read but I am encouraged to maximize and make more time for reading than I normally do. Obviously I worked full time all week so that limited my reading time but I managed to get a lot of reading hours in.

I managed to make some changes to my daily routine that I’d like to make regular habits. I traded my bus/train ride twitter and phone game time for reading. I also made sure to stay away from the phone apps and read on my lunch break.

I don’t track pages read but I do track time spent reading and listening to audiobooks. Last Bout of Books I read for 21 hours and 12 minutes. I figured that if I could read for more than 20 hours during the week I’d call it a success. Thanks to a couple of golf outings for The Hubster I had some extra time when I was home alone this week. That definitely worked to my advantage.

For this Bout of Books I ended up with 22 hours and 20 minutes of reading so Yay Me!
Bout of Books 20 Reading
This is what I read this week.
I listened to part of one audiobook – The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess (narrated by Barbara Rosenblat).
In print, I finished the two books I’d already started. The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne and How I Married a Marquess by Anna Harrington
I also read a graphic novel My Favorite Thing is Monsters by Emil Ferris and one trade collection of a comics series, Descender Book Four: Orbital Mechanics by Jeff Lemire.
In addition to that I started reading The Romanovs 1613-1918 by Simon Sebag Montefiore

All in all a great week of reading. Now I have a pile of reviews to write!

If you participated in this week’s Bout of Books I hope you had a great week of reading. If you didn’t participate you should consider joining me and all the other participants in August.

Read More

Weekend Update – The Bookish Nostalgia August 2017 Edition

Posted by on Aug 27, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Bookish Nostalgia, Weekend Update | 8 comments

Weekend Update

Bookish Nostalgia August 2017

I totally stole this idea from Kay at Kay’s Reading Life. Every month she looks back in her reading records to see what she was reading this month in past years. I decided that would be fun even though my reading spreadsheet doesn’t go back as far as Kay’s records do.

Bookish Nostalgia

I’ve only been tracking my reading since October 2003 but it’s still fun to take a look back occasionally. Anything before mid-2006 hasn’t been on my blog and some of those old reviews are frankly a little embarrassing at this point. I’ll link to my full reviews when I think are worth reading.

Sometimes my reaction is “I can’t believe I read that” and other times it’s “Oh I remember where I was when I read that one”. and occasionally it’s “I really want to read that again.”

Most of these are pre-blog so the links take you to Powell’s for more information. Links for 2007 and later take you to my review.

This month I’m focusing on audiobooks

The Lion in the Valley by Elizabeth Peters narrated by Susan O’Malley
The Amelia Peabody series is just delightful listening. The first few I listened to were narrated by Susan O’Malley. While she does a fine job I was much happier when I switched to those narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. She’s one of my favorite narrators and really the best for this series.


Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer narrated by Philip Franklin
The Hubster and I have both read books by Jon Krakauer and like his writing. This one we listened to on a road trip. The story of Chris McCandless will never be fully understood. As I said in my review:
“Chris was definitely idealistic, intelligent, rebellious, unprepared, reckless, stupid, compassionate, friendly – all of the above and more. I’m stil not sure of how I feel about him.”


Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell narrated by the author
Sarah Vowell has a unique style and voice. I have enjoyed many of her books. This one wasn’t a favorite.


Another Man’s Moccasins by Craig Johnson narrated by George Guidall
This continues to be one of my favorite audio series. George Guidall does a masterful job of narrating.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Read More

It’s Monday What Are You Reading #87

Posted by on Aug 21, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 6 comments

Monday What Are You Reading #65

It’s Monday What Are You Reading? is a weekly reading roundup is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

This is technically a weekly meme but I don’t read fast enough to make that worthwhile so I post it every two or three weeks.

Finished in Print

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I’m finally getting back to Sherlock Holmes and this illustrated edition is just gorgeous.


Started in Print

The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

I’m liking this one. It’s a bit of a mystery, a bit of thriller and definitely keeping me interested to find out what happens


How I Married a Marquess by Anna Harrington

How I Married a Marquess by Anna Harrington

It’s been a long long time since I read a good old historical romance. I picked this one after seeing a review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far.


Continued on Audio

The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess narrated by Barbara Rosenblat

The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess narrated by Barbara Rosenblat

I have listened to and loved the entire Amelia Peabody series. Barbara Rosenblat doesn’t simply narrate these. She performs them as tha author said in an interview included with one of the audiobooks. I was sad when Barbara Merta (Elizabeth Peters) died. She left an unfinished book that Joan Hess has finished and Barbara Rosenblat narrated. It’s clearly not as polished as the author’s other books but I couldn’t pass up one last chance to spend some time with Amelia, Emerson and their children and friends.


