Reading Challenge – Bout of Books 12

Because I’ve resolved to post more about reading this year, I’m going to try participating in a number of different challenges and reading related things like the Classics Club and now the Bout of Books.

For those that don’t know what Bout of Books is… here you go:

Bout of BooksThe Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Below I’ve included my personal goals for this week of reading and I will be updating this post over the course of the week to let you know how I’m doing.

Time Devoted to Reading

I’m planning to read at minimum an hour a day, preferably more.
I’m also planning to get back into the audiobook realm and “read” at least an hour a day of an audiobook too.

 My Goals

The time devoted to reading (see above is my first goal). My other goal is to finish at least two books during this week. I also hope to start a couple books for online book clubs and so another goal is to participate in some of the discussions for those books.

 Books to Read

  • Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson
  • Grave Peril by Jim Butcher
  • In Life by Cory Doctorow, Jen Wang
  • The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell



There was a bit of a hiccup today as my phone to car audio connection was not working and then I somehow managed to forget my phone when I went to the gym. So there was no audiobook reading today. But I did manage to read Somewhere in France for an hour.

I also participated in the Caught Read Handed’s Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt.

bookshelf scavenger hunt resultsI had to find the following criteria (pictured above and listed below):
1. Find an author with the same initials as you : Mary Shelly
2. Find a book with the color yellow on it: Field Guide to Butterflies
3. Find an author’s name with the letter “S” in it: Jane Austen
4. Find a book with a female protagonist: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre (read it!)
5. Find the longest book you own: Dance with Dragons (if we aren’t counting dictionaries and textbooks)
6. Find a book with a map in it or on it: The Fellowship of the Ring
7. Find a book with a face on it (photograph or illustrated): Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
Bonus: Find something on your shelf that isn’t a book: Mega Man head from a LootCrate

And I participated in The Book That’s New Year’s Resolution Challenge:

  • Rogues (edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois) because I made a goal to date more this year and I’m sure I’ll meet plenty of rogues.
  • Stories (collected by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio) because I made a promise to write even more and so I’ll have to tell some good stories.
  • Night Broken (Patricia Briggs) because given my goals to read more I’m sure I’ll spend many of my nights awake and therefore Broken.


Managed to meet (and just exceed) my audio goal and meet (and exceed) my hour reading goal too. Yay me!


I also participated in the Trees of Reverie’s Top 10 Recommendations Challenge.

The Challenge was to provide my top ten go-to book recommendations and answer some additional (optional) prompts about the recommendations.  So here are my recommendations:

  1. Outpost by Ann Aguirre
    1. Why did I choose this book: The is the first in a YA dystopian trilogy which I enjoyed much more than The Hunger Games. I read Outpost before I read The Hunger Games and actually kept thinking about Ann Aguirre’s story as I read the Hunger Games. Different stories but same dystopian veins.
    2. What would I say to someone I’m recommending it to: If you’ve read and enjoyed The Hunger Games, I think you’ll enjoy this just as much if not more.
  2. Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
    1. Why did I choose this book: My absolute favorite paranormal fantasy series ever (so far anyway).
    2. What would I say to someone I’m recommending it to: If you’re a fan of Rachel Morgan, Sookie Stackhouse, and/or Mercy Thompson, you’ll adore Kate Daniels. She’s a fantastic character and the world she lives in, with shifting periods of Magic and Tech, is fascinating (can be kind of hard to grasp and understand at first, but it’s worth it).
  3. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
    1. Why did I choose this book: I read it at least once every year.
    2. What would I say to someone I’m recommending it to: It a book written in the 1950s but much like To Kill A Mockingbird, the issues of judgement and acceptance still resonate with today’s readers. Its also a Newberry Award winner and great for younger readers.
  4. My First Book of Girl Power by Julie Merberg
    1. Why did I choose this book: I have a new niece (she’s 3 months old) and I want her to read and know that she can do anything. And I love that this is a DC Comics book.
    2. What would I say to someone I’m recommending it to: It’s a simple board book perfect for very early readers and it has a powerful message (or several) – girls are strong and can do anything, including read comics!
  5. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
    1. Why did I choose this book: Patrick Rothfuss is a very entertaining man (it was his personality that made me want to read his books) who knows how to tell a great story and build it slowly.
    2. What would I say to someone I’m recommending it to: This is an epic fantasy book, along the lines of George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones), but requires slightly less commitment – there’s only intended to be three books (two of which are completed)
  6. Song for the Blue Ocean by Carl Safina
    1. Why did I choose this book: This book set me on the path of environmental science and conversation that I began pursuing so long ago.
    2. What would I say to someone I’m recommending it to: If you are fascinated with the world’s oceans, this book is a great way to explore the science, adventure, and politics of the sea.
  7. Jemima J by Jane Green
    1. Why did I choose this book: One of the first “chick lit” books I ever read, but I identified with it then and I still do.
    2. What would I say to someone I’m recommending it to: Easy and entertaining read about a woman who tries to please others.
  8. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
    1. Why did I choose this book: One of my very favorite classic books. Ever!
    2. What would I say to someone I’m recommending it to: It’s a classic by the man who wrote The Three Musketeers. It’s a classic filled with love, betrayal, adventure, and so much more.
  9. A Rogue By Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean
    1. Why did I choose this book: It’s fun and the start to a great collection with absolutely fantastic characters. I’ve never been a big fan of regency romances, but I love Sarah MacLeans!
    2. What would I say to someone I’m recommending it to: A classic regency romance, but one where the woman isn’t a helpless victim.
  10. The Wake by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy
    1. Why did I choose this book: I was horrified, intrigued, and I cried throughout this 10-book series.
    2. What would I say to someone I’m recommending it to: It’s a graphic tale of horror and mythology. Scott Snyder is best known for writing some amazing Batman comics and Sean Murphy is well known for his art on Punk Rock Jesus.  Comics can be great literature too.

