Queer Weekend(-athon) and other reads.

Towards the end of March (2020), I came across the Queer Lit Readathon that happens every six months. This is a readathon that is meant to encourage reads to read LGBTQ+ books (i.e. queer books). I decided to participate because I had the time to fit in a couple books at the end of the month.

I choose to read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, and Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. The audiobooks add up to ~40 hrs (20 hrs at 2x speed). It was a very ambitious goal. Going in, I managed to read the first two books (Dorian Gray and Song of Achilles) on Saturday, but by the time Sunday came around, I was distracted by Covid-19 stress and did not want to read. Therefore, I decided not to force myself to read Middlesex.

I will finish Middlesex this month (April 2020)! Below I’ll briefly discuss my thoughts on each book. However, I am also going to talk about one more book as well. I was granted an e-ARC of Female Husbands: a Trans History by Jen Manion which is published today (April 1st, 2020). I decided to include it’s review with this reathathon wrap up because it too is queer related and was read right after the readathon.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

This is a historical fiction book about an androgynous person born with both sexes. He is raised as a girl until he eventually comes out as a man, and the book follows his fictionalized life starting with his parents. I started this on track to finish, and I was actually enjoying it. I thought the narrator was fantastic; he was enthusiastic and engaging. I just wasn’t in the mood to read, so I decided to hold off on finishing this book until after the readathon. I intend to finish it this month.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

This is a classic horror or psychological book about a main named Dorian. He is young and loved by many for his beauty. We first learn just how enthralling he is at the start of the book when he is painted by a famous (?) artist who becomes enamored with him. The trick is bad things seem to happen to people around Dorian. It isn’t exactly him doing it, but it is a result of his own arrogance and self absorption. This begins to be reflected by the painting that was made of him. What unfolds is a dark and creepy tale.

I enjoyed this, but it wasn’t as scary as I was hoping. It also wasn’t the level of queerness I was hoping for; it was much more subtle. Perhaps the only reason it didn’t do better was the fact that it’s a classic, and they aren’t as effective for me as more modern works.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I loved this book. It was just as beautifully told as Madeline Miller’s book Circe but with even more weight to it. Last year I read several Greek mythology retellings, among those was Circe. I enjoyed each of them, but they definitely did not look fondly on Achilles as a person or character. Nevertheless, Miller is able to write a story that convinces me that all of those past stories can be true, but hidden behind them, is still this man who is fundamentally good. Granted, part of that means seeing Achilles through the eyes of Patroclus, his friend and lover. This story is entirely from his perspective and is their story.

It was the queer side of the story that really resonated with me most of all. Circe was great all around, but it never hit me at my core, not like the Song of Achilles. I loved it and I highly recommend it.

Female Husbands: a Trans History by Jen Manion

This book was provided by NetGalley for a fair and honest review.

This book is not for me. It is a very detailed account of people in history who challenge preconceived assumptions on gender, with a focus on people considered “women” dressing and living as men. This isn’t what I was expecting as a trans history, but it is not my place as cisgender man to decide what that classification is. My issue with this book isn’t what it has to say, but with how it is said. This is a very dense and dry book. I think it is probably a great academic reference, but it it is not a good book for me.

I have DNFed this book at 45%. I normally would make a point to push through a book that has been provided for review, but it just wasn’t worth it because I wasn’t retaining the information. It is clear by the other reviews, that it works great for plenty of other people, so you may still get something out of it!

I also don’t consider this read a complete waste. Upon reading other reviews, there were a few other books of similar subject that I will be looking into.

Blackathon Book Tag (and Challenge)

The Blackathon Book Tag is a tag created by Jesse at Bowties and Books where you talk about seven books, one of each of the following tags:

  1. Mirror Image: Cover recreation or homage
  2. Slept On: a book no one talks about
  3. Call and Response: A Community Recommendation
  4. #BlackBoyJoy: A lighthearted comfort read
  5. #BlackGirlMagic: SFF with a black protagonist
  6. POSE: Black LGBTQIA+ author or character
  7. My Kitchen: Book covering black mental health and/or disability

This was created for YouTube, but I’ve decided to do a blog post for it as well. Part of the reason I am doing that is because I also used this as my own reading challenge/readathon. The idea is you would pick a book to satisfy each challenge above, and I just used that as the framework for a readathon. Where instead of talking about books I had already read, I choose books too read that I thought would fit.

My goal was to read these 7 books over the course of one week. That didn’t actually happen. My initial plan ended up spanning ~2.5 weeks, and it led to me falling behind in my monthly reading plans. However, I still pushed through and finished the challenge. Below I’ll give a brief review of each book (rather than make a unique post for each.

Mirror Image: Cover recreation or homage

Lagoon was the first novel I read by Nnedi Okorafor, and I absolute loved it. This is the story of an alien visiting Earth in Legos Nigeria. The story was a unique take on the alien invasion/contact idea. What’s more, Okorafor makes use of the Nigerian culture to provide a compelling backstory outside of the main plot. Part of that was the connection of spirituality between our characters, the alien, and life itself. Sometimes, religion can be heavy handed in science fiction, but I thought it was handled well here.

Really the only flaws here was I didn’t absolutely love the characters. It wasn’t a major issue, but some of them were one dimensional. To be clear, I loved the book overall, and I highly recommend it.

Rating Break Down

Writing Style: 9/10, Plot: 8/10, Characters: 8/10, Ending: 9/10, Engagement: 8/10, Enjoyment: 8/10, Comprehension: 8/10, Pacing: 7/10, Desire to Reread: 3/10, Special: 3/10, Calculated Rating: 3.78/5
Final Rating: 4/5

Slept On: a book no one talks about

Let’s Play White was one of my most anticipated books of 2020. It is a collection of horror short stories that explore race in a variety of different ways. That was the best part of this collection, but even with that new look a lot of these stories still felt unoriginal. What’s worse, most of them weren’t scary or creepy (with a couple exceptions). Most of them were just fine.

You might still consider reading this because I don’t think enough horror stories cover the topic of race. Plus, there are good stories, and those that aren’t so good aren’t terrible. I will still be keeping an eye out for more works by Burke because I’m hopeful that maybe her next work might be more consistent throughout.

