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.

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The Classics Club Women’s Classic Literature Event


As I’m terribly late in posting about this, let me get right down to business:  In 2016, The Classics Club is hosting a year-long event devoted to reading more classic literature written by women.  I’m excited to get involved, because while I do try to balance my reading gender-wise, there are so many wonderful female authors I have never explored and so many more I’ve never heard of, whether it be because of my own reading path, because their work is not always easy to get hold of, or because their work has been actively repressed at one time or another.  I hope to learn about many new-to-me authors via other Classics Clubbers’ blogs and reviews!

As of this moment, I know I will be reading these classics by women in 2016:

  • Hangsaman – Shirley Jackson (USA, 1951, owned)
  • Around the World in 72 Days – Nellie Bly (USA, 1890, owned)
  • Maud Martha – Gwendolyn Brooks (USA, 1953, library)
  • Precious Bane – Mary Webb (England, 1924, library)
  • The Artificial Silk Girl – Irmgard Keun (Germany, 1932, owned)
  • The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing (Iran/Zimbabwe, 1962, owned)
  • The Wall – Marlen Haushofer (Austria, 1963, owned)
  • Under the Sea Wind – Rachel Carson (USA, 1941, library)

As I’m hoping to discover new favorite authors, my short list of books I will choose from to add to my reading as the year progresses are all by authors I’ve never read and who aren’t well known.  (Sorry, Buck, Cather, Elliot, Gaskell, Highsmith, Murdoch, et al.  I know it’s tragic that I’ve never read any of you, but you’ll have your turn another year after these less popular gals get some attention.)

  • Ideala: A Study from Life – Sarah Grand (Ireland, 1888, owned)
  • Joanna Godden – Sheila Kaye-Smith (England, 1921, owned)
  • Marcella – Mary Augusta Ward  (Australia, 1894, owned)
  • Memoirs of Hadrian – Marguerite Yourcenar (Belgium, 1951, library)
  • Nada – Carmen Laforet (Spain, 1944, library)
  • The First Violin – Jessie Fothergill (England, 1877, owned)
  • The Hidden Hand – E. D. E. N. Southworth (USA, 1859, owned
  • The Locusts Have No King – Dawn Powell (USA, 1948, owned)
  • Wired Love – Ella Cheever Thayer (USA, 1879, owned)
  • The Young Man with a Horn – Dorothy Baker (USA, 1938, library)
  • The Morgesons – Elizabeth Stoddard (USA, 1862, owned)
  • American Indian Stories – Zitkala-Ša (USA/Native American, 1921, owned)

All but the Yourcenar are quite obscure, and even that (so I’ve been told) masterpiece isn’t known or read as it should be.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to squeeze at least a couple of these in this year!


Bout of Books 12: Base Camp

Bout of BooksBout of Books 12 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 this post 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. The show-runners for the read-a-thon have decided not to post an official linky for goals this time around, to shift the focus away from “success/failure” and more towards reading for fun, and as this seems an admirable aim, I’m not going to set hard goals for myself.  I have a short stack of titles I want to read from, but that’s about as much planning as I intend to do. I’m excited to kick-start the year with some wonderful reads and the community of Bout of Books.  Happy reading to all who are playing along!

 Books to Read:

  1. Neuromancer by William Gibson (in progress at start of event) (1001 Books)
  2. Kokoro by Sōseki Natsume (1001 Books, Classics Club, Japanese Lit Challenge)
  3. The Machine Stops by E. M. Forster (Classics Club)
  4. Sultana’s Dream by Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain  (Classics Club)
  5. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (short story collection in graphic novel form)

 Cumulative Progress:

Total pages read:  548
Total books finished:  3 (Sultana’s Dream, Through the Woods, Neuromancer)
Books in Progress:  Kokoro

 Daily Updates:


Number of pages read today: 40 (page 10-50 in Neuromancer)

Books finished today:  –

Books in progress at end of day:  Neuromancer 

Challenges:  –


Number of pages read today: 69

Books finished today:  Sultana’s Dream

Books in progress at end of day:  Neuromancer 

Challenges:  –


Number of pages read today:  208

Books finished today:  Through the Woods 

Books in progress at end of day: Neuromancer 

Challenges:  –


Number of pages read today:  20 (I knew this would be a slow day, as will tomorrow.)

