Bout of Books 9.0 Goals and Progress

Bout of BooksMy Goals

The Bout of Books 9.0 read-a-thon starts this Monday, January 6, so it’s time to post my goals and progress! My main goal for the week will be to read at least 1500 pages, which will probably be about 4 books. I also hope to read at least a little bit every day and to participate in at least 3 mini-challenges. I will update this post every day with my progress and any mini-challenges I attempt.

Possible Books

It’s not an all-inclusive list, but here are some books I might read during this read-a-thon:

 photo Fer-de-Lance_zps1ab79394.jpg photo LateNightsonAir_zpsbb6c65a8.jpg
 photo Lexicon_zps584471af.jpg photo RoseUnderFire_zps25288585.jpg


Monday, January 6

Pages read: 58
Books read from: Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay

1. Bookish Comforts asked us to fill a basket at Book Depository with the books we’d buy if we could spend $100. Here’s my basket:

book depository screenshot

2. Cheap Thrills repeated her Mad Libs Challenge from the last read-a-thon! Go do it for yourself before reading my paragraph, below:

I just read the greatest book!

This guy Emma ends up in the middle of a polysyllabic conspiracy. Turns out her ancestors were pirates, and she might be the key to finding the scarlet crucible. It’s a mythic artifact that disappeared centuries ago, and now a shadowy group of detectives are looking for it. No one knows what uncovering it might do, but these guys are willing to bewitch for it.

I won’t say anything else. But believe me, if you like impossible stories with vagrants and peas, you have to read this one.

Books I used: (1) Emma by Jane Austen. (2) The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby. (3) The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy. (4) Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik. (5) Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams. (6) Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle. (7) Impossible Things by Connie Willis. (8) Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton. (9) Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn.


Tuesday, January 7

Pages read: 89
Books read from: Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay

3. Sarah Says Read asked about our reading tactics: “How do you fit in as much reading as possible during Bout of Books? How do you squeeze in those extra pages?” I snatch free moments to read whenever I can — usually on my commute to work (yay public transportation!) and during my lunch hour. I also try to make some time every night before bed.

4. The Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog challenged us to cast an audiobook version of our favorite book. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I chose Pride and Prejudice! I would cast Parminder Nagra as Elizabeth Bennet because I adored her spunky personality in “Bend It Like Beckham” and think she would make a strong, sassy Elizabeth. As for Mr. Darcy, I have to go with Benedict Cumberbatch — I mean, that VOICE! (Also, I’ve been binge-watching “Sherlock” recently in preparation for the Season 3 premiere, so I’m a little bit obsessed with him right now!)


Wednesday, January 8

Pages read: 66
Books read from: Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay

5. Doing Dewey asked us to introduce our favorite genre to the other BoB participants. Though I read in a variety of  genres, lately I’ve been very interested in books about World War II (which isn’t technically a genre, but bear with me!). Some of my favorite books in this category are:

  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows — A charming epistolary novel that manages to be a “feel-good” story despite being set on the German-occupied island of Guernsey. This is honestly one of my all-time favorite books!
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein — An emotionally wrenching story of friendship and courage, with two amazing female protagonists and a lot of historical background about women pilots during WWII. I sobbed through the last 60 or so pages, but it’s definitely worth reading!
  • Blackout and All Clear by Connie Willis — A meticulously researched WWII novel focusing on London during the Blitz. There’s also a time-travel element, for you science fiction fans! The story is very long and the pacing is quite slow, but that just gives the setting plenty of time to shine. 🙂
  • Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory by Ben Macintyre — A nonfiction book that reads like a novel. It’s about a real spy mission in which the Allies spread misinformation by planting false documents on a corpse dressed in a British uniform.


Thursday, January 9

Pages read: 148
Books read from: Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay (completed!)

6. Writing My Own Fairy Tale asked us to set up a bookish “double date,” or two books you think should be read together. I think Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey and The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart make a great pairing. In both books, the main character is an impostor who is pretending to be someone else. But each book takes this premise in a totally different direction! I highly recommend both books, especially if you’re the kind of person who likes con movies or mysteries with lots of plot twists.


Friday, January 10

Pages read: 116
Books read from: Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

7. Never Too Fond of Books challenged us to create a story using the last word of every line of the last page we read. My words (from Dear Mr. Knightley, page 5) are: back, so, help, and, be, again, stand, hard, help, hope, for, honest, write, right, anonymity, and, paper, well, paper-based, Medill, letter, honest, Bennet’s, sincerely, Moore.

Bennet’s letter — paper-based hope —
Help stand, help be well
For honest Moore;
Paper anonymity, so honest and hard and right…
Write back again.


What is it about? I think I’ll leave that open to the reader’s interpretation… 🙂


Saturday, January 11

Pages read: 285
Books read from: Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay (completed!); Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout

8. Midnight Book Girl asked us to “stage” a book by taking a picture of it in a setting or with items that represent the book. Here’s my picture:


The book, as you can see, is Dear Mr. Knightley. I’ve placed it with a DVD of the Gwyneth Paltrow version of “Emma” because the movie is mentioned in the book (and also because of the book’s title, obviously). There’s also a Jane Austen action figure because the main character, Samantha, loves Austen and frequently quotes from her novels. Finally, the purple thing you may not be able to identify is a graduation tassel, because Samantha is struggling to complete a grad school program in journalism.


Sunday, January 12

Pages read: 299
Books read from: Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout (completed!); Lexicon by Max Barry
Mini-challenges: none

13 thoughts on “Bout of Books 9.0 Goals and Progress

  1. sharlenehsmith says:

    Hope your mid week reading is going well. I’m having fun taking part in the challenges. Your answers look great. I didn’t know there was a book called Never Have I Ever. I can remember playing a drinking game called that in my younger years.

    • Christina says:

      Not reading quite as much as I’d like to be, but that’s life, I guess. I’m sure the title Never Have I Ever is based on the drinking game! The book hasn’t come out yet, but I think it will be released next week.

  2. Charleen says:

    I love The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society! Recently re-read it (and you already know I’m reading Code Name Verity). Another good WWII one I read recently is Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett.

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