Tome Topple 7 | Sign Up & TBR

Welcome one and all to, you guessed it from the title, a sign-up post for Tome Topple. The seventh round of Tome Topple is taking place from the stroke of midnight on 16th November and runs through until 11:59 pm on 29th November.

For those who don’t know, Tome Topple is fortnight-long readathon in which the goal is to focus on reading “tomes”, i.e. books of 500 pages (or so) in length. It was created by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes and she now has a whole gang of co-hosts to help run the readathon and keep us all enthused and reading. For extra info, check out the readathon’s Twitter account or the Goodreads group.

If you’ve been a reader of the blog for a while, you may have seen that I’ve participated in previous Tome Topple rounds, to varying degrees of “success”, but I’ve always gave it my best shot. This round will prove to be no exception since I’ll be away from home for a few days at the start of the readathon so I’m not sure how my reading will be affected by that. This does mean I’ll be sitting on a couple of train journeys though so maybe the travel will turn out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise for Tome Topple? We shall see!

As ever, there are the reading challenges to help shape your TBR. I’m not sure whether I’ll focus on these but in the interests of having a bit of structure to the whole thing, I’ve picked out a couple of them to try to fulfil with my reading.

Reading Challenges

  1. Read more than 1 tome
  2. Read a graphic novel (still over 500 pages!) – I won’t be doing this one, I never do!
  3. Read a tome that is part of a series
  4. Buddy read a tome
  5. Read an adult novel

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Challenges: 1/4/5
This one was on my Disney holiday TBR but Disney World proved to be far too distracting and I ended up only just almost finishing one book which was decidedly not this one. Therefore, it was on my mind to pick it up anyway, and now that Tome Topple is here and this book definitely counts as a tome, it seems almost fortuitous. I’ve heard that this is a book you really need to focus on so it would probably be a good idea to only be reading one book at a time when I read this – I tend to try to do that during Tome Topple so this is the perfect time to give it a go.

The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman

Challenges: 1/3
I absolutely loved the first book in the series, The Dark Days Club, because it’s basically a Jane Austen-esque Regency society story but with added demons. The heroine, Lady Helen, is basically a demon hunter and that’s all kinds of MY JAM so I adore this series. The author, Alison Goodman, was also super lovely on Twitter when I gushed about the book so I’m automatically even more endeared to this series. I really need to pick up this second book as its sequel aka the third in the trilogy (?), comes out in November.

So, that’s it, that’s my Tome Topple TBR. I’m trying to keep it relatively simple and manageable (for once). Are you taking part in the readathon? What are you planning to read? Let me know and we can cheer each other on!


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Victober 2018 | Sign Up & TBR

Hello lovely people! Can you believe that next week it will be October?? I know, I know, take a minute to really let that sink in – the tenth month of the year is dawning. Finished reeling from that realisation? No? Me neither, but let’s distract ourselves from the horror of time passing too quickly by talking about a month-long readathon that will be returning in October, namely Victober! As it says on the tin, Victober is the month of reading (you guessed it) Victorian literature, that is any book written or published by British or Irish authors (or a writer living in Britain or Ireland) between the years of 1837 to 1901.

If you want to know more about the readathon, please do take a look at the Booktube channels of the hosts – Katie (Books and Things), Kate (Kate Howe), Lucy (Lucy the Reader), and Ange (Beyond the Pages) – or visit the Goodreads group for more information!

I’ve previously “participated” in Victober (you’ll see what I mean), back in 2016 and in 2017, but I didn’t do the crucial thing of actually finishing any of the books I wholeheartedly pledged to read. This year will be different, this year I swear I will actually finish what I set out to read, this year I will combine Victober with knocking a couple of books off my Classics Club list (and participate in the #CCdare too) and hopefully this ‘kill two birds with one stone’ approach will persuade me to stick with it. Also, ‘third times a charm’ and all that rot? Let’s jump straight into taking a look at the challenges and my TBR whilst we’re being so optimistic about how well this is going to go this year!

