For those who have no idea what’s going on, see my recent Stating My Intentions post. As with most intentions, these ones are good, and I hope to participate in the Bout of Books 17 readathon as much as I can this week.
(Caveat: I have an interview Thursday morning so I’m very sure that Wednesday and Thursday will be spent panicking as opposed to reading, but we’ll see how I do.)
This is my updates post which I’ll (hopefully) be updating daily to chart my progress (or lack thereof) throughout the readathon. If I do the wonderful daily challenges, I’ll also post those here. Understood? Good. Let’s just go…
12.46pm – I’ve read precisely 0 words. As I was still awake at midnight I thought I might fit a bit of reading in before bed, but I scrolled through Chris Hemsworth’s Instagram instead. It happens to the best of us, ok? And then I fell asleep. So, all in all, not too successful so far today but I’m hoping to get some reading done this afternoon.
5.00pm – After hours of not knowing what to read I’ve finally picked up Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London. Only one chapter in at the moment but so far it’s funny, self-aware, and very satirical. We’ll see if that becomes annoying or not as the story progresses but I have high hopes.
12.00am – I made it to page 94 tonight. Everything has gone weird in this book but I expected it so I’m completely along for the ride. As far as day one has gone… significantly less reading than I would have liked but I got distracted by TV; Monday means University Challenge followed by Only Connect followed by Ripper Street and then I had an understandable urge to watch Peaky Blinders, oops! Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be more productive.
Today’s daily challenge comes courtesy of Lori at Writing My Own Fairy Tale and it is all about, as she aptly titled it, “the exciting/dreaded book-to-movie adaptations”. Whenever a film version of a book I enjoyed is announced there’s always a hint of trepidation mixed with excitement to finally see the story in a new medium and see what the directors and actors do with the narrative. Some disappoint, some impress, some pleasantly surprise… this challenge showcases that range of responses!
Favourite book-to-movie adaptation: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
This is one that causes more controversy than I thought but it involves Harry Potter and we all know how (lovingly) possessive people can be about that series. I personally adored what Alfonso Cuarón did with this book. I think it was completely different to the other films in the series (definitely a departure from the tone Chris Columbus had set in the first two films) but that came at the right time, when the series itself starts to take a slightly more sinister and adult tone. That’s why I love this film’s style so much. (I think the younger actors also started to uh… get a little better at acting, no shade but I mean come on.)
Most Improved book-to-movie adaptation: The Devil Wears Prada
I bloody love this film. If I’m bored, if I’m sad, if I want to watch a film but don’t know what film (and if I’ve already watched Avengers), then I’ll put The Devil Wears Prada on. Why? Because it’s hilarious. They managed to take a bog-standard chick lit book and make it great through the simple fact of the casting. Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Emily Blunt… (we don’t talk about Simon Baker, I’m not a fan) need I say more? Meryl Streep managed to make Miranda Priestley both terrifying and tragic and that, in itself, is impressive.
Least favourite book-to-movie adaptation: Eragon
I could have easily picked Twilight for this but we all know Twilight is mostly terrible anyway and, let’s be real, those actors were doing the best they could with the source material. By which I mean Kristen Stewart doesn’t deserve any hate for her portrayal of Bella Swan because she perfectly portrayed what she was given. Ditto Rob Pattinson.
But back to Eragon. Of course the book isn’t objectively the best thing in the world ever. I know this. I know it relies too heavily on tropes and, at times, flat out appropriates the previous source material from the fantasy genre. But what I also know is that 14-year old me was very disappointed by the mess that this film was. The tone was wrong, the jokes fell flat, the casting just seemed all wrong, there wasn’t much that could redeem it.
[Eragon was so bad it doesn’t even deserve a gif]
12.00pm – I read a little of Rivers of London this morning, emphasis on the “little”, but in my defence I was mildly distracted by today’s challenge. I love challenges that involve playing with words, it reminds me why I do love creative writing after all (even if I may not be the best at it).
5.00pm – I went to the library to photocopy some paperwork I needed for my interview on Thursday and popped into Asda afterwards where I ended up buying Finding Nemo on DVD. So… obviously… I’ve just spent the past hour and a half watching that. What? Was I meant to not immediately watch it again? Yeah, I need to stop watching TV and prioritise reading – story of my life.
Today’s daily challenge comes courtesy of The Nickster, hosted at Bout of Books, and it is a Mix and Match challenge. The instructions are simple: pick out some books, turn to a random page and select the first word on that page. Then try to make a sentence out of them – fun, right? Articles like “the” “and” etc. don’t count as a word for the sake of the selection but you can add them in to help the sentence actually make sense. Well, I tried my best and came up with two slight variations – both ended up quite ambiguous and abstract so make what you will of it!
11.00pm – For explanation of day three and four, see below…
I know, I know, what happened? Well, I didn’t have my laptop with me or my mind on books at all because I went over to Liverpool on Wednesday morning and didn’t get back until this evening so I’m retrospectively catching up with the challenges and updates, shhhh it’s totally allowed. I had a job interview this morning so although I did read a little bit on the train over there, Wednesday evening was spent distracting myself with some lovely company in the form of Liz and a trip to the cinema to see Finding Dory (second time for me, yes I still teared up, yes I still love it potentially more than the first one even) and then catching up with the new series of Great British Bake Off. Because we’re British… so it’s kind of a prerequisite to get inordinately emotionally invested in cake.