Rating Break Down

Writing Style: 7/10, Plot: 7/10, Characters: 7/10, Ending: 6/10, Engagement: 7/10, Enjoyment: 7/10, Comprehension: 9/10, Pacing: 7/10, Desire to Reread: 0/10, Special: 0/10, Calculated Rating: 3.345/5

Final Rating: 3.5/5

Call and Response: A Community Recommendation

I loved this book. When I first heard about this concept I was very intrigued. During the Jim Crow (1900’s) thousands (10s?) of black Americans migrated from the south to the north and west to escape segregation and racism. This is a story that does not get told. It is one of (if not the biggest?) migration of Americans in our history, yet it is ignored in our history classes.

That is probably because it reflects on the racism in this time and the harm it and segregation had on black Americans. Wilkerson follows 3 different families as she details these travels. They are meant to represent the different types of people that migrated and the experience they each had. I thought that approach worked really well. We got a diversity of views on how this migration can and did effect families, but it also gave us a few individuals to connect to directly to really relate.

The result is a compelling and fascinating read that I highly recommend to everyone.

Rating Break Down

Writing Style: 10/10, Content: 10/10, Structure: 9/10, Summary: 9/10, Engagement: 8/10, Enjoyment: 8/10, Comprehension: 10/10, Pacing: 8/10, Desire to Reread: 10/10, Special: 10/10, Calculated Rating: 4.6/5
Final Rating: 4.5/5

#BlackBoyJoy: A lighthearted comfort read

Sadly, this was a very disappointment read. Angelou’s first two memoirs were poetic and moving, but her third memoir loses a lot of the charm. Her writing didn’t feel as poetic. What’s more, the story lacked much substance. I don’t want to dismiss her experience; she is still a single black mother trying to make a life for her and her son. However, the story focuses less on her relationship with her son than on a period of her life where she joins a traveling dance act.

It builds nicely on the last memoir where she explores her love of dancing, and the actual main story isn’t that bad. The issues I had was that it was still bland, and the ending felt abrupt. It ends with her leaving the job to return to her son. However, she never really touches on her feelings of being away. It felt like an excuse to change the story. It seems like the kind of thing that should be a more overarching theme. If it was there, clearly it didn’t stand out as a big part of the story.

There are still 3-4 more memoirs in her series, and from what I’ve read, this one is her worst. I’m hopeful for a return to her poetic style in books to come.

#BlackGirlMagic: SFF with a black protagonist

In the first book in Okorafor’s Binti trilogy of novellas, a Nigerian women leaves her home to explore what the galaxy has to offer. I really like this book. Okorafor is a creative science fiction writer who does a great job writing science fiction in a way that is accessible to pretty much anyone. Whats more, she’s written a character that is equal parts intelligent and curious. she makes for a fantastic and strong female protagonist. I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series (and her books outside it!).

Rating Break Down
Writing Style: 9/10, Plot: 8/10, Characters: 8/10, Ending: 8/10, Engagement: 10/10, Enjoyment: 9/10, Comprehension: 8/10, Pacing: 8/10, Desire to Reread: 4/10, Special: 0/10, Calculated Rating: 3.91/5, Final Rating: 4/5
Note, each rating is weighted based on personal importance to calculate a final score that is rounded to the nearest half.

POSE: Black LGBTQIA+ author or character

This is a classic novel about a young black women who grew up with an abusive father then husband. As she slowly grows to learn more about herself she falls in love with anther women her husband and her are taking care of. It was a poignant narrative from a unique perspective. It’s also set in my home state of Georgia. However, I did struggle to connect with the story and stay engaged. I read this while traveling, and that may have effected how well I retained what I was reading. Overall, I enjoyed this novel. Update June 2020: I’m updating this to a 4 instead of 3.5 star.

Rating Break Down
Writing Style: 8/10, Plot: 8/10, Characters: 10/10, Ending: 9/10, Engagement: 6/10, Enjoyment: 7/10, Comprehension: 7/10, Pacing: 7/10, Desire to Reread: 3/10, Special: 8/10, Final Rating: 4/5
Note, each rating is weighted based on personal importance to calculate a final score that is rounded to the nearest half.

My Kitchen: Book covering black mental health and/or disability

This book wasn’t what I was expecting. This is a memoir about a black man who grows up overweight. He eventually loses the weight, but we see how it shapes his mental state well into his adulthood (as well as the troubles associated with being a black man already). His story was profound and well told to boot. 4.5/5 stars.

Rating Break Down
Writing Style: 9/10, Content: 10/10, Structure: 9/10, Summary: 8/10, Engagement: 9/10, Enjoyment: 9/10, Comprehension: 9/10, Pacing: 8/10, Desire to Reread: 5/10, Special: 7/10, Calculated Rating: 4.41/5 Final Rating: 4.5/5
Note, each rating is weighted based on personal importance to calculate a final score that is rounded to the nearest half.

Jesse at Bowties and Books doing the Blackathon Book Tag

January AYearAThon: Reading Red

You can watch my video where I discussed the AYearAThon readathon on my new Booktube channel, Josh’s Bookish Voyage!

This month I chose to participate in the January AYearAThon readathon where I read as many red covers, as I could, for one week. Now, I don’t intend to participate in the AYearAThon moving forward, but I like to participate in at least one readathon every month because it helps me read more. I chose this readathon because it seemed like an easy one too get invested in that covered a lot of the books I wanted to read (soon). The objective was pick books with a certain color on the cover, so I chose red. The rules technically said to read a cover of that color not with that color, but I allowed for a little wiggle room.

Overall this was a very successful readathon. I’ve read more books this week than I think I ever have before in a week (9). Of course, some of these are novellas, or just very short books, but even still, it was a challenge but one I thoroughly enjoyed. I went in with what I thought was a very ambitious goal, expecting to read 7 or 8 books. I had had a slow start to the month (year, decade!) and was hoping to get myself back into the swing of things. Once I started with my regular reading routine, I really got into it. By the end, I even threw in a 9th book!

This month I read If You Ask Me, by Betty White. I was very hesitant to read this one because as much as I love Betty White I wasn’t sure how much I would like it. In the end, I enjoyed it, but it was a little lackluster. I had an overall better experience with Robin by Dave Itzkoff. It was a fantastic book that I recommend to any Robin Williams fan. The next one that I read was Underland by Robert McFarland, and I was really excited about this one. Sadly, I was very disappointed by what I read; it just was not what I thought I was getting when I started it. Luckily that was really the only novel that severely disappointed me. Every other book I read I either loved or was at least glad I read it.

