Bout of Books 17 Kickoff and Updates Post

Posted by on Aug 22, 2016 in Blogging/Reading, Fun, Uncategorized | 2 comments

Bout of Books 17

Bout of Books 17

Bout of Books 17 kicked off at Midnight last night. I can always find a way to make Bout of Books work for me. I won’t be beginning my reading until my commute time this morning.

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 a big pile of books and an full ereader ready for this week. I won’t be tracking pages or books read but what I will track is the time I spend reading this week. I use an app on my phone called ATracker to record the time I spend reading or listening to audiobooks.

Here are my stats for the last Bout of Books in May. I’m hoping to beat those numbers this week.

Bout of Books

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 Sunday. I’ll include my Sunday reading on my final wrap up post next Monday.

Monday Reading
Audiobook – 30 minutes (Right Ho, Jeeves)
Reading – 1 Hour, 45 minutes (In the Kingdom of Ice and Other People’s Baggage)

Tuesday Reading
Audiobook – 31 minutes (Right Ho, Jeeves)
Reading – 2 Hour, 33 minutes (In the Kingdom of Ice and Other People’s Baggage)
And I scheduled a vacation day for Friday to allow for a day of mostly reading.

Wednesday Reading
Audiobook – 57 minutes (Right Ho, Jeeves)
Reading – 2 Hour, 10 minutes (In the Kingdom of Ice and Other People’s Baggage)

Thursday Reading
Audiobook – 32 minutes (Right Ho, Jeeves)
Reading – 2 Hour, 4 minutes (In the Kingdom of Ice and Other People’s Baggage)

Friday Reading
Audiobook – 2 hours, 2 minutes (Right Ho, Jeeves, Masked Ball as Broxley Manor and The Green Mill Murder)
Reading – 1 Hour, 58 minutes (In the Kingdom of Ice and Other People’s Baggage)

Saturday Reading
As usual – my reading time drastically drops off on the weekend because we were out and about all day.
Reading – 1 hour, 52 minutes (In the Kingdom of Ice)

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Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson – Audio Edition

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in 2016, 3.5 stars, Audio, Book Review, Uncategorized | 4 comments

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson narrated by the author

Genre: Memoir, Humor
Format: Audiobook
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: 2015
Length: 8 hours, 20 minutes
Narrated by: Jenny Lawson
Source: Purchased

The Book
From Library Journal:

Lawson (Let’s Pretend This Never Happened) returns with another autobiographical work, this one focused on her experiences living with mental illness. The title comes from a hashtag Lawson started on Twitter after a friend’s death to encourage people living with depression and anxiety to stockpile ridiculous, joyful memories “to take into battle with us when our brains declare war on our very existence.” Her own furiously happy exploits lead to stories about her collection of odd taxidermy, the time she rented a sloth and a wallaby to surprise her husband and daughter, and a trip to Australia, where she donned a kangaroo costume in an effort to get closer to wild kangaroos. As delightful as much of the book is, -Lawson is also candid about her struggles with depression, self-harm, and crippling anxiety, the difficulties of nailing down the right combination of medications to treat her conditions, and her fears about the effects of her illness on her family.

My Thoughts
I enjoy reading Jenny Lawson’s blog and I also liked listening to her first book so I was kind or predisposed to like this second book and I did.

I know that Lawson’s writing style is not for everyone and I’m the first to admit that I enjoy her work in small doses. Because I only listen to audiobooks when I’m in the car alone I tend to consume all my audiobooks in small bits and pieces of 10 to 30 minute increments. I think that had a lot to do with why I enjoyed this book.

Lawson is funny but at the same time she touches on serious subjects such as mental illness, chronic medical conditions, and depression.

It’s not all fun and games in this book. For all the times I laughed out loud there were times I nearly cried or nodded my head in understanding.

Here are a few favorite quotes:

I’ve tried many torturous techniques to make my outsides fit the ridiculous standards society has set but it never ends well because my body lives in reality and it’s a reality that has too much cheese in it.

I just told him that I wasn’t a fan of paying money to inject paralyzing poison into my face and that I was actually quite proud of my laugh lines, which I view as a badge that tells people I’m not an asshole.

