Monday, 6 January 2014

Bout of Books 9.0: Goals and Monday

Bout of Books

Yup, it's that time again - MY FAVOURITE READ-A-THON, WOOHOO!  The shop's officially not ours any more as of this morning, so I am now free to get my 'thon on and celebrate my new-found freedom geek style.  BRING IT ON.  For more information and to sign up, hit the Bout of Books blog.

~ My Goals ~

I'm still crawling my way steadily through Opium: Reality's Dark Dream by Thomas Dormandy, so I'd like to read a good chunk of that if possible.  HOWEVER, it's not particularly readathon-friendly, so aside from that I'd like to finish Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay (which I'm over halfway through) and read TWO MORE books in their entirety, including one of my twelve TBR Challenge titles, to get me off to a decent start there!  Here are some of my current top 'thon candidates:

In terms of other goals... well, it wouldn't be Bout of Books if I didn't completely overreach and set myself a load of tasks I'm never going to complete, would it?!
  • I'll definitely try to take part at least one Twitter chat, a manic hour of giddiness and book talk and the distant scream of laptops, tablets and phones across the world going into a mad panic.
  • One thing I'd actually like to do this year is blog less, read more.  I still want to do a few challenges and cheer on other people's BoB progress, but I think I'll try to keep my updates a bit shorter, rather than my usual full daily posts.
  • I definitely DO NOT want to get swept up bouncing around the internet for five hours instead of reading.  This is always my downfall, grrrrr!
  • I'd quite like to watch at least two DVDs or movies this week as well.  I have so many DVDs sitting still in their packaging - from blockbuster movies to stand-up comedy - plus there's good stuff on telly that I can actually watch now without having to worry about what time I'm getting to bed!  It'll be a nice way to relax if I've had enough of reading for a while.
  • I'll be updating here on the blog, as well as on Twitter.  My handle is @BlondeBookGirl, and I'll be using the read-a-thon hashtag #boutofbooks.

Good luck to all my fellow Bout of Books-ers - and feel free to leave your links, comments, encouraging words or random book-addled thoughts at the bottom of any of my posts this week and I'll do my best to return the visit!


Books I've read from:  Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
Pages read today:  89
Books finished today:  SO CLOSE to the end, but... not tonight.  *yawns*
Running total:  0 books; 89 pages   
The menu:  Chocolate chip muffin, LOTS of coffee, praline corner yoghurt, Graze lemon and poppy seed cake, tea, apple, Domino's chicken strips and garlic pizza bread, Graze popcorn, coffee spiked with hazelnut Baileys
Today #insixwords:  Candy Crush is not read-a-thon friendly.
Notes:  Okay, so me and Candy Crush really need to part company for this read-a-thon.  I GOT STUCK ON A LEVEL OKAY IT WAS BUGGING ME.  Anyway, I didn't read anything from Opium, even though I would love to have that finished by Sunday, but I DID get within a few pages of the end of Darkly Dreaming Dexter.  Sorry Hanna and whoever else it was that didn't like it (Sarah? Alley?) but I LOVE THIS BOOK.  It's quick-fire and lyrical and twisted and so very, blackly, deliciously funny!  Definitely unique.  If I knew where the hell the next three books went (I bought them when I was out with Hanna) I'd read straight on...  I watched the third episode of season 1 tonight too, with popcorn and coffee.  Michael C. Hall is definitely my perfect Dexter, and I love the whole Cuban music thing going on.  I didn't realise Miami had such a strong Cuban culture (shhhh, British girl here) so that makes things even more interesting!  ROLL ON DAY 2.  What should I read next?!

Quote of the day:  "I did not seem to be thinking any slower or more strangely, and so far I'd had no conversations with invisible buddies that I was aware of.  Except in my sleep, of course - and did that really count?  Weren't we all crazy in our sleep?  What was sleep, after all, but the process by which we dumped our insanity into a dark subconscious pit and came out on the other side ready to eat cereal instead of the neighbor's children?" - Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Book Buying Spree Challenge
Hosted by Bookish Comforts

For this challenge we have to use The Book Depository to put together a shopping cart of books worth up to $100.  Of course, TBD changes according to where you are so I was shopping on the UK site, but I just used the currency drop-down box at the top to change to dollars.

In case you can't see very well, that's:

  • The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout ($11.24)
  • Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol by Iain Gately ($18.28)
  • Mousetrapped: A Year and a Bit in Orlando, Florida by Catherine Ryan Howard ($14.96)
  • Poison by Sarah Pinborough ($9.68)
  • Sea Legs: One Family's Year on the Ocean by Guy Grieve ($22.30)
  • The Hit by Melvin Burgess ($10.98)
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling ($9.76)
That adds up to $97.20, and worryingly only took me about five minutes to put together.  :)

How did you all get on during Day 1?  A slow start, or a mad dash away from the starting post?  Feel free to link up in the comments!


