In Which I Readathon…

readathon

Books Read:

  • The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson (148 pages)
  • Newspaper Blackout by Austin Kleon (173 pages)
  • Pink Books & A Machete by Mireya Mayor (304 pages)
  • Terrain by Genevieve Valentine (32 pages)
  • Tom Ass by Ann Lawrence (141 pages)
  • Galatea by Madeline Miller (37 pages)
  • The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart (127 pages)
  • The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (120 pages)
  • At Large and At Small by Anne Fadiman (240 pages)
  • The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (112 pages)
  • Joyland by Stephen King (283 pages)
  • Bride to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (163 pages)

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You Guys…It’s October 2013 Readathon Time!

If you know me, you know I absolutely love the biannual 24 hour readathon. It is the one blogging tradition I’ve consistently adhered to since starting my blog in 2010. I have a pretty big stack of books picked out, and I’m pretty excited to get through some of these options!

As always, my goal will be to get through 10 books. (Which sounds impressive, but really isn’t since most of my picks are either juvenile or novellas!)

The physical stack:

october 2013 readathon

  • Tom Ass by Ann Lawrence
  • The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart
  • Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
  • Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • At Large and At Small by Anne Fadiman
  • Joyland by Stephen King
  • The Farthest Away Mountain by Lynn Reid Banks
  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Newspaper Blackout by Austin Kleon

Kindle options:

  • Pink Boots & A Machete by Mireya Mayor
  • Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
  • Three Schemes and a Scandal by Maya Rodale
  • Terrain by Genevieve Valentine
  • Meridian Six by Jaye Wells
  • The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

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1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

My lovely apartment in Norman, Oklahoma.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Possibly The Farthest Away Mountain by Lynne Reid Banks. I’ve had it for awhile, but I’ve been saving it for the readathon!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

I actually didn’t buy anything especially for this weekend, but I do have a new coffee blend to try out.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I have a serious RAGE problem when it comes to being interrupted while I’m reading. I also have loud neighbors – so I hope they survive the day!

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?

I’ve been doing this for awhile, so I have a system that works for me. I absolutely love being able to update my Goodreads Challenge totals at the end of the day! It’s the small things in life, y’all.

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Vicious by Victoria Schwab

I have been eagerly anticipating Vicious by Victoria Schwab since the first announcement of the book deal. When I get into a discussion of authors with the best writing style, she is one of the first people I always mention. So, a book about superheroes written by a master of her craft? Oh, I knew it would be magic.

Vicious Victoria Schwab

The story surrounds Victor and Eli. They attended university together and got tangled up in a project studying EOs (Extra Ordinaries). Are they real? Where do their supposed abilities come from? Delving into the science behind those questions leads our boys down a dark road neither of them is ever able to come back from. They go from a strange friend/frenemy(ish) relationship to a pretty ugly one of outright adversaries.

The moments that define our lives aren’t always obvious. They don’t always scream LEDGE, and nine times out of ten there’s no rope to duck under, no line to cross, no blood pact, no official letter on fancy paper. They aren’t always protracted, heavy with meaning. Between one sip and the next, Victor made the biggest mistake of his life, and it was made of nothing more than one line. Three small words.

“I’ll go first.”

The story alternates between the distant past, the not-so-distant past and the present. From Eli and Victor’s school days to the days and weeks leading up to their final showdown, to the big day itself. If that sounds like the recipe to a hot mess to you? Stop worrying. I told you, when you’re with Victoria Schwab, you will learn to expect nothing less than brilliance. (Have I mentioned how much I love her writing? Because I really love her writing.)

I absolutely love the characterization throughout Vicious. Good luck deciding who is bad, good, mostly good, partly bad…who knows what to think about any of them, really. They’re quite the motley crew (keep in mind that most of them have extraordinary abilities). Victor is on a mission of revenge – ten years after Eli puts him in prison, he is ready to take back his own. He picks up a couple of sidekicks along the way…Mitch and Sydney (the only two characters you’ll wholeheartedly root for). Victor is a pretty complicated guy, but you kinda can’t help but like him. Probably because you would have to be a sociopath to side with Eli over him. Same goes for Eli’s TERRIBLE cohort, Serena, who freaked me the eff out.

Eli is a zealot with a hero complex. He thinks he is on some righteous mission (and I think he has a few screws loose). I know he is supposed to be the main “bad guy,” but you guys – I hated Serena a lot more. Eli’s evil is narrow and focused, and about as blunt as a club over the head. Serena’s powers are slithering and all-encompassing. I found her extremely immature and mercurial, which are not good things to be when you have the power to manipulate the crap out of everything. When she and Eli were together, you better believe I was waving a “TEAM ELI” flag high and proud.

Anyway, when it comes down to it? You should scurry right over to the bookstore and pick up a copy of Vicious. Heck, pick up three. Do your part to make sure the publisher is interested in a sequel! Once you finish reading, you’ll definitely be jonesing for more.

