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Tome Topple & NaNoWriMo

I probably shouldn’t have decided to participate in Tome Topple during November, but I had to try it. I posted my tentative TBR, expected to read a total of about 12 pages, and feel like a big failure again. That’s how things usually go, but I keep participating because it’s fun and does motivate me to start some of my longer, more intimidating books.

Then something strange happened, a day or two after the readathon started.

I finished my first tome (Night Film). And then I finished my second tome (The Witches: Salem 1692) a couple days later.

This is, I believe, the first time I have participated in Tome Topple and managed to actually finish even one tome.

Now, I’ve started The Diviners, which was supposed to be my back-up book (in case I couldn’t get into either of the tomes I most wanted to read this round). I’m not far into it yet, and I might not finish it by the time this round ends, but at least I’ve started it, I suppose.


NaNoWriMo has also been strange this time. Last year was the first time I “won” (reached 50k words by November 30th), but I didn’t actually finish my story. I still haven’t :/ I’m not entirely sure I want to finish that one, but I digress.

Writing has been a struggle on several days, which I’m used to. I almost gave up, which is also typical of me. But I just broke my previous “wordiest day” record (5,156 words written in one day, which happened last year) by writing 5,515 words yesterday, I’ve written over 42k total words, and I think I’ll actually finish this story and hit 50k words this month.

Maybe that’s not impressive at all (it’s probably not), but I’m pleased because this story was unplanned. For 2016 & 2017, I wrote from an outline. This year, I jumped in with the barest shred of an idea, and the story has changed a lot from my initial vision. It’s going to need a lot of editing, but that’s another strange thing about this round: I actually want to edit this one and make it better.

Last year, I said I would finish my story and edit it, but my heart wasn’t in it because I wasn’t satisfied with it. (I’ll probably end up entirely re-writing that one eventually, if I ever touch it again.) But I’m actually looking forward to making this story better, after I take a month or two to recover from cranking out a rough draft in a month 😛

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Posted in reading challenges

Tome Topple Plans

The next round of Tome Topple begins Friday the 16th at midnight! (For me, that’s about 4 hours from the time this posts.) If you don’t know what Tome Topple is, check out Sam’s (Thoughts on Tomes) video.

Basically, it’s a read-a-thon that lasts 2 weeks, and the goal is to read books 500+ pages in length.


This post was supposed to have a picture, but… Well, between the weather and NaNoWriMo, I never got around to it :/

I really doubt my ability to finish a single book. Honestly, most Novembers are terrible reading months for me because of NaNoWriMo taking up so much of my time. After writing, I don’t have it in me to read, so I usually end up watching/re-watching shows to let my brain chill out.

But, I do have a tentative TBR:

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff– This book has been on my TBR since before it came out. I picked up a used copy last summer or early autumn, and…it’s sat on my shelf all this time. But, now I have my physical copy and the audiobook from the library, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. My copy has 496 pages, but other editions are listed as over 500, and in my opinion, 496 is close enough anyway (especially for non-fiction).

Night Film by Marisha Pessl– I got a copy of this from the Dollar Tree at some point :O To make it easier, because this is NaNo month, I also checked out the audiobook. This book is one of those with extras (photos, articles, etc.), so I need my physical copy handy for that stuff, but at least I can kind of multi-task while listening when I’m on regular pages. This one has 606 pages, and I have already started reading it, but I still have about 550 pages left to read.


Those are the only two I’m really, really hoping to read during this round. (I actually started The Witches a few months ago, but I didn’t get far, so I’m going to start over.)

If, by some miracle, I get through those, or just can’t get into either of them? I’ll probably move on to The Diviners by Libba Bray. That one has been on my TBR at least once before for Tome Topple, I think. I’m too lazy to go check the page count, but I think it’s between 500 and 600.


If you’re participating, what are you hoping to read this round?

Posted in reading challenges

Tome Topple Plans + TBR

I’m kind of addicted to read a thons and reading challenges, but few get me as excited as Tome Topple, and I am so ready (haha, no, I’m not) for the next round!

If you’re not familiar with it, Tome Topple is a read a thon that usually happens a couple times a year(ish) that was created by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes over on YouTube.

Unlike a lot of read a thons, the goal isn’t to read as many books as you can. Instead, it’s to tackle “tomes” (books over 500 pages). Here’s the announcement video for this round if you want to check it out to learn more. There’s also a Tome Topple twitter, and a goodreads group!

This round of Tome Topple begins June 29th and ends July 12th.

Honestly, I’ve kind of failed at Tome Topple in the past :/ But, I’m still going to try this time around, and just hope I make it through at least part of one book by the end. 

There are mini-challenges during Tome Topple, but I don’t know if I’ll do any. I have a couple of books that would count for “part of a series,” and most of them are “adult books,” so I might get to cross off one of those.

I still haven’t decided 100% what my book (or books) will be, but I’ve narrowed it down from a list of like 30 books. I decided to try to only pick a book (or books) that I’ve owned since before this year, and then I narrowed the list down more by figuring out which ones I’ve wanted to read the longest and/or heard the most good about.

That…barely thinned down the list, honestly haha. (I also passed on a couple of non-fiction books I have, but I’ve owned both since last year, so…I might decide to pick one of those up later.)

If you’re doing TT and want to buddy read one of these, let me know! (That’s one of the mini-challenges.)