I read How We Know What Isn’t So by Thomas Gilovich. This is a book that I had on my TBR for a while because it is considered a standard book and the skeptic community. It’s about the fallibility of human reason, and I really enjoyed it. I was hesitant because these types of books about human bias and human psychology can easily be very esoteric and difficult to read. However, that was not the case. This one was written away that was very easy to consume, and I highly recommend it! A more esoteric book was be The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould. That one I enjoyed, but I did not much appreciate the way in which Gould structured the book.

In fiction, I finally read Scythe by Neal Shusterman. I added this one to by TBR at the last second because I had been so hesitant to read it. There are so many hyped YA books, and so far, I have really not loved them. Luckily, I gave this one a shot, and it is amazing. I haven’t been this excited for a series in a while. Another book that I read was the 4th book in the Earthsea Cycle, Tehanu by Ursula K. Le Guin. It was fine. I haven’t loved reading them, but I am trying to read one a month so as to get a full review of the series. I enjoyed it more than the others, but it still isn’t something I love. You’ll see my review of that sometime in the spring.

The last book I read (this isn’t in the order I read them) was Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman. I read this one because I haven’t been reading a lot of general thrillers, and I wanted to tackle that section of my TBR. This was one of several books I bought after the positive review by Books and Lala, and while I trust her opinion, I’m finding it hard not to go off books that I am more excited for on my own than purely off her suggestion. Of course, there is a reason I trust her judgement! It did not fail me because I loved this book. It is a story about these teen girls who get into some drama, and I am here for it. I absolutely adored that book.

I read so many books part of me is worried I am leaving one off! This is the first time I created a readathon post after finishing it, but the holidays and January are such a busy time. You may have noticed, I attached a video at the top of this discussion. That is my first attempt at posting a video for Booktube! It is essentially me talking about the same stuff as here. I may or may not continue to do blogs and videos for the exact same content, but that is the goal!

I am so grateful to the leaders of the AYearAThon readathon. I had been having a serious slump this month from the traveling followed by the flu for a week. I was getting really disheartened about reading, but now I leave this week with 9 new books and a renewed vigor. I was shocked I read so many nonfiction, but I suppose those are the ones I wanted to read. I think I owe some thanks to Olive at abookolive for being one of the key people getting me inspired about nonfiction. Overall, I loved this readathon! I would say it was a real success not just in quantity but specifically in the quality of books that I read.

A Very Merry Readathon 2019

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, with the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you: be of good cheer! What a terrible way to start this blog, but I can’t help myself. It’s the holidays again! On that note, I have decided to participate in the Very Marry Readathon. This is a very loosely Christmas themed readathon with a series of 5 challenges to meet. It is happening December 15-21 which is okay timing; it isn’t too early and I suppose not during Xmas is good too.

I don’t think the challenges are very difficult. In fact, I am a little disappointed at how easy they are and that there are only five of them. Because of that, I’ve decided to try and complete multiple books for each challenge. I am going to start by listing the challenges, and before I discuss the books I will read for that challenge, I am going to give a list of what I intend to read. Most of these books meet multiple prompts, so it will probably be easiest to discuss that way.


  1. Read a book set during the holidays.
  2. Read a book with a Christmas/holiday color on the cover.
  3. Read a book with S-N-O-W in the title (or the authors name).
  4. Read a book by the fire.
  5. Read a book just because you want to!


  1. Mr. Dickens and His Carol 271 pages, 4.21 hrs
  2. A Christmas Carol 238 pages, 1.5 hrs
  3. The Afterlife of Holly Chase 400 pages, 5.27 hrs
  4. The Book of Lost Things 339 pages 5.79 hrs
  5. Watership Down 478 pages, 9.21 hrs
  6. The Silence of the Girls, by Pat Barker 336 page, 5.66 hrs
  7. Woman on the Edge of Time (Maybe) 417 pages, 7.9 hrs 
  8. Before the Coffee Gets Cold 208 pages, 10.5 hrs

Total Reading Goals: ~50 hours and 30 minutes, 2687 pages

These times are adjusted for 1.9x reading speeds (except for #8 which I intend to read physically and approximate by page count and my reading speed).

1. Read a book set during the holidays.

This is the prompt that really makes it Christmas themed. I am very excited to be reading the Afterlife of Holly Chase. The only reason I haven’t read it sooner was because I knew I wanted to read it in December. A Christmas Carol is my favorite Christmas story; I love it! The Afterlife of Holly Chase is a take on that story following a woman who never followed the advice of her three ghosts. I don’t know if it is going to be a very good book, but I feel pretty confident I’ll enjoy it, at least in part, for its concept. In the same train of thought, I am reading Mr. Dickens and His Carol which is the story of how Dickens came to write A Christmas Carol (fictionalized). I am also going to reread A Christmas Carol again. I recently found the Classics Illustrated hardback edition, and I’d love to listen while I read through it.

2. Read a book with a Christmas/holiday color on the cover.

This is, I think, too easy. They consider this red, gold, white, green. Honestly, if I was making this a rule, I’d make it so red and green both had to be on the cover, but it isn’t. In any case, I have several books that easily meet this criteria (of red, gold, etc.). The Book of Lost Things is red and white. This is a book I was planning on reading this month anyway! The Afterlife of Holly Chase is red and maybe gold, and A Christmas Carol also apply’s here. Pretty much all the Christmas Carol related books work here, including Mr. Dickens and His Carol. If I have time, I will also read Woman on the Edge of Time which also gold and red.

3. Read a book with S-N-O-W in the title.

This means I can read any book that has the letters needed to spell SNOW in the title, and it also includes author names. I thought this was an easy one, but I am realizing now it is actually harder than I realized. I am going to read Watership Down which is another book I wanted to read this month anyways. This is a classic, and I’ve just heard such great things. I had another book I wanted to read here but decided to replace it with other books of interest. I’ve already mentioned Woman on the Edge of Time. I got excited for it initially because I thought it had S-N-O-W. Sadly, it is missing the S.