Reviews since my last update:

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

When a Child is Born by Jodi Taylor (Short Story)

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


What are you reading?

Read More

Bout of Books 20 – Kickoff and Updates Post

Posted by on Aug 21, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Bout of Books, Fun | 3 comments

Bout of Books 20

Bout of Books 20

Bout of Books 20 kicked off at Midnight last night. I can always find a way to make Bout of Books work for me. I have a busy week ahead but I’m going to make as much time for reading as I can.

The Bout of Books Read-a-Thon was created by Amanda @ On a Book Bender on a complete whim in August 2011. It took on a life of its own and was such a hit that Amanda decided to do it again and turn it into a somewhat regular occurrence.

  • Bout of Books is a week long read-a-thon, usually from 12:01am on a Monday through 11:59pm on a Sunday in whatever time zone you are in.
  • It is low pressure, meaning participants are only asked to push themselves to read more than they normally would during any given week. There is no competition between readers.
  • How much time a reader wants, and can commit, to read, tweet, or network with fellow bloggers is left to individual preference. All challenges and giveaways are optional.
  • Networking with fellow bloggers is actively encouraged, though never required.
  • Use Twitter to post updates throughout the read-a-thon. Everyone will be tweeting with the #boutofbooks hashtag.

I have several books on my desk and on my ereader. In addition I’m in the middle of one audiobook and may or may not finish it this week.

I will be using this post as my tracking post and adding daily updates each morning about what reading I have accomplished the day before. I’ll post updates here every morning Tuesday through Saturday. I’ll include my Sunday reading on my final wrap up post.

One thing I do a little different this week is to track all my reading time. I have a time tracking app on my phone and watch so it’s easy to hit the start and stop button and track whether it’s reading or listening time. One benefit of using this is it keeps me focused. I find I’m less inclined to get distracted by stuff that I could be doing around the house or playing on my phone if I’m feeling like I’m “on the clock” for reading.

As for what I’m hoping to get to this week . . .
Bout of Books Books

I’d like to finish the two books I’m currently reading (The Marsh King’s Daughter and How I Married a Marquess). I’ll continue with my audiobook (The Painted Queen). I’d love to make a dent in my next book (The Romanovs)

So . . . Let the reading begin . . .

Monday Reading
I had the day off but the morning and early afternoon were taken up with traveling and watching the total eclipse. We had a great view from my sister-in-law’s porch.
I spent the rest of the afternoon reading and ended up with nearly 4 hours of reading logged. I finished The Marsh King’s Daughter.

Tuesday Reading
Three and a half hours of reading/listening today. Listening to The Painted Queen and reading How I Married a Marquess.

Wednesday Reading
Same as yesterday – Three and a half hours of reading/listening today. Listening to The Painted Queen and reading How I Married a Marquess.

Thursday Reading
Three hours of reading/listening. I finished How I Married a Marquess and started The Romanovs 1613-1918.

Friday Reading
Two hours and 40 minutes today. Enjoying both The Painted Queen on audio and The Romanovs in print.

Saturday Reading
No audiobook time today but I got 2 and a half hours of reading. I took a break from The Romanovs to start My Favorite Thing is Monsters.

Read More

Bout of Books 20 Sign Up

Posted by on Aug 11, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Bout of Books, Fun | 1 comment

Bout of Books 20

It’s that time again. I’m joining in for my thirteenth Bout of Books.

Bout of Books

Bout of Books 20 starts on Monday August 21st.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I love Bout of Books. Three times a year I have an excuse to say “I can’t do that right now, it’s my reading week”. The Hubster is used to it by now. I don’t go into Bout of Books with any expectations of reading for X number of hours straight through. My life doesn’t let that kind of thing happen. The way I approach Bout of Books is to limit things like spending time on Twitter, or playing games on my phone and substituting reading time for all of those little distractions. I also set aside extra time in the evening for reading too.

I like to keep track of the time I spend reading during Bout of Books. I never track pages read but I do track time reading or listening to books. I use a great app on my phone to track my time. It’s called ATracker.

Bout of Books 17

It’s super easy to set up two tasks (reading and listening) and then it’s just a tap to start and stop tracking time. Now that there’s an Apple watch app to do that on my watch instead of my phone.

I think the reason I like to track time is that for me being ‘on the clock’ keeps me from getting distracted by my phone, the TV, that pile of papers on my desk, etc. I enjoy the time tracker and the daily and weekly reports I can get on how much time I’ve actually spent reading.

I won’t set any goal because that’s really not the purpose of Bout of Books. It’s all about a low key week long focus on reading more than usual. I will put together some theoretical reading plans and post them on the 21st.

I hope you’ll check it out and decide to join in on the fun.

Read More