Challenges

  1. Ange’s challenge: Read a book by one of the hosts’ favourite Victorian authors (Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell or Thomas Hardy).
  2. Kate’s challenge: Read a Victorian book with a proper noun (i.e., a place name or person’s name) in the title .
  3. Katie’s challenge: Read a book from the first ten years of the Victorian period and/or a book from the last ten years of the Victorian period (i.e., 1837-1847 or 1891-1901).
  4. Lucy’s challenge: Read a Victorian book written by a woman anonymously or under a pseudonym.
  5. General challenge: Read a Victorian book and watch a screen adaptation of it.
  6. Group readalong: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

TBR

  1. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell [challenges 1/6]
    Not only is this the group readalong book and fulfils Ange’s challenge to read some Gaskell, it’s also on my Classics Club TBR and will qualify for the CC Dare because it is well and truly a book that “scares me” due to its massive size and how much I’m expecting to love it given how much I enjoyed North and South – I so hope it doesn’t prove disappointing!
  2. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell [challenges 1/2/5]
    This is on my Classics Club TBR too! I got like 60 pages through it a couple of months ago but then put it down for more action-packed reads, so I never did finish it. I was actually really enjoying it so I need to get back onto it and start from the beginning and finish it this time. Plus, I really want to watch the miniseries of it (and bought the DVD this summer with the intention of doing just that) so I shall take these Victober challenges as a sign that it’s meant to be.
  3. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde [challenges 3/5]
    I have a collection of Oscar Wilde’s plays as I had to read one of them (I can’t for the life of me remember which one, possibly A Woman of No Importance) back in first year of university. I’m still yet to read the other plays in the collection but I do want to give it a go so I’ll plump for Wilde’s most famous, I think. If all goes wrong with Cranford I could also watch a screen adaptation of this play!
  4. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte [challenges 2/3/4]
    I very much enjoyed Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall which (rightfully) deserves all the praise it gets, in fact I vastly preferred Anne’s novel to Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights so I’m hoping her debut will be the same. I’ve just downloaded the audiobook of this, as read by Emilia Fox (whose voice is SO compelling), so hopefully I’ll be able to make my way through this as it fulfils quite a few challenges!

victober2018.png

I’m unlikely to keep an updates post up-to-date on here for a whole month’s worth of reading so I won’t even pretend like I will – however, I likely will be updating a Twitter thread so please do follow me on Twitter and say hello if you’re also participating and we can cheer each other on with Victober!


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Bout of Books 23 | Sign Up & TBR

Hola all, coming at you today with a sign up and TBR post for yet another readathon. I am obviously still participating in the month-long NEWTs Readathon, but it just so happens that the next round of Bout of Books is this week and it would be rude to neglect one in favour of the other, so I guess this TBR also functions as an idea of the books I hope to read this week for my NEWTs!

For those unaware of the delight that is the Bout of Books readathon, the organisers have a handy blurb available to clue you in:

bob23The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 20th and runs through Sunday, August 26th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 23 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I don’t have much planned for this week and though I’m very sure work will be quite busy, my social engagements are next to non-existent, which makes for good quality reading time. If nothing else, Bout of Books is well and truly low-key and low pressure and I like that kind of readathon, I can get onboard with that. So let’s take a look at my TBR, shall we?

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Marvel-A-Thon | Wrap Up

Welcome all – how are we on this lovely Sunday afternoon? It’s July. Ju-ly. Can you believe it? I can’t. If it wasn’t for the strangely seasonal and sunny weather we’ve been enjoying in the UK for the first time in as long as I can remember, I wouldn’t believe it was July. However, the fact it’s now 1st July means we say goodbye to the month-long Marvel-A-Thon readathon which has been running all throughout June.

(If you have NO IDEA what I’m talking about, please pop over to my Sign Up & TBR post first because I explain about the readathon and its challenges over there.)

I did surprisingly well during the Marvel-A-Thon – I even kept up to date using my tried and tested method of the Twitter updates thread. More importantly, I was smart about saving my “skips” in the earlier rounds, utilising the buddy read system, and taking tactical “buddy give/gain” opportunities when they came round. So I’m REALLY pleased with the challenges I managed to read for during the readathon and I LOVED the entire concept of the readathon so I really hope Jami runs more (or similar) readathons in the future too. For now, though, let’s look at how I did in more detail…

marvelathon_progress2

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Tome Topple 6 | Sign Up & TBR

If you’ve been around the blog for any length of time, you will have discerned that I’m quite a fan of a readathon and I’m even more so a fan of Tome Topple as it ditches the frenzied nature of many readathons to instead focus on the longer, weightier books on your TBR. The last Tome Topple round I participated in was back in August 2017 and it has been very much missed by me so I was delighted to see Sam was bringing it back for the end of June.