4. Read a book by the fire.

Because I am going to be listening to audiobooks for almost all of the others, I am going to make this read a physical book by the fire (virtual or otherwise). I am going to read Before the Coffee Gets Cold (because it doesn’t have an audiobook, at least where I can get it). This copy is actually in the States with my mom (I live in Ontario Canada), and I won’t have it until the last 2 or 3 days of the readathon. It’ll be a fun added challenge to do it over two or three days (as opposed to pacing myself and reading throughout the week).

5. Read a book just because you want to!

Most of these meet this category as it is. Although, I am going go further and to aim to read The Silence of the Girls. I really wanted to read more books, but I just don’t have the time. Then the Silence of the Girls comes fresh off of A Thousand Ships which inspires me to read more Greek mythology retellings. In fact, it follows another female character featured in A Thousand Ships (i.e. the Trojan War). Woman on the Edge of Time and A Christmas Carol are two more books I am reading just because I want to.

Reading Plan

I’ve created a TBR of 8 books (with a few more in mind if I have time), but several of them are short. I actually cut out two books because I knew I wouldn’t have the time. It isn’t the end of the world if I don’t finish my TBR, but it still is stressful which is why I trimmed it down. I haven’t decided on a fixed schedule. Although, I definitely want to start with the Christmasy books (Holly Chase, Mr. Dickens, and Christmas Carol).

Concluding Thoughts

Unfortunately, this wasn’t a great week for reading. Well, it wasn’t bad. I finished all but two of my books, which is still 5 novels. I don’t know if they all satisfied the challenges. I don’t think I ever read by firelight. Maybe I listened to an audiobook with a candle in the background. That is okay though. I finished several books, and I am still finishing Before the Coffee Gets Cold. However, I dnfed Watership Down. I just wasn’t getting into it. I do think that was almost entirely situational, so I still completely intend to return it. I just decided it wasn’t the right time. It was a highly anticipated read, so the fact that I wasn’t connecting made me want to stop and reread it without the rush.

I left this feeling disappointed, but this is my fourth month doing a readathon. I knew I would probably push myself too hard eventually. That is okay! I still read a good bit of books. I just really underestimated how time consuming the holiday season would be from traveling, to visiting with family, to end of semester grading and work.

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes ★★★★☆

Read 11/18/19 – 11/24/19

This is the first book I chose to read for Buzzwordathon 5.0, and you can read more about why I choose A Thousand Ships there!

11/20/19, Page 134

I’m making good progress on this. It is early Wednesday morning and I’m already over half way to my daily goal (50 pages/day). The novel is well written and easy to enjoy. I am not entirely sure who our narrator is. We are getting excerpts from Calliope, the muse of epic poetry, and she keeps referring to the “poet” recording this epic. I wonder whether this is the poets narrative, whether that be Haynes or Homer, or if this is the epic directly from Calliope as told to Homer. Early in the novel Calliope refers to the story and the poet:

I’m giving him the chance to see the war from both ends: how it was caused, and how its consequences played out. Epic in scale and subject matter…It’s not her story…It’s their story.

Calliope, Chapter 5, Page 40-41, Natalie Haynes

That quote really encapsulates the story. It seems to be a collection of stories about women on both sides of the war. They’re tales from before, during, and even after. Haynes approach of jumping from perspective and time is surprisingly effective. Alone, it’s easy to get lost in any one story, but as a whole, they all come together naturally.

At one point, the Calliope becomes irked by the poet as if the story is too tragic. This is in fact a story of loss, on all sides, but why is it that a man’s death is considered an epic but a women’s is a tragedy? To understand the price of war, we have to understand more than those who die (the “heroes”), but those who live as well. Soon after the fall of Troy, the women are captured and described as follows:

None of the women wept. The dead husbands, fathers, brothers and sons were fresh wounds to them all… But all knew that they would never know solitude again. When a war was ended, the men lost their lives. But the women lost everything else.

Chapter 3, page 33-34, Natalie Haynes

It is easy to sympathize with the Trojans. Although, that doesn’t make the Greeks the monsters of this tale because the pain doesn’t stop with the Trojan women. That is how it is so easily to mistake this epic for a tragedy, but that doesn’t mean they can ignored.

It does hurt, I whispered. It should hurt. She isn’t a footnote, she’s a person. And she – all the Trojan women – should be memorialized as much as any other person. Their Greek counterparts too.

Calliope, Chapter 12, Page 109, Natalie Haynes.

“Their Greek counterparts too” is a key part of the story as well. The pain extends to the winners and losers, so who is the villain here? Only time will tell for sure. However, it certainly seems as though the villains are the men so lost in their jealousy, greed and anger. There is one part where the king of the Greeks Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter to Artemis for wind (this is Greek retelling, so I don’t consider this a spoiler). It comes right after these statements by Calliope and after so much time is spent on the pain of the Trojan women. This the perfect illustration of how well Haynes has structured this story to reveal what is already known in a light.

Finished 11/24/19

I really enjoyed reading A Thousand Ships. It brought life to a story that I am only loosely familiar with, and I leave it feeling not only inspired to try other retellings, but with an improved understanding of the story as a whole. Haynes acknoweldges how she takes some creative licenses where necessary. However, that is for the outermost parts of the story, so it probably stands well as a true telling of the Trojan War.

What it does different is re-frame our perception of the war and the people in it. What does it mean to be a hero? Cleary, the men who fight, win or lose, are often seen as heroes, depending on your perception. What Hayne’s does is try, and I think succeeds, to convey the heroism of the women. Whether they won or lost, everyone suffered. It is in how we handle this suffering that heroes can be found. It’s so easy to disregard the women, but it seems as though they’re story is the more harrowing one.

Many of the women in this story convey the loss that is so easily overlooked in these tales. We see the winners and losers in war, but it is through the women that we see the true extent. That is why I think this is such an effective story. Considering the scope, it is a difficult task to tell this story, but I think Haynes did it well, overall.

It almost reads like collection of short stories interlaced (forgive me if I mentioned this earlier, I don’t remember), but it flows rather seamlessly. Each story is told, not necessarily linearly, as it comes to the forefront. At times that involves going back in time to give context. This is all being told by the Muse goddess, Calliope. I don’t have a problem with this; it works well as a way of structuring the narrative. However, I can’t help but feel it becomes a little heavy handed. It is as if we aren’t capable of piecing together the greater narrative without the author, through Calliope, holding our hand through it.

