Bout of Books 15: Base Camp & Goals [updated with end stats]

Bout of BooksBout of Books 15 Read-a-Thon has begun!  I’m going to keep this post sticky for the week of the event so that I have a convenient place to track my progress.  I’ll update here at the end of each day with both daily and cumulative reading reports. As with previous editions of BoB, I’m not going to track hours/minutes spent reading but will track pages read and books completed.  I’ve got a stack of books I’m excited to dig into and start the year off strong.  Happy reading to all who are playing along!

My goals, book list, and progress are below the cut.

 Goals:

  1. Read as much as I can, which is probably obvious.
  2. Schedule internet time and avoid the rabbit hole of online entertainments.
  3. Get in 30 minutes to one hour of exercise daily during the read-a-thon.  I don’t want all my free time this week to involve sitting on my behind.  I’m pursuing a 5-day fitness challenge that meshes nicely with BoB, and I will fill the other days with walking and free weights.
  4. Check in with the BoB community several times.  Participate in any challenges that strike my fancy.

Books to Read:

  1. Tainaron: Mail from another City by Leena Krohn
  2. Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks (Classics Club)
  3. Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo
  4. The Ophiuchi Hotline by John Varley (Vintage Sci-Fi Not-a-Challenge)
  5. Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Vol. 1 – Fumi Yoshinaga (graphic novel, good for resting the eyes after big blocks of text)
  6. China in Ten Words – Yu Hua (nonfiction/essays, will read 1-2 per day)
  7. Garlic and Sapphires – Ruth Reichl (foodie memoir, audiobook for when I’m working out or just get tired of text)
  8. Around the World in 72 days – Nellie Bly (Classics Club) (This is an unexpected late addition to the list.  I discovered that there is a free/legal Librivox recording of this, and once I started listening while doing other things when I couldn’t read, I couldn’t stop!)

 Cumulative Progress:

Total pages read:  945
Total books finished:  Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks, Around the World in 72 days by Nellie Bly, Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo, Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 1 by Fumi Yoshinaga, Tainaron: Mail from Another City by Leena Krohn

Books in Progress:  China in Ten Words, Garlic and Sapphires, The Ophiuchi Hotline

 Daily Updates:

MONDAY:

Number of pages read today: 86

Books finished today:  –

Books in progress at end of day:  Maud Martha, China in Ten Words, Tainaron

Challenges:  –

Notes – I didn’t get as much reading done today as I’d hoped too, but that’s OK, There are 6 days to go, and the weekend is open.  I read the first 2 essays, 35 pages total, in China in Ten Words, as well as 51 pages in Maud Martha, which I hope to finish soon.

TUESDAY:

Tuesday was a big ol’ bust.  I’m hoping for Wednesday to be better.  I already know I won’t get in any reading Wednesday and Thursday until late afternoon/evening, but Fri/Sat/Sun are are open for reading!

WEDNESDAY:

Number of pages read today:  129

Books finished today:  Maud Martha

Books in progress at end of day: – China in Ten Words, Tainaron

Challenges:  –

Notes – I finished Maud Martha, which was really enjoyable.  I’ll write up my thoughts this weekend when I have more time, but for now I’ll just say I don’t understand whey this isn’t read more often.  Besides being an African-American classic, it’s also rather ahead of its time, bordering on experimental at times.  I need to read more from Gwendolyn Brooks, who is more known for her poetry than her prose.  The collection Annie Allen won the Pulitzer in 1950 – the first black author of either gender to do so!  Maybe I’ll head there next.

THURSDAY:

Number of pages read today:  81

Books finished today:  –

Books in progress at end of day: China in Ten Words, Tainaron, Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth

Challenges:  –

Notes – I wasn’t home much yesterday, but I had Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth with me, so I read the first 55 pages of that.  Before bed, I read the 26 pages comprising the third essay in China in Ten Words.  I’m looking forward to a lot more reading over the weekend!

FRIDAY:

Number of pages read today: – 117 (I listened to 3 hours 10 minutes of an audiobook that totals 6 hours 5 minutes.  The public domain text the recording is taken from is 188 pages, and as I’m just a tad over half-finished, I estimated that as 100 pages read and added that to the 17 pages I read to get my total pages for the day.)

Books finished today:  –

Books in progress at end of  day: China in Ten Words, Tainaron, Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth, Around the World in 72 days

Challenges: –

Notes:  I got half-way through an audio recording of Nellie Bly’s travel journal, Around the World in 72 days.  I’m not usually an audiobook person, but I think I’ve just become one!  This book is excellent, and I was able to listen while doing other tasks.  I think I need to ingest more audiobooks, especially of the memoir, travel, or narrative nonfiction type, as I think those are the sorts I can best multitask while listening to.  When I previously listened to fiction, I kept getting lost in the story and not getting my other task done…or finding myself lost in the story – as in “lost my place” – and not knowing what was going on, as I got absorbed in my task.  I didn’t have any such problem with the Bly.  This must seem simplistic to many, but for me, it’s a reading revelation!

I hope to finish the Bly, plus the in-progress Tainaron and Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth, as well as the graphic novel Ōoku and the majority, if not all, of The Ophiuchi Hotline (which is fast-paced and not terrifically long) this weekend.

WEEKEND: SATURDAY/SUNDAY:

Number of pages read today:  532

Books finished today:  Around the World in 72 days, Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth, Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, Volume 1, Tainaron: Mail from Another City

Books in progress at end of day:  China in Ten Words, Garlic and Sapphires, The Ophiuchi Hotline

Challenges: –

Notes:  I am combining my Saturday/Sunday totals, because I forgot to update for Saturday, and I’m not sure exactly where I left off!

I listened to the second 3 hours or so of Bly, which covers 88 pages.  I also listened to the first chapter (7 whole pages) in Garlic and Sapphires.  In print, I read all of Ōoku (203 pages,) as well as the remaining chapters of Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth (100 pages,) all of Tainaron (128 pages.  I restarted it to lessen confusion, as I wasn’t far in.) and the first 6 pages of The Ophiuchi Hotline, so I can at least say I started it.  I didn’t get through any more essays in China in Ten Words.

I didn’t end up playing along with any challenges this time around.

 

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2 thoughts on “Bout of Books 15: Base Camp & Goals [updated with end stats]

    • Julianne, it’s kind of you to say so, but I’ve been feeling quite the opposite: that I should have read a lot more pages by now. This is a symptom of comparing myself with other participants, many of whom chew away at pages at a truly amazing rate. I should probably stop doing that! Note to self: #notacompetition

      Reply

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