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So I’ve decided to start this read-a-thon with Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief.
I’m 82 pages in and really like it so far.
Here’s my hour 1 meme
Where are you reading from today? My living room in Lakeshore,Ontario, Canada
3 facts about me 1. I’m a high school French teacher. 2. I’m 27 years old. 3. My Jack Russell terrier Charlie will be keeping me company today 🙂
How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? about 6 but I’ll probably be switching it up pretty often.
Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon? To finish at least 2 books maybe 3.
Any advice for first time readers? Save the easier reads for later when you’re getting tired. Switch up reading spots. Take mini breaks every hour or so to see what other readers are up to and how they’re doing.

And now…back to The Book Thief

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Books read: 1.75
Currently reading: Finishing Club Dead by Charlaine Harris
Pages read since last post: 103
Total pages read:766
Total reading time: 505 minutes

Have about 75 pages left of this book. I never thought that I’d be into novels about vampires (I tried reading Twilight, just couldn’t get through it!) but these ones have sucked me in (hahaha). Ok, I’m making bad jokes so I must be getting tired. I might need to take a reading break for a bit after I finish this book to read other readathon participants’ blogs to get me motivated. For the 2nd half of the readathon I’ve got my next Agatha Christie mystery. After that, I might choose some chicklit (not much thinking involved) to make it through the rest of the readathon. I’m already doing better I did in April not nearly as many distractions as last time. Anyway here I go into hour 13. Wish me luck

I came home from work yesterday to a lovely surprise. My book order from Amazon was delivered. Wahoo! I have at least 80 books that I own and haven’t read yet but I bought a new bookshelf last month and had some extra room. You can’t have empty bookshelves ;). It just looks wrong.

So what came?
1. Agatha Christie’s The Mystery of the Blue Train
– This one is for my Poirot challenge (self-challenge) to read all of the Poirot books in order of publication.
2. Sookie Stackhouse Box Set (8) by Charlaine Harris
-I can’t watch the show True Blood on HBO (too gory) but I enjoyed the first book in the series so I thought I’d find out what happens next. I got the entire box set for $43.75! The store price is $72.92. Great deal!
3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
-I’ve heard so much about this book and put it on my 100 novels list that I have for the Fill in the Gaps Project. (Make a list of 100 books you’ve been meaning to read and read 75 of them in 5 years)
4. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (2009 Booker Prize Winner)
-Historical fiction, prize winner, 50% off on amazon.ca

I plan on finishing at least 2 during the read-a-thon this weekend. Should be fun!

Alright, I admit it. I really like the idea of a blog but I’m not super motivated to keep it up. I guess that I just don’t think that my opinions or reviews are worth reading all the time. In my head, I think “no one cares what you’re reading right now or how what you think about it, or even what’s going on in your life.” But right now I have to work with the “baby steps” mentality. I’m going to set a goal of updating the blog at least once a week. That’s manageable right?

So about the books I’ve read lately. I’m up to 46 for the year (my goal was an average 1 book a week for the year so 52 books this year). I’m doing alright I think. Hopefully I can pass this goal though.

Last week I finished Lisa Kleypas’ newest historical (romance) Tempt me at Twilight the 3rd in her Hathaway series. I liked it more than the 2nd in the series but not as much as the 1st book.

The week before that, I finished Emile Zola’s The Drinking Den. It was really well-written and easy to read but soooo depressing (that’s why I chose something lighter to follow this book :). This is the 7th book of Zola’s Rougon-Macquart series. There are 20 novels in this series that follows the life of a fictional family during the Second French Empire. I really wanted to read them in order but it’s been really difficult to find a copy of the first novel in translation. I could read it in the original French but I have a feeling I would not get the full effect of the story. (Plus, I don’t know if you noticed from the frequency of my posts, but I’m a bit lazy). So far, I think only about half of the books in the series are translated. Anyways, this story tells us what happens to Gervaise Macquart after she leaves her family (in the first novel of the series) and runs away to Paris with her lover to work as a washerwoman. I had a hard time with her character. At times, I found myself cheering for her and her strong will and determination but then I got so frustrated with the way she just let her husband and his family walk all over her. She seemed that she was in such control and then eventually just let it all slip away. I was uneasy with the way it ended. It does not paint a pretty picture of life in Paris for the lower classes. But then again, Zola is known for that. I’m going to read Zola’s Nana sometime soon as well as Germinal and The Beast Within. All of these novels feature Gervaise’s children. I have a feeling that their future will probably be pretty bleak also. You have to be in a certain mood to read these books (otherwise it would be easy to get depressed reading them).

In other news, I’ve decided to do the 24 Hour Read-a-thon again. It’s this Saturday and Sunday. I did the last one in April and had a blast. It’s a good chance to cross some books of my TBR list. I have no other plans for the weekend so I can fully commit to it this time around. So I’ll definitely be posting again this Saturday.

