Monday 17 August 2015

Bout of Books 14

Bout of Books

Monday 17th August

3.30PM: Well, here we are in the fourteenth Bout of Books readathon! For those of you who don't know me, my name is Katie, and I work part time in a bookshop on the Isle of Wight (a small island off the south coast of England.) When I'm not working, I write fiction (although I'm as yet unpublished,) and am currently writing the first draft of a geeky chick lit novel. Although right now, I seem to be finding all sorts of ways to avoid writing! I've set myself two more scenes to write today, but perhaps I'll find my brain works better if I take a break and read for a little while...

4PM: ...or maybe not. Instead of a reading update, allow me to present my Fictional World Travel challenge entry: the challenge is quite simple, to show off a selection of books set in different countries around the world (not your own.) I've also omitted the USA, because, let's face it, probably a good half of my books are set there, if not more.

The Fictional World Travel challenge was created by and hosted at
Between Library Shelves

The Book of Tomorrow - Cecelia Ahern (Republic of Ireland)
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage - Haruki Murakami (Japan)
A Man Called Ove - Frederik Backman (Sweden)
The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton (The Netherlands)
Pink - Lili Wilkinson (Australia)
Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery (Canada)

To those of you who don't know me, let me say that Anne is one of my greatest loves, and so don't be surprised if you see her pop up again over this week.

I'm going to shut down my computer until 5, and see how much of A Man Called Ove I can get read by 5PM.

Monday's Stats:

Currently reading: A Man Called Ove Frederik Backman
Pages read today: 260
Books finished this week: 0
Quote of the day: "People said Ove saw the world in black and white. But she was colour. All the colour he had."

Tuesday 18th August 

Today already hasn't gone to plan. It's my last day before going back to work, and I was trying to have an early night and earlier morning to try to ease myself back into a workday routine - but I couldn't sleep. I used the time to finish off A Man Called Ove, which is a really lovely book. The titular Ove is a grumpy old curmudgeon, probably a Swedish relation of "Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells," who seems to live to complain. But as the book progresses, we see how Ove has come to be this way, and how underneath it all he's really a very kind, very lonely man. A Man Called Ove is in turns sad and funny, often both at the same time, with a wonderful cast of characters, a story about how one person has an effect on a community in many small ways. 

Today was going to be another writing day, but I'll save that for the evening, I think. I have less than one scene before I finish the chapter, hopefully a bit of humour after all the melancholy I wrote yesterday. I'll be having a beach barbecue with my friends this afternoon, but now I'm going to make myself a big mug of coffee and maybe some cake, and curl up with my next book: The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing. 

Tuesday's Stats:

Currently reading: The Golden Notebook - Doris Lessing
Pages read today: 150
Books finished this week: 1
Quote of the day: "There is a female chivalry, woman for woman, as strong as any other kind of loyalty.Or perhaps it was we didn't want brought home to us the deficiencies of imagination in our own men."

Wednesday 19th August

I think today is not going to be a reading day. I went back to work after a ten-day holiday today. It wasn't terrible, but it has marked the end of summer for me, and autumn in retail brings its own particular struggles. Perhaps I'll have an early night, and read a bit of a Discworld book in bed. I'm enjoying The Golden Notebook, but it's perhaps not a book designed for speeding through on a readathon; it's full of politics and feminism and big ideas about the compartmentalisation of life and personality. The protagonist keeps a series of journals on a variety of themes: politics, writing, and personal life, and the novel features segments from each. But right now I don't feel much like reading it, instead flicking about on the internet. I'm feeling the urge to settle down to rewatching some youtube videos instead - maybe rewatch some of Green Gables Fables in preparation for the new season covering Anne of the Island in a modern-day university, which is coming very soon. 

Thursday 20th August

7PM: Maybe it wasn't the best of ideas to take part in a readathon in the week I was due to go back to work for the autumn. Yesterday's reading was a grand total of about seventeen pages. The evening was spent faffing around online, watching Green Gables Fables and colouring. Today, although the back-to-work blues are still hanging around a bit, I'm feeling a bit happier and more relaxed, so I'll push on with a bit more of The Golden Notebook. You do really need to sit down for a long stretch of time and get stuck into that book; it's not very good for reading just a few pages over lunch break. I've just got in from work, and on my way I accidentally picked up a cute and funny little "Happiness Is..." book from the gift section at TK Maxx, and another "colouring therapy" book from the supermarket. I'm going to make a toastie and some soup for my dinner, and read a while, then, later, I might do a readathon challenge, and watch more of Green Gables Fables. 