You can see what I mean from the quotes I give before, and the novel ends with a note from the author Calliope to bring it to a close:

I have sung of the women, the women in the shadows. I have sung of the forgotten, the ignored, the untold…They have waited to have their story told, and I will make them wait no longer.

Calliope, Chapter 43, Page 339

The question becomes how much is too much, and does this type of narration take away from the story? For me, it felt like a bit much, even though I did enjoy Calliope’s snarky attitude toward the poet. That said, it isn’t a major issue I have with the novel. My only other issue, again, comes from how Hayne’s structured the story.

Hayne’s method of telling Penelope’s story as a series of letters of her “talking” to Odysseus. In doing so, we get her reaction to Odysseus’ journey (AKA his story) as told by the bards. While I enjoy her quippy commentary, this read less like Penelope’s story and more like a retelling of Odysseus. This story is spread out in a series of letters over the ten years it takes Odysseus to get home after the war end, and every time, I can’t help but ask if this is necessary. Am I getting Penelope’s story or just exciting filler? That sounds harsh, but I have to believe there was a more effective means to tell her story than just having her narrate the same old story we know about Odysseus.

I love Penelope as a character, so perhaps that is evidence of it doing what it was supposed to. Nevertheless, I’m left wanting more. It is very likely I read Margaret Atwood’s retelling of her story, the Penelopiad. I’m also intrigued by Odysseus, so I will probably explore other stories about him (perhaps Ullysses by James Joyce or just watch the film by the same name, which I realize is not an adaption of the book.

My desire to keep the mythology going hopefully shows that I did love this book, despite my stated issues. 4/5 stars.

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton ★★☆☆☆

Started 11/22/19 (10% progress)

This was the worst (updated after finishing) book I chose to read for Buzzwordathon 5.0, and you can read more about why I choose 7½ Deaths there! I’m about 10% into the novel, and I don’t see me liking this. It is too soon to give up on it. Unfortunately, I have I good idea of this author’s writing style, and it just isn’t for me. For starters, the story is about a wealthy family (Evelyn being the wife I think) who just don’t seem that interesting. I just read the story of Evelyn Hugo, and I really enjoyed the subtitles of her and her story. Here, this feel like your caricature of a pretentious wealthy family.

I recognize I can’t make a sweeping judgment off of 10% of the book. Nevertheless, I get the impression this story is about the spectacle of the idea rather than the using the idea to write interesting situations for interesting characters. If we aren’t given real characters then it doesn’t matter how cool the situation is. All that said, I am not giving up; I am hoping I enjoy this more. What’s more, I want to complete the book for the readathon and because I already own it own hardback.

Finished 11/24/19

This story did not work for me. There was no redemption; my initial impression was a good one. The story is mildly interesting, but I can’t say I enjoyed it all that much. As I said before, this is a concept or plot driven narrative. The characters are boring and lifeless; our main character literally has no character because he has no memory. This story feels like a twist on Clue but not a good one. On top of that, I really do not like Turton’s writing style. It’s all so pretentious and contrived. He leans heavily on the histrionics when describing different situations, and fails to get me interested on those overdone scenarios.

I think the mystery is supposed to be what gains our interest since it can’t possibly be the characters. Unfortunately, there is no reason to do that. We have a lifeless main character trapped in some loop; the problem is we aren’t given any reason to actually care. The central character, Evelyn Hardcastle is a victim of murder. Again, what’s so interesting abut her or anyone else around her. From where I’m sitting, the answer is none.

It seems an overarching theme of this novel is redemption and punishment. Unfortunately, anything it tries to say just isn’t earned. We rush to a plot convenient revelation of what’s going and why, but it happens far too late to actually work. Part of me wonders if Stuart Turton is actually Game of Throne’s Weiss and Benioff. That is how poorly written this story is. Like W&B, Turton wants to subvert expectations with an underlying lesson. It is sadly rushed and is poorly executed.

This book probably wasn’t worth finishing. The big reason why I didn’t was because I become so compelled when I create goals (i.e. buzzwordathon). What’s more, I made the mistake of buying it on bookoutlet.ca, and I didn’t want it to be a waste. That’s another book that can go on my shelf as read; it’s a reminder of what I don’t enjoy. 2/5 stars (literally the second book to get that low a rating from me this year).

Buzzwordathon #5: November 18-24

Buzzwordathon #5 Announcement

Buzzwordathon is a series of readathons that chooses common buzzwords used in book titles. Then readers choose books with that buzzword and tries to read as many as possible. The goal of this readathon is to read books you have been putting off, but most of my choices are new books I’ve wanted to read. It’s happening November 18-24.


  1. A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes
  2. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  3. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  4. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  5. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  6. Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  7. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The only books here that I have owned for a while is the Thirteenth Tale. I have been pushing it off because I am not a fan of Victorian settings, but I love the concept of the book. The others are books I’ve heard great things about on Booktube. A Thousand Ships is the only book I will be physically reading. It is decidedly longer than White is for Witching which I read last month for Spookathon. I am eager to read it, and this is the perfect excuse!

I am a little worried about the size of the list. This is about 300 more pages than I read for spookathon, but my estimate is it will only take ~6 more hours of my time. It is okay if I don’t get to the last book or if I have to finish it after the readathon ends. I feel confident in my ability to read the first 6. Last time I estimated my listening and reading was ~49 hours. With my physical read being a bit longer, I estimate this to take ~52 hours. It’s more but still manageable. I also read two 500+ page books for Spookathon.

Honestly, it was really hard to pick books for this. It isn’t a buzzword for no reason. I wanted to read Slaughterhouse Five because that is a classic I’ve been putting off merely due its revolving around war which I am not a big fan of. I also considered both The Fifth Season (a reread) and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms because I’ve been wanting to try give N. K. Jemisin another try after not really loving The Fifth Season.

Then there’s The People’s Future: 15 stories about the future of the United states which features a lot of diverse authors I’ve been wanting to give a try, but I ended up dropping that for the same reason as The Three Body Problem. I think I will enjoy those more if I give them more time. I think I am more likely to get through more reading if I limit myself to a majority of fun quick reads that don’t too much thinking. Not that I don’t want that, but there is a balance!