Books finished today:  –

Books in progress at end of day: Neuromancer 

Challenges:  –


Number of pages read today: 28

Books finished today:  –

Books in progress at end of  day: Neuromancer 

Challenges: –


Number of pages read today:  88

Books finished today:  

Books in progress at end of day:  Neuromancer 

Challenges: –


Number of pages read today:  95

Books finished today:  Neuromancer 

Books in progress at end of day:  Kokoro

Challenges:  –

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon: Wrap-Up & Ending Meme (2014)

Deweys 24hr RATSo ends another edition of Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon.  I’m definitely in zombie mode today, but I think it was worth it!  Here’s my brief wrap-up and answers to the end-of-event meme:

I finished three books:

The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen

The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks

Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta

I also read a few chapters in The Woman in the Dunes by Kōbō Abe and a few more chapters in Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore.  

End of Event Meme:

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? – Actually, the first hours were the worst this time.  Getting a really late start sapped my motivation a bit, and multiple family distractions and detours got me even more off-track.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? – Last time, I included short stories.  I was very silly not to do so this time.  I highly recommend them for RaTs, as well as graphic novels.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? – Nothing comes to mind, honestly.  As for suggestions for myself, not for the team:  Try audiobooks.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? – The cheerleaders were great!  Even though they were short-handed, they were enthusiastic and on-the-ball.
  5. How many books did you read? – I finished 3 and read parts of 2 others.
  6. What were the names of the books you read? – see above
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? – Memory of Water
  8. Which did you enjoy least? – The Great God Pan
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? – n/a
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? – I will almost certainly participate again, as a reader.  I don’t have the moxie to be a cheerleader right now!

Next read-a-thon on the docket:  Bout of Books 12, January 5-11, 2015!  I imagine the next edition of Dewey’s 24-Hour RaT will be around April.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon: Base Camp & Opening Meme (October 2014)

Deweys 24hr RATThis is a sticky post for my periodic read-a-thon updates.

The event started at 5am my time, but I had Things to attend to this morning, so I’ll be starting reading at 11am PST, which is officially Hour 7 of the read-a-thon.

I think I’ll start with Woman in the Dunes first, while my brain is fresh, leaving the YA and graphic novel choices for later when I need a boost in the afternoon.  And of course, Machen’s old-school Gothic horror must be read at night.

My progress:

  • 11:00 am PST:  Start reading.  Ha!  Forget that.  My mother called long-distance, and I had unexpected company.  It’s now 12:45 pm, and I’m just reading my first page.
  • 1:30 pm PST:  I got in about 40 pages between 12:45 and 1:30pm, spread across all the books in my stack.  (I was trying to decide which one was going to hook me first.)  Now it’s time to eat some lunch, stretch a bit, check in with the community and chop some things and toss them into the slow cooker for a late meal when the fella gets home around 10pm.  After lunch and etc., I’m going to continue on with Memory of Water, as it is both swift-moving and peppered with such pretty, descriptive language.
  • 3:30 pm PST – Lunch is eaten, things are chopped and slow-cooking and household puttering is accomplished.  Back to the books! I want to try to read straight until 5:30 or so.  Then I’ll break for stretching, snacking and community stalking.
  • 5:30 pm PST:  Snack and stretch break!  I’m having some popcorn and am about to take a look-see at the current minigames.  I read right around 100 pages in Memory of Water.  I’m not sure if I want to finish it up when I return to my reading spot or if I want to skip over into another book for a bit.  Hmm…  I’ll decide in a bit, but right now my most urgent task is too put the kettle on.  I am in dire need of some strong black tea!
  • 7:00 pm PST:  Tea seems to have had the reverse of its intended effect.  I took a bit of a cat nap – with the cat! – and now I’m going to try for an hour-long reading sprint.
  • 8:15 pm PST:  I finished The Harlem Hellfighers – 257 pages.
  • 2:00 am PST (hour 22):  Since my last update, I read and finished Machen’s The Great God Pan, a couple of chapters in The Woman in the Dunes and another 50 pages in Memory of Water, played in a couple of minigames, visited some blogs and had dinner/family time with the fella.  I’m going to brew some more tea and try to keep going.

Opening meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? – I’m in the Puget Sound region of Washington State, United States.  (outside Seattle)

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? – Woman in the Dunes

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? – I’m not looking forward to any snack in particular.  I don’t gather snacks especially for the event;  I just eat the snacks I normally might – black tea, plain seltzer, hummus with veggies, maybe some popcorn or nuts or dark chocolate or a granola bar.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! – I’m perhaps a bit too pleased at the moment that we’ve launched into the stereotypical gray-and-rainy season here in the Pacific NW.  The chill and the sound of rain has set up a perfect reading feel for me – cozy and cocoony.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? – This is my second read-a-thon.  This time I will not push myself to stay awake all the time but will nap and will acknowledge my body’s signs that it’s time to stop and go to bed later.  I have a chronic autoimmune syndrome, yet I am stubborn and want to push like I used to when I was younger.  This time, I will remember that I’m not 20 and in full health and will take a saner approach so that I don’t pay for it tomorrow and all next week.