For those who don’t know, Tome Topple is fortnight-long readathon in which the goal is to focus on reading “tomes”, i.e. books of 500 pages (or so) in length. It was created by Sam from the brilliant Thoughts on Tomes but she now has a whole gang of co-hosts to help run the readathon and keep us all enthused and reading. This round, round 6, will be taking place from 12:00am in your timezone on 29th June until 11:59pm on 12th July. There are also some reading challenges which you can use to help shape your TBR but I’ve mostly ignored these for this round… you’ll see why soon so I don’t think it’s too much of a problem. For even more info, you can check out the readathon’s Twitter page or see Sam’s announcement video. Otherwise, let’s take a look at what I plan to read…

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

I have an embarrassing confession: I was actually reading War and Peace during the last Tome Topple (see my Tome Topple #4 TBR for the shameful evidence), and yet I still haven’t finished it months later. At the time, I was taking part in Laura from Reading In Bed‘s summer readalong called the War and Peace Newbies Readalong (I did a whole series of summary posts of what I did read, for anyone curious) but I fell off the wagon when I went on holiday near the end so I never finished the book. And then I lost all momentum I gained by reading it along with other people. And here we are now, practically a year later, and I still haven’t managed to finish this bloody thing. I have something like 300ish pages of it left (out of 1500!) but I think we can all agree that Tome Topple would be the perfect time to finally finish off this tome, especially since I want to join in with Laura’s big summer readalong this year too.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Remember that big summer readalong I said Laura was doing? Yeah, The Count of Monte Cristo is the book she chose for this year, and I’m actually really excited to join in and pick it up, as it would have otherwise taken me years to do so off my own back. The readalong starts on 2nd July, so that crosses over with quite a large portion of Tome Topple as well. I know next to nothing about this book – something about a wrongfully imprisoned man who gets out of jail and comes into money and then sets about to get revenge on those who accused him? (That sounds like the start of Les Misérables so is this just something that French authors like writing about? I mean, admittedly Valjean goes on more of the redemption arc than the revenge arc but…) Digression aside, I’m really excited to take part in another chunky book readalong (I posted my sign-up post last night, if you missed it) and I hope to keep up with fun weekly posts summarising what I’ve read, like I did for War and Peace, but maybe this time I’ll actually finish the book?

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

I know what you’re thinking, Emma, two books is definitely enough. However, since neither of these books will be consumed in their entirety in Tome Topple, I’d feel deceitful if I didn’t include on this TBR a tome I was intending to read cover-to-cover during the course of the readathon itself. So here we are, and here I am thinking rather optimistically that I’m going to read A Reaper at the Gates, the third book in the Ember Quartet, by Sabaa Tahir. I’ve recently re-read An Ember in the Ashes, and am in the midst of finally getting around to A Torch Against the Night. Providing I finish that second book by the time Tome Topple starts, I would like to then maintain that momentum with this series and move straight onto the newly released third book. I’m slightly fudging the rules since it’s not quite 500 pages but what’s 10-20 pages here and there between friends? I’ll probably be listening to this on audiobook too so I’m not going to worry myself over that, the book is going to be dramatic and heart-wrenching enough, I’d imagine.

So, that’s it, that’s my (sort of) Tome Topple TBR. As you can see, I’ve paid little attention to the challenges or even to the rules of the readathon (they’re more guidelines than actual rules, to paraphrase Captain Barbossa), but I’m going to take part and read some tomes all the same. Are you taking part in the readathon? What are you planning to read? Let me know below and we can cheer each other on during Tome Topple!


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Marvel-A-Thon | Progress Report

Well folks, we’ve reached the mid-way point (or thereabouts) for the Marvel-A-Thon readathon so I thought I’d do an updates post, a progress report if you will, to hold me accountable for what I said I’d read and to also try to reassure me that I have read a lot, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now. Of course, I’ve been doing my usual Twitter updates thread for the readathon but I figured it might be nice to sit down and do a slightly more lengthy post explaining what I’ve achieved so far and why I skipped some challenges etc.

(If you have NO IDEA what I’m talking about, please pop over to my Sign Up & TBR post first because I explain about the readathon and its challenges over there.)

marvelathon_progress

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Marvel-A-Thon | Sign Up & TBR

I know what you’re thinking – Emma, didn’t you just post a monthly June TBR? Why yes, astute reader, I did… but then I learnt from Kelly that the Marvel-A-Thon readathon was a Thing that was happening, and pretty much any TBR plans I had were kicked to the kerb because I love the MCU. I decided it would be pretty poor form to bypass the opportunity to take part in a Marvel-themed reading challenge… so here we are with another TBR post in the space of a few days. But it’s ok, everyone loves a TBR, right? Right!