End of Readathon Commentary

This was a fairly enjoyable readathon. It got me to try a few books I didn’t feel all that excited for. I still feel iffy about Taylor Jenkins Reid, but I really enjoyed Evelyn Hugo. I didn’t think I’d love Evelyn Hardcastle, but that was massive fail. I really disliked it. The others were good, but most none of them became all time favorites. That’s excluding Dear Ijeawele which was great, but in a different way.

My stats come in at a total of 2335 pages of reading. 1983 pages of that was on audio, and 352 pages was read via my hardback copy. I’m a PhD student, so my time is limited. That means most of my reading has been done via multitasking (travel, chores, tedious tasks). One day, maybe I’ll try a readathon without a single audiobook.

I may not be so aggressive on my next readathon because I did struggle in the end. Although, I think part of that blame lies on the low quality of Evelyn Hardcastle. I at least had the forethought to place it last in my reading plans, but I need to work on allowing myself the freedom to DNF a book. Overall, this readathon got me to try new things and read a book I had put off a very long time. Plus my read pile for November just doubled!

Discussing my TBR

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes


I’m really exited to read this! Of course, I am excited for all of these, but I am glad I am reading this one physically. It was not my plan originally. It is only availble on CD and at ~$40 USD, so I decided this would be my physical read of choice. It’s length is daunting. That is okay because I think I am really going to enjoy it assuming the writing style isn’t too out there.

This is the story of the Trojan War, told from the perspective of the women that are largely ignored in the Greek myths. I enjoy greek and roman mythologies, but it isn’t a big thing I read about. Hopefully, this and Circe will change that (as well as Jean Bookishthoughts who studies ancient history and has lots of recommendations).

Finished 11/24/19

You can now see my review of a Thousand Ships!

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid


This is a fictional story about a band in the 70s or 80s and their experience. It is supposed to be an emotional roller coaster which isn’t something I usually seek out in books, but I am here for it. This book has gotten so much praise on Booktube. It is probably the most talked about book on Booktube. No pressure Taylor Jenkins Reid! I’m sure I’ll enjoy it; the question is: will it make me love it?

Finished 11/21/19

You can now see my review of Daisy Jones and the Six!

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield


This book has been on my shelf for so long. I even bought it on Audible way back hoping I’d read it. In the end, I never did out of fear of for the Victorian setting. Now I have the perfect excuse to choose it despite my hesitation. To be clear, I love the concept: a story about stories and books. It is very similar to Setterfield’s most recent novel, Once Upon a River which I struggled with but loved overall. I hope the same is true for the Thirteenth Tale.

I choose Once Upon a River originally to be during this readathon, stretching “once” as a number, but my hesitation for her Victorian settings couple with its near 500 page count motivated me to read it sooner. I am glad I did! I think I am really going to enjoy it if it’s anything like Once Upon a River.

Finished 11/19/19

You can now see my review of the Thirteenth Tale!

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel


This is a semi post-apocalyptic story about people preparing to go to space to survive. That is all I know. I am reading this because BooksandLala loved it. I tend not to like high science fiction, and I think this type of moderate science fiction is what I like. The story was a nominee for several awards. Plus, my one of my favorite books this year was a semi-apocalyptic story about getting to space (Calculating Stars).

Finished 11/20/19

You can now see my review of Station Eleven! Also, it turns out this wasn’t about space. I was way off on that one.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid


This is a story about a woman who had a lot of husbands. Booktube says it is well told, so I think it will be a fun contemporary read. Again, like Reid’s other story, it isn’t what I normally read. However, I think I’ll enjoy it. I don’t have this in my picture above because the copy I bought was in the US and sent it to my mom’s to save on shipping. I’ll be listening to the audiobook, so it doesn’t matter anyways.

Finished 11/21/19

You can now see my review of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo!

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


There are a lot feminist collections I’d like to read. I just haven’t for whatever reason. I almost didn’t include this one because I hate the idea of rushing through it, but it is very short and likely not that much work. I also want to read Roxanne Gay. If I don’t get to her soon, I’ll definitely be including her in my February Black History Month TBR.

Finished 11/24/19

You can now see my review of Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions!

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton


This is my lowest in expectation. I want to read this because the concept sounds intriguing. I love time travel and time resets. There is nothing special about as far as what I’ve seen. It’s just a book I think will be fun, but if I have to drop a book, or finish one later, it will be this one.

Finished 11/24/19

You can now see my review of The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★★

Started Reading 11/21/19

This is one of the books I chose to read for Buzzwordathon 5.0, and you can read more about why I choose Seven Husbands there! I am pleasantly surprised. I am reading this fresh off Reid’s newest novel, Daisy Jones and the Six. That was a story that was easy and fun, but it wasn’t nearly as great as so many professed. I struggled to connect to the characters in a real way. That was my fear here. Although, I don’t think that is an issue this go around. I am about 75% through the story, and I can say with confidence that I am connecting more than Daisy Jones.

Evelyn Hugo isn’t a very good person, at least in my estimation. However, she is successful, and it seems as though she is the way she has to be to succeed. The world isn’t/wasn’t very amenable to women 70 years ago, let alone to a woman of color (Hugo is a cuban woman). The question then becomes where does the blame belong? There is no great answer. All that matters is that Hugo is a woman with real desires who isn’t afraid to pursue them using all the powers she has at hand, the consequences be damned.

A lot of the time, it is hard not to root for her, but there are others where it is hard to believe she’d do this. Honestly, as interesting a situation as it becomes, it does at times feel a bit contrived. In large part, her hands are tied. In others, there is a serious destructive mindset. Nevertheless, her cavalier attitude makes her come across as a bit of caricature which was the problem I had with the characters in Daisy Jones. All in all, I think this novel is working better, but that is one problem I have with it.