Check out Vicious by Victoria Schwab on Goodreads / Amazon

Other Reviews:
Expresso Reads
The Housework Can Wait

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Animal Farm by George Orwell

I always try to read at least one or two banned books every year during Banned Books Week, and this time around I chose Animal Farm by George Orwell. Y’all, I REALLY enjoyed this book. I am actually bummed that I never got the chance to study it in high school. Lots of entertainment, lots of food for thought – I definitely recommend this one if, like me, you went to a school where reading was optional.

Animal Farm George Orwell

I don’t have a lot to say about this one, because if you ARE like me and haven’t read it before, I don’t want to be the one that ruins it for you. For such a short book, it sure packs a punch.

The gradual progression of events in Animal Farm impressed me a lot. From the animals realizing they might have the power to do something about their enslavement to humans, to the way they rebel, to the events that follow…I enjoyed this book a lot, have I mentioned that? It is a little scary, a little ironic and a little too familiar (also a little funny in a disturbed way). From the empowerment to the greed and brainwashing that followed, there was this dark humor to the tone of the narration that gave me the serious creeps (in a good way).

Also, can we take a moment of silence to appreciate that massively amazing/brilliant/I bow-down-to-you-George-Orwell ending? Seriously. I read the last chapter twice.

Those pigs, man. I bet anybody that reads this enjoys their bacon just a little bit more afterwards. (Is that wrong?)

I think the next time I read Animal Farm – oh yes, you can bet on there being a next time – I’ll audio it. What better way to make the scary Napoleon even scarier or the gradual brainwashing even more sinister?

Pick this one up, you guys. And if you have already read it, read it again! Worth it.

Check out Animal Farm by George Orwell on Goodreads / Amazon

Other Reviews:
The Broke & the Bookish
Sarah Reads Too Much
A Literary Odyssey
(I’ll be happy to add your review, just give me the link!)

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Mortal Arts by Anna Lee Huber

You guys, when I came across Mortal Arts by Anna Lee  Huber? I felt like I’d struck gold. Romantic historical mysteries are my basically my jam. How could all three of those genres together not make magic? Some of the best series I follow fall into this category, and these Lady Darby books are definitely the newest addition to the list.

Mortal Arts Anna Lee Huber

Lady Darby is a widow surrounded by scandal. Her husband, a famous anatomist, forced her to participate in his gruesome autopsies. She is a super talented artist, so he needed her to draw diagrams of body parts so that he could publish a book. Once he dropped dead, she was exposed as being “unnatural.” In the first book of the series, The Anatomist’s Wife, we learn that she has been living with her sister and brother-in-law in Scotland, basically hiding out from society. When a murder takes place on their estate, however, she gets dragged back out into the open…enter Sebastian Gage, the mysterious and sexy inquiry agent.

Now, in Mortal Arts, she becomes enmeshed in yet another scandal when some old family friends reveal that a man previously thought to be dead has actually just been locked away in an insane asylum.

The mystery and suspense weaved into the plot of Mortal  Arts is far superior to the first book of the series, in my opinion. You guys, it is impossible not to become emotionally involved in the story. William, who has been locked away, is a former soldier suffering from PTSD in a time before it was recognized or understood. The combination of watching him suffer as well as seeing everyone around him at a total loss as to how to help? Heart wrenching, seriously. PTSD is still so misunderstood even today when it is possible to seek treatment – it must have been unbearable in 1830.

Another plus is that even after only two books, I completely trust Anna Lee Huber with historical accuracy. Her notes at the end always fascinate me – and I can tell she does her research. So many fascinating tidbits pop up throughout the story – I honestly feel like I learned some things.

As for the characters? FABULOUS. Kiera Darby is wonderful and complex – she is dealing with her emotional traumas while still being devoted to her art and family. I love watching her mind at work. Watching her fight the swoons when it comes to Sebastian Gage is just an added bonus. He is fiercely hot, y’all. There is little to no actual development in their relationship (or lack of a relationship, I should say)…but that doesn’t stop the swoons. Just  putting them in a room together sets off the tension nicely. I absolutely cannot waaaaaait to see where they go from here.

Basically, if you’re a (intensely rabid) fan of Tasha Alexander and/or Deanna Raybourn like I am, you absolutely have to give Lady Darby a spin! Then we can join forces and demand the next installment by any means necessary…

Check out Mortal Arts by Anna Lee Huber on Goodreads / Amazon

or…
catch back up with The Anatomist’s Wife on Goodreads / Amazon

 

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Top Ten Summer TBR List

Hosted by The Broke & the Bookish.

Check out Fatal Affair by Marie Force for FREE!

Taste Test by Kelly Fiore
Her Ladyship’s Curse by Lynn Viehl
Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
Charming by Elliott James
The Daughter Star by Susan Bigelow
Canary by Rachele Alpine
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker
Born of Illusion by Teri Brown
Fatal Mistake by Marie Force
The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher

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