The books I’ve chosen to include on this list are from a wide variety of genres and for a variety of age ranges because I feel like there is something for everyone to love reading, no matter how reticent they may feel about books.

Close favorites that didn’t make it on my top ten list above:

  • Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
  • Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Promethea by Alan Moore and J. H. Williams III
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman


Today I didn’t manage any audiobook, but I did read for more than two hours. I think that makes up for the lack of audiobook, don’t you?

I also particpated in Writing My Own Fairy Tale’s Character Coupling Challenge which challenged me to take two characters from two different books and put them together in a relationship. THis was what I came up with:

I would send Dred from Perdition (Dred Chronicls) by Ann Aguirre on a date with Shadow from American Gods by Neil Gaiman because Dred is strong, loyal, and slightly scary and so is Shadow. Yet both of them have big hearts and have been through adventures.  Plus, they both been in prison so there is no judgment there. It’d be an interesting match even if it likely wouldn’t work out in the long run…


Audio update: I had a lot of driving in traffic today so I listened to Grave Peril for 2 hours and 5 minutes.

Book update: I finished Somewhere in France last night before falling asleep. Today I started and finished In Real Life and I’m happy to say I read for just over an hour.

Today I also participated in Lulo Fangirl’s Synopsis Challenge. Simply put, the challenge was to write my own 3-5 sentence synopsis for a book I read or am reading during the Bout of Books read-a-thon. As I just finished Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson last night, I decided to try to boil that one down to a simple blurb. This is what I came up with:

 She’s an aristocratic lady who longs for more. He’s the son of a dustman who’s become a successful surgeon. Will the horrors of the first World War pull them together or push them further apart?

While not bad for a blurb, I’m not sure it truly captures the spirit of both characters. I really enjoyed the book and I recommend it. To understand more than my blurb provides, check out my review.


I read The Sparrow for just over an hour today. I wanted to read more but couldn’t keep my eyes open. I’m so intrigued by it.

I listened to Grave Peril for 1 hour and 31 minutes.


Managed to listen to Grave Peril  for 30 minutes (not quite meeting my goal) and read The Sparrow for just under an hour (again not quite meeting my goal). It was a busy day.


I listened to Grave Peril for jsut over 2 hours today (making up for missing out on my goal yesterday) and I’m almost finished with the book, but not quite (I’ll finish it tomorrow). I also managed to read The Sparrow for an hour – its a great book and I look forward to getting even more into it.

I wanted to participate in Auggie Talk’s Dysfunctional Family Challenge and Falling Down the Book Hole’s #insixwords Challenge but I got distracted by cleaning, packing, and the Golden Globes. I look forward to reading other people’s responses though!

And that’s it! The point is to READ during the Bout of Books. Are you in?

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