So. Now that school’s out for the summer I’ve found that I’ve been able to devote more of my time to reading. It’s been about a week and a half since I’ve been off of work and I’ve read/finished 4 books.
1. Agatha Christie’s Poirot Investigates a set of short mystery stories involving Christie’s famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. This is Christie’s 3 Poirot novel. I’m trying to read all of the Poirot books in order of publication. I was inspired to do this from the blog The Agatha Project. (Although it hasn’t been updated in a while). It was a quick read but not nearly as satisfying as her full novels usually are. The characters are well flushed out but you don’t get much time to identify with or sympathize with them. Next up for this project is The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. This will be a re-read for me as I read this one last year. I still remember who the murderer is so it will be interesting to see all of the clues that I missed the first time around.
2. Starring the Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin. This series was one of my favorites as a kid. I just sort of picked it up for old time sake. The members of the club and some of the kids that they babysit are in the SMS production of Peter Pan and we get to see the production from all of the club members’ points of view. Pretty quick read.
3. Jane Boleyn: The True Story of the Infamous Lady Rochford by Julia Fox. I loved this non-fiction book. I’ve really been into stories (both fiction and non-fiction) set in 16th century Britain. This book tells the story of Jane Parker, who married George Boleyn, Anne’s brother. I really learned a lot from this book. This woman is often portrayed in history as the jealous wife who’s testimony sent Anne and George to the scaffold. When, in reality, her life depended on those two remaining alive. Just when she is able to pick up the pieces of her life and is accepted back into the King’s favor, becoming a lady in waiting for Henry’s next 3 wives, it all falls apart for her again when she serves the doomed Katherine Howard. Anyway, Jane Boleyn seems extremely unsympathetic (especially if you’ve read or seen The Other Boleyn Girl), but this book really sheds light on the obstacles she had to overcome and I admired her for it.
4. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I’m not sure what I expected when I sat down to read this one. I knew that the movie came out last week and that EVERYONE that I know raved about how amazing this book is. I’m not sure though. I read it. I liked it. But I didn’t cry about it or become incensed about how it ended. I sympathized with the characters, the subject (medical emancipation of a minor) was compelling but I don’t know. I guess I thought that it would be more gripping and touching than it was. Maybe I’ve become a bit more jaded with my reading. I am an extremely sensitive person. I cry pretty easily. But it’s been a while since a book really made me cry. I think after the last month that I had that I needed a good cry and the fact that this book didn’t do it for me made me a little harder on it than it deserves. At least, now I can cross this category off for the What’s in a Name challenge. So it wasn’t a waste.
This is what I’m currently working on:
1. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (just started Tuesday, part of my Fill in the Gaps 100 Project).
2. The Serpent’s Tale by Ariana Franklin (loved Mistress of the Art of Death, this is her second novel).
3. What Happens in London by Julia Quinn (the newest book from my favorite historical romance author).

I’ll try to update more often now that I have more time. And, if anyone knows any good crying novels that aren’t too cheesy please leave some suggestions!

Ok so, as much as I really like Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone, it’s really going slowly. Partly because I took a break in the middle to read a different book. I’m a bit over half finished. I’ve reached the narrative of Matthew Bruff. I really like the way the story is divided between different narrators. Getting first hand point of views from different characters really make the story more believable. I hope to be finished by the middle of next week.

Meanwhile, I read Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Links in less than 2 days. I find that every time I read one of her books I’m so sure that I know who the murderer is…and then find out that I wasn’t even close. This time, I made my hypothesis and just when the book seemed to be legitimizing my theory, then the story turned. It lead me to believe that I was right and then dashed all of my hopes. I should have realized I was wrong when Poirot’s friend Hastings was supporting my theory, he rarely gets it right the first time. But I loved that I was wrong. I find now that if I can guess who the culprit in a mystery is, I end up not thinking that the book is not as good. I’m not really in the mood to give a full recap of the novel though. I have a hard time explaining stories without giving away the ending.

Anyway, off to the exciting conclusion of The Moonstone.

I’m ashamed to say that I did very little reading last week. Besides my “easy-read” Babysitters’ Club Books, I did start 2 new books. One non-fiction: Alison Weir’s Children of England, a novel about King Henry VIII’s heirs (Edward, Lady Jane Grey, Mary, and Elizabeth). I really enjoy the way Weir writes. It doesn’t really feel like non-fiction at all (maybe that’s why her historical fiction novels are so good).
The other book I started was Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone which, along with being one of my Fill in the Gaps Project books, has been on my TBR pile for at least 3 years. I’ve read his Woman in White about 2 years ago and thought it was really well written so I really don’t know why it’s taken this long for me to start The Moonstone. I’m only about 3 chapters into it but so far, I like what I’m reading. I’ll keep you posted!