Finished 11/22/19

I loved this book. Part of me was proud of my dissent from the popular opinion, but that can’t stand. This book resonated too much with me. Sure, parts of it felt convenient. Nevertheless, the Evelyn’s story of finding herself and what she wanted really resonated with me. I felt for her in a way that only a great book can do. In this book, there is love and loss and scandal, and I am here for it. 4.5/5 stars founding up.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel ★★★★☆

Read 11/19/19 – 11/20/19

This is another book I chose to read for Buzzwordathon 5.0, and you can read more about why I choose Station Eleven there! This is a story about a flu epidemic wiping out the majority of Earth’s population, and it follows a group of people as they cope with this new world. The characters are one of the strongest aspects of this story. We follow a range of characters, each of them seemingly connected to Arthur, a middle aged actor who has a fairly large popularity.

The story follows a few people, or groups, as they travel or attempt to create a settlement. A large part of the books feels like an attempt to recreate so level of order, if only locally. Mandel does a good job tying past events (we spend most of our time in year 20 after the epidemic) to the current predicament by showing us how different characters are connected. I have to admit, I found the structure more distracting at first than entertaining. I kept getting invested in characters and events. Then we would jump to a different person or a different time, and I struggled to keep up on whose who.

On top of that, I found the story too tame. Don’t get me wrong, it is a perfectly good story about the end of the world, but that’s been done before. I don’t understand why this book excels above the others like it? It could have been an episode of the Walking Dead, zombies aside. I do wonder whether my own expectations ultimately shaped my view here. For some reason (perhaps the starry sky in the cover), I thought this was a story about an epidemic and an attempt to create a settlement in space for humanity to survive.

Sadly (or not, depending on how you look at it), Station Eleven isn’t a literal thing. Rather, it is a symbolic place that one of our main characters thinks about during her travels, and it is one of the things that ties her (and others) to Arthur. I appreciated the intricate story telling. However, it didn’t reach my expectations (fair or not). Let me be clear, I really enjoyed the book, and I think it is definitely worth reading. It just isn’t one of my favorites. 4/5 stars.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield ★★★★☆

Read 11/18/19 – 11/19/19

This is the most anticipated book I chose to read for Buzzwordathon 5.0, and you can read more about why I choose Thirteenth Tale there! It was easier to get into the Thirteenth Tale than Setterfield’s newest novel, Once Upon a River. I think it helps that the premise is just easier to understand. Well, there is plenty of mystery as it pertains to Vida Winters, our central character and famous author. Who I would consider the main narrator, Margaret Lea, is the book lover and casual autobiographer.

The story begins with Margaret Lea. Setterfield immerses us into her life so that we can get a sense of the type of person she is and for her love of books. I have heard this is a book about books, and this is most true in this early parts of the book. That made it easy to fall in love with the story and our character Margaret. However, to classify the novel as a book about books feels like a simplification. It is part of it, but it is much more than that. This story isn’t about a love for books as much as it is for the art of storytelling. In that way, it is very much like Once Upon a River, but there is a difference. Once Upon a River is a story of perspective. While the Thirteenth Tale is a story of how stories are structured.

Ms. Winters is a famous author whose history is unknown to many. Attempts to get the truth have led to countless fables about her life, but she has yet to tell a truthful story. Now, something seems to suggest she is ready. Even as we begin to learn, however, we begin to appreciate her art of story telling because she recognizes when details ought to be shared. There are lies and then their are half truths, and a good story often relies on half truths to maintain an ere of mystery with the reader.

When the story finally begins to come together, it becomes clear how each piece of the story is interconnected. That makes it hard not to compare it to Setterfield’s other novel Once Upon a River, and because they are so similar, her newest novel feels like the same idea but with more ideas built onto it. Once Upon a River has the same love of stories, if not books, and it has a feel of magical realism and fairy tales.

A quote from early in the story.

This quote is but a piece of the conversation they have about books early in the story. This quote resonated with me, but it was a part of a larger conversation about the different kinds of books. It was a conversation about how people have different tastes, and that is okay. Nevertheless, I connected with the Margaret’s father (the he she is talking about). I found his desire to read a wide variety of books inspiring.

I was very pleased when I saw Diane Setterfield liked my tweet!

In the end, I really enjoyed the Thirteenth Tale, and I appreciated the ease of which I was engrossed into the story. I had to check a character list on Wikipedia a few times, but it wasn’t nearly as difficult to follow along as Once Upon a River. Part of that is the magical realism coupled with what I thought was a more Victorian setting. That might sound odd, but I found this story didn’t have as many characteristics of a Victorian story so far as how characters acted.

Is it better than Once Upon a River? I don’t know. I think I would have been annoyed with Once Upon a River had read it after the Thirteenth Tale because magical realism makes everything more ambiguous, and while it isn’t bad, it would make it harder for me to get into. As it is, I read it first, and I am inclined to put them on par. 4.25/5 stars. (I gave Once Upon a River 4.5 originally but in retrospective I feel 4.25 is more appropriate and have changed it.)

Trick-or-Treat-a-thon 2019

I’m tired I say. I need a break I say. Come back the next day…LETS DO ANOTHER READATHON!

I already discussed the books I’d like to read this month in my monthly updates, but I came across this page of readathons, and I can’t help but want to do a month long readathon for October. I already am doing my own challenge of reading Halloween themed books, so why not take it a step further. It’s undeniable that these challenges make a great motivator. Sure, I am doing #spookathon, but that is only a week. These are month long goals. No reason I can’t use the #spookathon to do this too!

The #ToTathon is a month long readathon themed around Halloween. Participants will earn points for their teams by reading and completing challenges. Points will be awarded 1 point per page. Participants can also earn points by completing challenges. I will stick with reading a couple anthologies and a few physical books if possible. What I want to do now is think about what I can read for the challenges.

Reading Challenges: 25 pts each – Cannot be combined.