This morning was spent at said interview and then at the Trafford Centre which I’d never been to before! It was great and exactly as I expected though the amount of people and choice at the food court was something I hadn’t anticipated. We ended up at Spoons though, because we’re creatures of habit, clearly. And we took trips to HMV and Waterstones, which is always risky, but I think I was quite restrained in that I only bought 3 books and it was like £25’s worth of damage which, for me, is quite good.
Then I was packed back off on the train and finally we get to some reading – I’d left off my last reading stint at the Red Wedding so I knew what I was in for when it came to the next few chapters. I’m still going strong and really getting back into the storyline after the lull that was the first part of A Storm of Swords. I worked out that, even though I’m quite a few days behind my initial reading schedule for it, if I read 50ish pages a day, I’ll still finish by the end of August. After feeling like I couldn’t catch up, I’ve now reassessed and it doesn’t seem that undoable. We’ll see – and hopefully I can get some really good reading in with what’s left of the Bout of Books readathon.
Today’s challenge is hosted by The Book Junkie which is called Titles in the Tabloids. The rules are simple…
- Think about the book you are reading or one that you finished during Bout of Books 17
- Create a “tabloid” type headline. Make it fun, feel free to use sarcasm liberally. :)
So, obviously, since I’ve been reading A Storm of Swords, there are tons of salacious headline-worthy plot lines in the book I’m reading at the moment. Here are a couple I’ve came up with…
Bloody Massacre at Red Wedding:
Musicians Play On as Guests Are Slaughtered in Vengeance Pact
Kingsguard Kingslayer Loses Sword Hand: Lannister Lion’s Debt Paid?
As you can tell, I’ll never be much of a headline writer!
12.00pm – After catching up with yesterday’s updates, I’m optimistic that I can still make something of this readathon despite the mid-week break that I seem to have taken. I still have three whole days to read so clearly I should definitely make some more progress with A Storm of Swords Part 2 in the remaining time. Thus far today I’ve read 3 chapters which, considering I’m tired, isn’t bad.
5.00pm – I haven’t done anymore reading but I have been applying for a couple of jobs and some work experience so really those definitely should take priority in my life right now. I did find time to do today’s challenge though which, clearly, is also vitally important in my life, haha.
11.00pm – I read 1 chapter, maybe 2, I can’t remember, I’m tired and I actually feel sleepy now which is a miracle considering I usually feel suddenly wide awake whenever I try to go to sleep at a reasonable time. So I think I should put A Storm of Swords down and try to get an early-ish (well, for me) night.
Today’s challenge comes from Janey Canuck and it involves connecting music and books – fantastic! The suggestions are as follows:
- Rename your book with a song
- Give a lyric that sums up the plot of your book
- A song or album that is forever associated with a particular books in your mind
I can’t quite connect any single song to the craziness that is the A Song of Ice and Fire series so I have no musical connections to my current read. However, I recently read My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick and I now forever connect it with Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran’s Everything Has Changed (listen to the song here).
The cutesy tone of the song, the lyrics, even the warm and fuzzy feeling of the song’s music video, just everything about it makes me think of Samantha in her house spending years watching the Garrett family next door as a spectator to this unknowable bunch of rowdy siblings and then the change that happens in her life after Jase Garrett climbs up to speak to her one fateful night. Particularly these lyrics:
“All I knew this morning when I woke
Is I know something now, know something now, I didn’t before.
And all I’ve seen since eighteen hours ago
Is green eyes and freckles and your smile
In the back of my mind making me feel like
I just wanna know you better, know you better, know you better now
[…] ‘Cause all I know is we said, “Hello.”
And your eyes look like coming home
All I know is a simple name
Everything has changed
All I know is you held the door
You’ll be mine and I’ll be yours
All I know since yesterday is everything has changed”
4.00pm – Well, I’ve done the usual visiting my grandparents this morning and my aunt and uncle this afternoon and now I’m finally back home and it’s quiet so I could read. But, hey, what’s this? I’m actually online during a Bout of Books twitter chat? This is fate, I have to participate, so reading can wait a little while.
5.00pm – The Twitter chat was a lot of fun and now I have a tonne of book recommendations and some new book bloggers to check out. This is the first time I’d properly participated in such a thing and it makes me think I should really research and make a note of Twitter chat times because I know there are lots of them going on out there.
9.00pm – I’ll be honest, my parents have just headed out for a drink or two and I just want to watch some Big Fat Quiz of Everything in lieu of reading.
12.00pm – Bout of Books is nearly over again :( I’m a little disappointed with the amount I have read but I’m still very glad I participated a little in this readathon because it’s always fun to chat with other readers and bloggers and do the fun challenges along the way. Still, it isn’t over quite yet so we’ll see if I manage to squeeze some reading in this afternoon to end on a high note.
4.00pm – I’ve made it to page 353 of the second part of A Storm of Swords so I’m reasonably pleased with that progress so far this afternoon. Things are picking up again at King’s Landing so I’m definitely hooked enough to want to continue reading this for a couple more hours, thank goodness for that.
5.30pm – Aaand we’re at page 422 of my book which has, most importantly, finally brought me back on track of where I should be in my daily schedule for #readasoiaf. After being behind for so many days now, it’s something of a relief.
11.45pm – Well I think that is it for Bout of Books, I’m calling it a day since I reached page 500 of A Storm of Swords Part 2. I have little over 50 pages left of it but I think I should just call it a night and finish it tomorrow instead. I’m really glad that this readathon happened to fall when it did; it made me read chunks of A Storm of Swords that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Mostly it just keeps me accountable… which is never a bad thing! And I can safely say I thoroughly enjoyed this round of Bout of Books which, in the end, is all that matters.