  1. Blog less, read more is something I will be aiming to do this week too. My updates are usually quite short but I do want to focus more on the actual books. Seeing as that's what it's all about anyway! It's too easy to get swept away with twitter and internet excitement.

    How are you going to pick what to read from that pile of possibles?! I would be a blithering mess trying to decide, they all look so good.

    Have a smashing week, fellow Ellie!

    1. Also, 'play Candy Crush less, read more' and 'watch YouTube videos less, read more'... etc etc ad infinitum. :)

      I went for Casino Royale in the end, but as usual it's a bit... technical... for my little mind. All these ciphers and Station Xs and Agent Ys and Project Zs to keep track of that mean NOTHING to me whatsoever. Hopefully it'll get good in a bit?? The cover's awesome though!

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird is possibly my favourite classic! Hope you'll get to reach all your goals, get to participate in some fun challenges/twitter chats. WE'LL BE HERE TO CHEER EACH OTHER ON =D

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

    1. It's really shameful that I haven't read it yet - especially having been a literature student and then a bookseller for years! Ooops. THIS YEAR WILL BE ITS YEAR. I've been saying that every year, BUT THIS TIME IT'S TRUE! :)

  3. Great reading stack. I love that you put your food choices with the books, because nothing is better than reading and eating! That is a really cute pig mug. Good luck with your reading!

    1. RIGHT? Reading and eating go together like... ummmm... chocolate sauce and ice cream. Food again, hehe. :P

  4. I am so with you on the lure of the internet. I log on to update my blog and find myself lost in the Bermuda triangle that is Twitter-Tumblr-Facebook-blogs. OK, that's a square, but never mind. I'm thinking this time I'll do two days in one post, as that seemed to work quite well in the Reading cram, and I don't have to write a lengthy account of a lazy day. How are you finding Dexter?

    1. I KNOW. Twitter is quite bad because it means skipping to things like HuffPo, and once you're THERE that's another half an hour gone. Also I end up with a million blog posts open across the top of my browser than get stressed about commenting on them all and end up waiting a week. Which is what happened this week. I'M SORRY I WILL VISIT THEM ALL!

      Dexter was amazing. I know other people didn't rate it that much but I LOVED the twisted humour and the fast, almost poetic rhythm of Dexter's inner thoughts. Brilliant.

  5. Go, Ellie!!

    I have a pretty busy weekend coming up and am still sort of trying to catch up a bit on all the blogging that I didn't do at the end of last year so I'm passing on this BoB (I know, who even am I?!) but I'll be cheering you all on from the sidelines!

    I can't wait to get to the Sarah Pinborough books (thank you again, lovely lady!) - they sound like perfect read-a-thon material so you should go with that and I can live vicariously :)

    Hope you have the BEST first week of freedom and get tons of pages read and (perhaps most importantly) tons of yummy snacks!

    1. I shall be sure to drop by now the read-a-thon's over and catch up on anything I missed! Sarah Pinborough's pretty high up my fiction TBR right now, I think I need something a bit different, a bit lighter, after a couple of heavy reads this week!

  6. Gah. Jon Richardson! That is all ;)

    Good luck with Bout of Books!

  7. I'm not doing BoB for the first time in ages. I kinda felt the return to work after so much time off was shock enough and I have to ease myself back into reading after spending all my time being loved up. Yup , I think I might not be single any more...just trying not to broadcast all over Internet in case it scares him off! He at leasts knows about the blogging and my weirdness :)

    Anyway, good luck with BoB and enjoy your time off!

    1. Awwww... a little romance is definitely a good excuse for staying away from the readathon this time! Hope going back to work isn't too much of a shock to the system, and that you're back in the reading zone soon... :)

  8. Yay, go Ellie! Your reading stack has some lovely books, I'm really interested in Sarah Pinborough's books so I'd love to hear what you think of Charm when you get around to it :)
    I was surprised at how quickly I managed to fill my basket for the book buying spree challenge too, probably a sign that I need to calm down with the book buying, haha! Also, I love your book photos, and now I really want some popcorn...
    Anyways, good luck with the rest of BoB, I love reading your updates! :) xx

    1. I'd never really seen these Sarah Pinborough books until I bought one for Charlotte for Christmas, but then I got one too and they're so beautiful! It's high up the TBR right now. :)

      I won't really be book buying for a while now - maybe the occasional Tesco buy if something finally comes out in paperback or something - so it was a fun exercise for me. I'm using the whole 'not working' thing as an excuse to save my money and read some of the hundreds of unread books already stacked haphazardly around my room!

      Hope you had a great week! :D


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