If you haven’t heard about the Marvel-A-Thon, let me explain: it’s run by Jamieson of Jamishelves and you should pop over to her blog to see the official announcement post with all the relevant details. Put simply, it runs from midnight on 1st June until midnight of 1st July and there are 21 MCU-based reading prompts to try to read books for. These challenges are split into the Phases of the MCU and you must complete a phase before moving onto the next. You’re allowed two skips per phase, and you can carry over any skips you didn’t use in a previous phase. Also, if you buddy read something with a reading pal then you can also ‘give’ one of your reads to your buddy, and vice versa. E.g. if you buddy read something for ‘Hulk’ you can give your buddy the ‘Thor’ challenge, and get the ‘Avengers’ challenge read from them – which is what myself and my buddy are probably going to do!

Sound fun? You in? Well, Avengers Assemble and let’s look at the challenges and what I’ll be reading for them:

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Bout of Books 22 | Sign Up & TBR

Oh, look, Emma is back armed with nothing but good intentions and a TBR to foolishly try to participate in yet another readathon even though she kind of sucks at them in terms of productivity! Yep, it’s time for another round of Bout of Books, everyone’s favourite low-key readathon!

For those unaware of the delight that is the Bout of Books readathon, the organisers have a handy blurb available to clue you in:

bob22The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 14th and runs through Sunday, May 20th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 22 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

So this coming week I will be participating in Bout of Books 22 to the best of my ability. I don’t have too much planned, aside from going to see a comedy gig on Friday night, so I should be able to get some much-needed reading time in after work and (especially) at the weekend. Often with Bout of Books, I end up being really quite overly ambitious with my TBR (for proof: see my previous Bout of Books Sign Up & TBR), and my May TBR is pretty damn optimistic already, so I have tried to be conservative and realistic with what I can achieve this time round when constructing my TBR for the readathon. Without further ado, let’s take a look at it…

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Spring Cosy Reading Night | TBR

Hello, folks! I come to you today with a tentative TBR for the upcoming Cosy Reading Night. This is the Spring round of the Cosy Reading Night and will take place during the hours of 7:00-10:00pm GMT on Friday 20th April and I’m really looking forward to going into my weekend by dedicating an evening to getting cosy with a book and a cup of tea. But I’m getting ahead of myself so let me explain for those unaware: Cosy Reading Nights are an evening dedicated to snacks and reading, hosted by the lovely Lauren from Laurenandthebooks from YouTube. You can check out her announcement video here.

This Cosy Reading night comes handily during the OWLs Readathon that I’m currently taking part in, so I’m hoping it will provide a much-needed boost to my reading progress for that. I don’t have huge ambitions for this Cosy Reading Night, I just thought I’ll probably be reading anyway so I might as well make the most of it and participate in this little event. It will make me feel more accountable/less susceptible to getting distracted by watching old episodes of The Great British Bake Off on Netflix (the struggle is real, guys, seriously). So let’s have a gander at what books I plan to read on Friday night, shall we?

TBR

  1. Saga Volume 8 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  2. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
  3. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

 

 

As you can see, I’m aiming fairly low by choosing to put on my TBR two graphic novels and a book I’ve already started. In fact, it might get to Friday with me already having finished The Dark Days Club and, if that’s the case, I’ll be starting another book from my OWLs Readathon TBR. Regardless of how much (or how little) I end up reading, I’ll be sure to get cosy with a book and my cup of tea which, let’s face it, are the minimum requirements to participate in this lovely low-key readathon.

Are you joining in with the Cosy Reading Night on Friday? Have you participated in a Cosy Reading Night before? Let me know in the comments!


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OWLs Readathon | Progress Report

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I am currently taking part in the OWLs Readathon run by Gintare of Book Roast. I found out about the readathon a few days into it so I didn’t have time to post a proper TBR on here, but I did make a Twitter thread which I’ve been updating periodically with my reading progress throughout the readathon. However, I thought it might be nice, now we’re at the halfway stage of two weeks, to do a more official progress report of sorts so both you (and I) can see where I’m up to and what I have left to read for the remaining two weeks of the readathon. You in? Great, let’s begin…

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