Reflection: June & July 2019 | Space Junkyards and Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam

In June and July, I was finally able to delve into the books that I wanted to read because my exams were over and almost four months of summer were beginning to stretch out in front of me. Here’s everything that I read!

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Book #17: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

What I really wasn’t expecting was just how fun this book would be from the outset. TLWTASAAP is one of those books that you find genuine enjoyment in reading: the cast of characters is like one big eclectic family and their adventures to seemingly-abandoned moon colonies and space junkyards were something I didn’t really know I needed but loved!

The standout features for me, though, were the often-poignant reflections that Chambers weaves in to an otherwise light-hearted read. This book isn’t without its commentary on our world today, and it’s all the better for it.

My rating: 4/5 stars Continue reading “Reflection: June & July 2019 | Space Junkyards and Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam”

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Day Six + Seven (27 + 28/07/19) | The Reading Rush

General thoughts: In practice – in terms of the cold hard numbers – this hasn’t been my most successful readathon ever. I didn’t read so much as last year, and I may have taken some liberties when it came to fitting my books to the challenges… I did, however, manage to read a decent amount on the final two days of the readathon!

On Saturday, I managed to get more of The Gracekeepers read. I think it was by this point that I began to notice the read really going downhill for me. I was reluctant to keep picking it back up, because certain aspects of it kept on unimpressing me.

Sunday was dedicated to getting this book finished. With just under one hundred pages left at that point, I threw myself into my final reading sprint of the readathon, which definitely gave me the motivation that I needed! I finished the book at about 7pm, and intended to then finish the last sixty pages of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but I think I was so reading-exhausted by then that it just never happened! I’m going to have a full review of The Gracekeepers going up soon, because I have so many thoughts that the book really warrants its own post – two stars from me.

On reflection, I think this week was still wonderful because I truly love immersing myself in the book community for a full seven days. I didn’t join in so much this year, although I think a lot of that is down to the fact that alongside the readathon I was simultaneously trying to research a dissertation and complete an internship – both of which, on their own, involve a lot of reading. I was definitely beginning to feel that reading burnout, and the headache which accompanies that is not the best!

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I’m grateful that I managed to read as much as I did, however! I read two books this week – and I have been averaging one book per week over summer – so I literally increased my reading rate by 100%. I also saw so many people smashing it and getting involved, which gives me so much faith in our amazing community!

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Pages read today: 80 (Saturday) and 92 (Sunday)

Total pages read: 736

Challenges completed today: An author’s first book (The Gracekeepers is Logan’s first *novel* so I am taking that!)

Total challenges completed: 2

Total books read: 2


I’d love to hear about your experience if you took part in The Reading Rush this year! Did you reach your targets? Did you feel any reading burnout? Let me know!

Bex ♥

My Reading Rush Account | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

 

Day Five (26/07/19) | The Reading Rush

General thoughts: I managed to read more on day five of the readathon than on days three and four put together! I began reading The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan a couple of minutes before midnight on day four, and so a lot of my reading on day five was taken up by that. It’s a very slow-paced read, and sometimes the multiple narrators seem slightly unnecessary, but I’m intrigued by it and the flooded world setting is fascinating and so original to read about. I wanted to mention one particular quote, because it really struck me and shows Logan’s intent with this world:

Over time the landlockers had learned to blame the banks, the relentless drive for more money, for the rising seas and the loss of their land. Once upon a time they’d had a whole planet of fields and plains and deserts and forests. Now they had to make do with the patched-up corners of gutted cities, to cluster their homes around half-dead copses, to scrape what they could from their tiny footholds in a swallowing sea.

I had already planned to do some dissertation research this week, and in order to do both that and continue making progress with the readathon, I picked up A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well for the first time (I know!) I’m reading that as my book that I read in one spot because it’s relatively short. I’m halfway through it, and I’m finding it okay at the moment, but I’m definitely beginning to think that when it comes to drama, tragedies have more impact than comedies, for me.

Tomorrow, I plan to at least finish The Gracekeepers!


Pages read today: 178

Total pages read so far: 564

Challenges completed today: 0

Total challenges completed so far: 1

Total books read so far: 1


We’re well over halfway there now, but I’m not giving up on my hopes of reading a total of one thousand pages! Have you reached any goals yet if you’re taking part?

Happy readathoning,

Bex ♥

My Reading Rush Account | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

Day Three + Four (24 + 25/07/19) | The Reading Rush

General thoughts: I’ve combined days three and four together for this diary because if I’d have updated for day three it would have looked, well, like a blank post. Wednesday resulted in a grand total of zero pages read – but, I did have a wonderful day swimming around in the sea!

Day four was definitely more successful, because I managed to finally complete my first book and challenge for the readathon! I finished The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, which I used for the challenge of a book with a non-human main character. I gave it four out of five stars – verging on a 4.5 – but I couldn’t give it the full five just because I felt there were some plot holes that I was left slightly confused by.