My TBR Choices

(AKA books I’ll be picking from literally as soon as I start reading, because trying to pick one before that will result in me having no desire to read it by the time the read a thon begins :/ )

 

Kindle books

  • The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
  • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (a re-read)

 

Physical books

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Villette by Charlotte Brontë; The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri; The Diviners by Libba Bray; The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton


I meant to have this scheduled and posted way earlier today, but stuff came up and I’m only just finishing this post at 9PM, eek. Only three more hours until Tome Topple begins, yay!

Happy reading, and good luck to anyone participating 🙂

Posted in books

May Wrap Up + Book Haul

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May was a surprisingly good reading month for me, but I’ve fallen behind on reviewing things. I read 15 books, but most of those were short (poetry collections). However, I did, finally, make it through East of Eden, which I started waaaay back for Tome Topple.

 


Books read:

(All covers link to goodreads)

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I Am More Than a Daydream by Jennae Cecelia– A collection of poetry I gave 4.5/5 stars.

 

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Burntown by Jennifer McMahon– I had an ARC of this, and reviewed it. I gave it 3.5/5 stars.

 

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Tell Me Where it Hurts by J.R. Rogue– A very emotional, raw poetry book. I gave it 5/5 stars.

 

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Poems I Found in My Closet by Evette Blue– More poetry. I gave it 3.5/5 stars.

 

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Growth by Karin Cox– Poetry. I gave it 2.5/5 stars.

 

 

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the three o’clock in the morning sessions by Angie Martin– Yep, more poetry. I gave this one 3/5 stars.

 

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams– This was a re-read, and I gave it 4/5 stars again. I love this series, but for some reason I don’t “5/5 stars” love the first couple of books in the “trilogy in 5 parts.”

 

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Mad Woman by Kat Savage– Poetry again (are you seeing the pattern yet? :P), which I gave 5/5 stars and it landed Kat Savage on my list of favorite poets. I reviewed it, too.

 

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love, and you by Gretchen Gomez– Yep, another lovely book of poetry. I gave it 5/5 stars and can’t wait to see what else Gretchen writes. Reviewed here.

 

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The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams– The second Hitchhiker’s Guide book, which was also a re-read and got 4.5/5 stars.

 

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If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio– AKA “The Book I WILL NOT SHUT UP ABOUT” because I freaking loved it and am now obsessed. 5/5 stars, reviewed here.

 

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East of Eden by John Steinbeck– The tome I did not topple during the read a thon, but finally finished. I gave it 4/5 stars and it also counted for #RockMyTBR, yay!

 

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Good Bones and Simple Murders by Margaret Atwood– Short stories, which I will possibly be reviewing eventually. I gave it 5/5 stars.

 

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Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff– This was on my TBR before it released, and I really enjoyed it. I reviewed it, and gave it 4/5 stars.

 

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Throes by Kat Savage– The last book, and another collection of poetry. I also gave this one 5/5 stars.

 

 


Book Haul!

Full disclosure: Not all of these are mine (my book obsession might be contagious, so husband might have caught it), but I’m including the ones that aren’t exactly/exclusively mine anyway because I know I’ll be reading them.

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From left to right: Hamlet (this edition ❤ ); The Girl on the Road; NW; The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden; Welcome to Night Vale; The Divine Comedy; Furiously Happy; Fates and Furies; The Beautiful and Damned; This Side of Paradise; Perfume: The Story of a Murderer; love, & you; Simulacra; La Douleur Exquise; Mad Woman; Redamancy; Throes; Good Bones and Simple Murders; and the boxed set of Time Lord Fairy Tales.

I’m not including my Kindle books because this post would take about 5 days to assemble if I did that :/ (I might have purchased, like, 20 Agatha Christie ebooks…and a bunch of others…because for some reason May was the month of book sales…)

Last month was ridiculous, and I never buy this many books. Like, there have been spans of two years when I haven’t bought this many books. But seriously, the sales. It was unbelievable. I got so many books for less than $2, and, like I said, they’re not all technically mine.

Posted in books

Tome Topple Read-a-Thon: Half Point Update

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Ok, so the halfway point was yesterday, and I’m late, but I’ve been ill most of this week and really dropping the ball with basically everything, including blogging :/ Oops.

The Journey So Far:

I started with The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. This book has been on my shelf for well over a decade, and I’ve tried to read it at least half a dozen times. I never made it beyond about page 5. This time, I tried the audiobook and alternated between reading and listening. I made it about 100 pages in and decided I hate the book and will never finish it. It’s now permanently shelved “DNF” and I’m unhauling it whenever I can make it to a used bookshop.

Then I moved on to Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. This one has been on my TBR for, well, basically forever, but I’ve only owned three copies. Yeah, only three copies. One was a Kindle freebie, though. Anyway, I’ve tried to read this more times than I can count and never made it more than about 10 pages in. I finally picked up the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation, which I really enjoy, but I’ve still only made it to page 43. Ouch. I think I’m just not in the right mood, so I’m just going to try to get through it by the end of this year.

Finally, I picked up East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I’ve only read The Grapes of Wrath and The Pearl, but I like Steinbeck’s style. I didn’t realize until recently that apparently liking his writing is an unpopular opinion. I was always under the impression that his writing was generally liked/loved. I’ve had the most success with this one, flying through a whopping 138 pages in the first 24 hours of reading it. I think I’ll actually finish this one by the end of the read-a-thon.

I might not finish multiple tomes this round, or even make it through a significant chunk of more than one, but I’m ok with that. My goal was to just get through as much of at least one book as possible, and I think I’ll succeed at that.


If you’re participating, how’s Tome Topple going for you?