Monday 19 August 2013

Bout of Books 8.0: Monday

Bout of Books

It seems that no sooner has one readathon finished than another has begun. Bout of Books is back with another week-long readathon, and as it so happens, this falls on a week in which I'm working only three days, leaving me plenty of time to do nothing but read ALL the books and blog about it. Or at least, that was the plan. At 8PM on day 1, I have managed to read a single longish short story.

My goals:

As usual, I'm not going to set any strict rules for myself, but I do intend to significantly reduce my to-read pile (pictured on my blog sidebar to the left.) I also intend to visit other bloggers, participate in a few challenges, and to write a bit of a reading journal, with a new post each day tracking my progress. I also hope to take this opportunity to finish off the 15-Day Book Bloggers' Challenge.

At the moment, the most likely books I plan to read are:

A Cuckoo's Calling: Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
Reconstructing Amelia: Kimberley McCreight
In One Person: John Irving
Necropolis: Catharine Arnold
I also hope to start China Mieville's epic Perdido Street Station, and to finish Lovecraft's Call of Cthulhu. (Just one story left to go; should be done by this evening.)


Bout of Books week began for me in a hotel in Southsea. I woke late (not having got to sleep until 2AM, for Neil Gaiman-related reasons which I will write about in a separate post) and took my book on a little walk around the town: to the Southsea Coffee Co. for breakfast and then to the beach. 

I've been reading H. P. Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Tales for two weeks now, and was down to the last two stories. Lately, so much of my reading has led back to Lovecraft, and it felt compulsory to fill in this gap in my literary knowledge. It took me a while to get used to Lovecraft's particular brand of writing: descriptive, verbose, and quite stodgy, yet often leaving only a vague and nebulous impression of Something Very Not Right Here. I grew frustrated with "indescribable horrors." You're a writer, man, I grumbled, you're being paid to describe things. Still, his tales are creepy and evocative, and today's story is perhaps the best I've read so far. "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" paints a vivid picture of a dilapidated fishing town, once a thriving dwelling, now delaying and filled with hostile, reclusive and uncanny residents. If you read one Lovecraft story, make it this one: a classic work of American gothic literature (and not a vampire in sight.)


  1. I love your list of books. Best of luck with your reading. Enjoy.
    -Dilettantish Reader

  2. Yes! Read That Book That's Not By J.K. Rowling But Totally Is so I know whether to read it too! I loved your Gaiman post so much that I sent everyone there yesterday like some kind of weird stalker. I WANT TO READ SOME LOVECRAFT NOW! And stop reading books at the beach, you're making me jealous again. *munches Maoam stick and congratulates herself on writing such a coherent and not at all jumbled comment* :D

    1. I'm sure I'll be reviewing the Secret Rowling Book when I've read it, even if I don't get around to it for the readathon.


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