  1. Costume Party: Read the group book: Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  2. Monster Mash: Read a book that has your team mascot in it
    • I chose team Ghost (vs Vampires and Witches), but I have to switch to Witches. This will be White is for Witching. If I don’t read one, I’ll read the other!
    • Done! (Click Here to read my review!) 
  3. Fall Foliage: Read a book with fall colors on the cover (red, orange, yellow, or brown)
  4. Spooky Hayride: Read a book that involves a trip or quest
    • I can’t think of anything for this or anything that I am interested in reading, so I may skipping this one. That said, a fantasy novel that isn’t strictly horror I could read is Viscous by V.E. Schwab. This is a book I really want to read. It isn’t strictly a road trip, but two friends turn enemies battle it out, each set on a mission (i.e. QUEST).
    • Done! (Click Here to read my review!) 
  5. Corn Maze: Read a book where someone gets lost and/or finds themselves
    • This is a tough one. I think the closest thing to fit this is going to be Kindred, the graphic novel, by Octavia Butler. I could do Summer of Night by Dan Simmons which as a coming of age story, that ought to count as “finding” oneself.
    • Done! (Click Here to read my review!) 
  6. Black Cat: Read a book with an animal on the cover
  7. Spider Webs: Read a book that gives you the heebie jeebies
    • I don’t have a hard choice for this. I could choose Fearful Symmetries. Is it a cheat if I already started it before this? Yes. That won’t work :(. Instead, I will use The Dark by Ellen Datlow or A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
    • 10/3/19: I am half way through the Dark. I really don’t want to finish this. I’ve read half the stories and have liked one of them. That said, I am only half way and I want the points… It makes me somewhat annoyed at the challenge :-/
    • Done! (Click Here to read my review!) 
  8. Scary Movie: Read a book and watch the movie/tv show adaptation
    • I think I will read We Have Always lived in This House or reread The Haunting of Hill House both by Shirley Jackson. The former has a new film, and the latter is being released in extended edition (which I want to watch!).
    • Done! (Click Here to read my review!) 

Social Challenges

  1. Post a video or blog about the ToTathon – 10 pts
    • Done! (This post obviously)
  2. Post your TBR list – 5 pts
  3. Make a music playlist to go along with your TBR – 10pts
    • Easy! I’ve got a halloween playlist and know just the right songs for each book. TBD
  4. Insta challenges (5 total) – 5 pts each (25 pts total)
    • Secret Bookshelf Passageway: Post a shelfie (Sept 28 – Oct 4)
    • Jack-o-Lantern: Post a pic of your favorite book with *glowing* reviews (Oct 5 – 11)
    • Apple Orchard: Post a pic of your favorite series (Oct 12 – 18)
    • BOO!: Post a pic of your favorite spooky book (Oct 19 – 25)
      •  TBD (It will be IT obviously)
    • Costume Time: Post a pic of yourself dressed up as a literary character (Oct 26 – Nov 1)
      • Easy! I’ve got so many costumes. TBD


This is the reason I had to switch to Witch/Wizard team rather than Ghosts. Each team has a trick and a treat. Ghosts can start 3 days early (I am too late for that), and they have to read it in order that they are listed above. That makes it hard to do this and the #spookathon. Therefore, I choose Witch. I have to read a book more than 500pgs (the Institute by Stephen King), and I can change any of the challenges to any book of my choice. Right now, I am changing the first prompt from Caroline to Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury.

I finished The Institute by Stephen King. Read about it here.

Final TBR

  1. Gather Together in My Name, Maya Angelou (finishing)
  2. Fearful Symmetries, by Ellen Datlow (Anthology) (finishing) ★★
  3. The Dark, by Ellen Datlow (Anthology) ★★★☆☆
  4. Viscous, by V.E. Schwab ★★
  5. White is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi ★★★ (#spookathon)
  6. Summer of Night, by Dan Simmons ☆☆ (#spookathon)
  7. The Ancestors, by Brandon Massey (Anthology) ☆☆ (#spookathon)
  8. The Institute, by Stephen King ★★☆ (#spookathon, )
  9. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury ★★☆ (#spookathon)
  10. Mongrels, by Stephen Graham Jones ★★
  11. We Have Always Lived in This House replaced by The Lottery and Other Stories, by Shirley Jackson
  12. A Head Full of Ghosts, Paul Tremblay
    Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
  13. Kindred, Octavia Butler (Graphic Novel)
  14. Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
  15. Wizards of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin ★★★
  16. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire ★★★★★

Update 10/17/19: I’m not sure if I’m feeling the last two books on my TBR. They aren’t for any challenge. I may throw in Caroline instead, or I may do that and these! I’m going to have nearly 2 weeks of reading to do. I’m getting Harry Potter Illustrated. Maybe I’ll read those (or rather, continue my HP reread).

Update: 10/21/19: I think I may skip A Head Full of Ghosts and Coraline. I’ve cued up my TBR for next month, and there are a lot of books I want to read but don’t have time for. I’m going to use the rest of this month to start those! A Head Full of Ghosts was always a maybe option anyways. I didn’t expect to finish all of these so fast! I’m going to start with Middlegame because it’s getting so much hype from BooksandLala.

Its scfi-fantasy adult fiction which seems perfect for me. It’s also the same author who wrote the Wayward Children series of novellas that have been on my TBR. They’re also hugo and nebula winners. Then there is Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield. She wrote The Thirteenth Tale which has been on my TBR for so long. I didn’t realize that when I bought this one. I decided to read it for the upcoming Buzzwordathon next month with numbers in titles. There ended up being a lot of other books I wanted to read with numbers in the title (including the Thirteenth Tale), and Once was a stretch for a number anyway. Plus this is nearly 500 pages which is a lot longer than I should try to read for a readathon. More on that readathon to come! Point is, I got excited for this book and bought it, so I want to read it sooner rather than later. I don’t want to risk it becoming like The Thirteenth Tale.

Finally, I bought the Ursula K Leguin’s Earthsea collection in a giant illustrated edition. I need to read this since I bought it. I am going to try hard to get this one done this month; it isn’t long! I just hope I like it since there are 6 more.

Update: 10/21/19: I am done with Once Upon a River and Middlegame. I have less than an hour left on Wizards of Earthsea. I don’t think I will get to Every Heart a Doorway, but I haven’t given up yet! As for the challenges, I don’t think I will be doing the last two. I have other things to worry about, and they aren’t worth a lot of points. Honestly, I struggled to update my pages. I like the reading challenges, especially if I need help choosing books, but it is a lot to keep up with. I think I’ll stick to a weekly readathon.

Update 10/31/19: I didn’t finish Maya Angelou’s book or get to Kindred, but that’s okay! I finished 14 others. This includes novellas and 5 from Spookathon, but all in all I am thrilled. I think I read more this month than I did last year (or most years of my life).

All in all, this was a success, but I don’t think I’ll do a month long readathon anymore. It is too much logistics. I have what I want to read. I’ll do that until I have trouble choosing.