Thursday Stats

Currently reading: The Golden Notebook - Doris Lessing
Also read: Happiness Is...
Pages read today: 117, plus approx 250 in Happiness Is... (the latter had about 2-10 words on each page so doesn't really count.)

Friday 21st August

3.30PM: Friday is my Saturday, as I'll be working tomorrow, so I spent the morning doing chores: tidying, cleaning, two loads of laundry. I'm now settling down with some more of The Golden Notebook, which I'm finding very interesting as I can relate so well to Anna, with her many notebooks and journals. I have so many notebooks, each with their own purposes: about the novel-writing process, book review notes, and one just for favourite quotations. Then there's the different versions of me I present online - I do not sync my Facebook and Twitter accounts, for instance, but choose what to write for which audience, even in a simple status update. But I might switch to a different book later on.

Friday Stats:

Currently reading: The Golden Notebook - Doris Lessing
Pages read today: 244

Saturday 22nd August

Work again today - but it was decidedly quiet for a Saturday, especially one in the summer holidays. It was really hot and sunny when I ventured out at lunch time, so I suppose most people were on the beach or in their gardens, making the most of the good weather. A couple of days ago I was sure autumn had arrived, and I've been wearing sweaters and fluffy slipper boots already. But summer was apparently not as over as we'd thought. (I've seen the weather forecast for next week, though. Sigh.) I made the most of the peace and quiet to start clearing some space in the stock room for the autumn new releases and Christmas gift books, which could start arriving at any time. We've already got a few annuals in! I swear it gets earlier every year. I also had the chance to sit down and talk to my manager about something that had been weighing very heavily on my mind - part of the reason that my reading's been so difficult the last couple of days. I find it very difficult to admit when I'm struggling, but I knew I couldn't carry on bottling things up, and now I feel a lot better after talking things over with her. 

I finally finished The Golden Notebook, which I've really enjoyed reading - it's a very different sort of novel, a kind of examination of everything that goes into the writing of a book, all the things behind the scenes that might not make it onto the final draft, but which contribute nonetheless. However, I'm glad to have reached the end of it, and am moving on to one of the few Discworld books I've never read - Thief of Time. The final book in the series is released next Thursday. I still can't believe it's ending, though Sir Terry has been gone for nearly six months now. 

Saturday Stats:

Currently reading:
Thief of Time - Terry Pratchett.
Also read: The Golden Notebook
Pages read today: 120
Books finished this week: 2 (or 3 if you count Happiness Is...)

Sunday 23rd August 

5.30PM: Okay, so I haven't actually read anything today, or done any of the jobs I'd planned. I got up quite early for a Sunday, but unfortunately migraine struck. I've had a nap, and the pain's mostly gone, but the visual part has remained so everything looks shadowy - not good for concentrating on a book. Probably sitting at a laptop isn't doing it any good either, so I'll put that away for now. I'll try to read a bit after dinner.

11.30PM: The worst of the migraine's gone now, and I've read a bit more of Thief of Time. I didn't realise that this was a book featuring Susan, Death's granddaughter, in a prominent role! Yes, there was a book about some of my favourite characters which I hadn't read or known about! What a lovely surprise. It's wonderful to lose myself in the Discworld, with Terry Pratchett's trademark wit and wordplay, and it looks as though it'll be a worthy sequel to Hogfather in some ways. 

Sunday Stats:

Currently reading: Thief of Time - Terry Pratchett
Pages read today - 65 so far
Books finished this week: 2 (or 3 if you count Happiness Is...)
Quote of the day: "When you look into the abyss, it's not supposed to wave back."


  1. Very cool collection of books for the challenge.

  2. Great books! I always feel like kindred spirits with people who include Anne of Green Gables :) My Day 1 Challenge

  3. Aw! That quote from A Man Called Ove is adorable :) I'm sort of minded to save it until next week so that I can savour it a bit more...but then I really want to get started with it! Tricky. Have a super day 2!

  4. I really like the way you broke down your first day update! It was really interesting. Hope you have a great rest of the week!

  5. I've barely read a thing this week either, because various other things have sort of inserted themselves mentally between me and my books! On the other hand, you've got me more intrigued than ever to pick up my copy of A Man Called Ove... :)


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