I don’t have arachnophobia (irrational fear of spiders) because fear of spiders is perfectly rational so I refuse to recognize it as a “disorder”.

Jenny Lawson is not a professional narrator but I cannot imagine anyone else narrating her books. I liked the part where she told about her initial struggles with narrating her first book. A timely text conversation with Neil Gaiman and his advice to “pretend you’re good at it” (which she wrote on her arm) got her over the fear.

The audiobook has a bonus chapter that is not included in the print edition and the first part of if reminded me of myself and my many book blogging friends.

I am a natural introvert and I used to feel quite bad about that because I thought it was weird. But it turns out that there are tons of us but none of us were aware of it because we were all too busy not talking to each other. Then the internet was invented and the introverts united but separately and in our own houses and we realized that there are more of us than them and there are so many of us we could probably take over the world if the world wasn’t so full of people we’d be forced to talk to in person.

Rating
3.5 stars 3.5/5 for the book

3 stars 3/5 for the narration

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Weekend Update – The May 28, 2016 Edition

Posted by on May 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Weekend Update

Currently

Time //9pm Saturday evening

Place // My recliner in the family room

Eating // nothing right now but the grilled chicken we had earlier tonight was AMAZING

Drinking // Chardonnay

Reading // I finished Mr. Churchill’s Secretary this evening and finally started Lumberjanes Vol. 1.

Listening to // My current audiobook is The Runaway Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini. I read the first three books in the series. This is the first I’ve tried in the audio format and so far I’m enjoying it.

Watching // The West Wing Season one, episode 9. We have been enjoying rewatching The West Wing and following up each episode with the corresponding episode of The West Wing Weekly Podcast. We’re currently a few episodes behind but working on catching up.

Anticipating // We’re finally going to see Captain America Civil War on Sunday.

Enjoying // A Long weekend. Every one is special when you have limited vacation days.
Hope you’re having a great weekend.

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Book Blogger Appreciation Week Day 5 – Avoiding Burnout

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Blogging/Reading, Fun, Uncategorized | 24 comments

I’m taking a break from regular programming this week to participate in Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Today’s topic is One of the unfortunate side effects of reading and blogging like rockstars seems to be a tendency toward burnout. How do you keep things fresh on your blog and in your reading?

Well after almost ten years this little old blog has been through a lot. I started out on Blogger as Blogging My Books (barf). Then I started another blog with random photos and my crochet and knitting projects. It became Whimpulsive when I combined both of those into one blog and changed the name. Since then I’ve joined challenges, participated in memes, joined readalongs, stopped doing challenges, stopped doing memes, failed repeatedly at readalongs, moved to WordPress, changed my review format, started and stopped several regular and not so regular features, started my weekend update posts to introduce my life outside of books, changed my review format again, tried a couple of other memes, etc. etc. etc.

So what’s the secret to the fact that I’m still blogging here after almost ten years?

The secret is that there isn’t one.

Ok, yes there is.

I’m going to tell it to you now.

Get a notepad.

Here it comes . . .

SuziQ’s First Law of Blogging. Oh wait, that should be

SUZIQ’S FIRST LAW OF BLOGGING!!

You have to do what works for you.

Repeat after me.

You have to do what works for you.

The corollary to SuziQ’s First Law of Blogging is almost as important.

Are you ready?

If something isn’t working for you, stop doing it and do something else.

What I’m trying to say is that there are no rules. You don’t have to post every day. You don’t have to participate in all the events and challenges and whatever the THING OF THE WEEK is. Your blog is whatever you want it to be. If you want to write about things in your life other than books, that’s great. If you don’t that’s fine too. If everyone is doing cover reveals and posting about this weeks new releases and you want to do that, fine. If you’ve done that and it’s beginning to feel like work or a chore or not genuine then refer to the corollary to SuziQ’s First Law of Blogging. Try something different. If you try something and you don’t like it, ditch it and try something else. I’m not the same person I was in 2006 when I started my blog so my blog shouldn’t be the same thing either. We evolve and so do our blogs.

That brings me to the second corollary to SuziQ’s First Law of Blogging.

It’s good.

Trust me.

Here it is.

Have fun.

Class dismissed.

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