What I loved about the book was the world and our protagonist. Faerie feels small – so the action feels contained and therefore even more catastrophic. With being used to fantasy books where everything is to do with fighting THAT ONE DARK OVERLORD WHO WILL DESTROY THE WORLD it was refreshing to read a novel that actually takes place in a very limited space. That being said, I won’t be fussed if later books in the series expand the world!

I also think Jude was an excellent protagonist. So often, main characters are so inherently good that they wouldn’t ever go against the code of good and evil, but Jude treads a *very* fine line, and she isn’t afraid to admit that. She is gloriously interesting to read about.

I also began reading my second book of the week, The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan. Although, I did only read two pages so I’m not sure I can say too much about it yet!


Pages read today: 65

Total pages read so far: 386

Challenges completed today: A book with a non-human MC (I’m saying Cardan or Vivi count – I need to make progress!)

Total challenges completed so far: 1

Total books read so far: 1


Here’s to another successful day of reading!

Happy readathoning,

Bex ♥

My Reading Rush Account | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

Day Two (23/07/19) | The Reading Rush

General thoughts: So. I was adamant that I was going to be getting The Cruel Prince finished today, and inevitably that didn’t end up happening. In my defence, I had a long to-do list to get through and it proved more difficult to complete than I anticipated, so I only started reading at about 5pm!

That being said, I managed to get a big chunk of the novel read today, which *definitely* has to have set me up for finishing it tomorrow – I only have 64 pages to go! Although I was somewhat prepared after having seen a number of spoiler-free reviews when TCP was first released, I was still shocked by some of the events that go down at the start of the second half of this book! Holly Black really delivered in the shock factor. Strangely, the inclusion of both the human and faerie world in this book doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would at the beginning, although I of course adore the richness of the language used to describe the faerie world the most!

As for tomorrow’s plan, I’m going to be away for a good part of the day, but I am hoping to pick up The Gracekeepers as soon as I get TCP finished to complete the challenge of a debut book.


Pages read today: 115

Total pages read so far: 321

Challenges completed today: 0

Total challenges completed so far: 0

Total books read so far: 0


How is your progress going so far if you’re taking part?

Happy readathoning,

Bex ♥

My Reading Rush Account | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

Day One (22/07/19) | The Reading Rush

General thoughts: This year’s readathon began much like last year’s – successfully, but with the lingering sense that I don’t know how I’m going to top today’s page count from here on out. Still, I’m pleased with the progess that I’ve made!

I decided to pick up The Cruel Prince by Holly Black as my first read – to satisfy the challenge of reading a book with a non-human MC – and it was without a doubt the best choice to begin a readathon with. I can usually fly through a YA fantasy, and this one drew me in from the second I began reading. Already I’m really enjoying seeing Jude evolve. The last fifty pages that I read today were the very definition of “that escalated quickly” and something tells me that things in this novel are going to keep spiralling out of control pretty fast!

As for tomorrow, I think I’m pretty much where I wanted to be in terms of progress. I knew there was no chance I’d finish a 350+ page book in one day, but I’m thrilled to be over halfway through it.


Pages read today: 206

Total pages read so far: 206

Challenges completed today: 0

Total challenges completed so far: 0

Total books read so far: 0


As always, I’d love to hear how your first day of the readathon went if you took part! I’m having a grand ol’ time so far, and I’m hoping that tomorrow I can keep the momentum going and get my first book and challenge completed!

Happy readathoning,

Bex ♥

My Reading Rush Account | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter

 

My TBR | The Reading Rush 2019

Here we are again! Twelve months have passed in terrifyingly quick fashion, and suddenly The Reading Rush (previously the BookTubeAThon) is upon us again. This week is genuinely one of my favourite weeks of the entire year, and my Goodreads goal is in dire need of a boost, so it has come around at the perfect time yet again! As with the past two years, I’m going to be writing daily update posts, as I’ve found it really does help as a motivator to get as much reading done as possible. Here is everything I intend (ha) to read during the week…

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1) Read a book with purple on the cover

The Colour Purple by Alice Walker

There was no planning at all which went in to choosing this book – which, by the way, I think should get me double points because there is purple on the cover and in the name. I was wandering around my local library and this was genuinely one of the first books I set eyes on. I’ve heard so many good things about it so I thought this was the ideal opportunity to give it a chance!


2) Read a book in the same spot the entire time

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

I need to read this at some point as part of my dissertation research and given that I figured that this challenge would be most easily completed by choosing a shorter book for it, it made total sense to combine my work with the readathon! I’m confident that I can read this in a couple of hours, and I always like to have a couple of shorter works in my readathon TBRs just to keep the momentum going. Continue reading “My TBR | The Reading Rush 2019”