I should be working on the cover or even the blurb for Sky’s Homecoming. I’m a little brain dead today. It’s been stormy this week and everything in the news just has me feeling blah. I’m ready for a do-over of this year.
Anyway, onto the reading and readathon. I really enjoyed this readathon and it’s easy pace. I completed all 4 of the weekly prompts and managed 11 other books this month too. (So far. Still have the rest of today and all of tomorrow left.)
This week’s prompt was to read a book about what you miss the most. There are plenty of things I miss, but I really wanted to read one of Jennifer Worth’s Call the Midwife books and I do really miss new episodes of all my favorite shows.
I read Shadows of the Work House this week. I enjoy Jennifer’s writing voice greatly as well as the historical attributes of her memoirs. This one was just heartbreaking. So many people lost so much or everything to work houses and unfair systems. Today, we don’t have work houses, but we still have so many unfair systems and so many problems.
As a lifelong reader, I’ve long used books to understand the world as much as to escape it. This week I’m just a little down, because it seems the same problems only play on repeat. I’m ready for a vacation that I can’t take and more coffee than I should drink in a day.
I’m already reading Farewell to the Eastend, the last book I have left in Jennifer Worth’s boxset. Her voice shines through immensely in this one as well.
This has been a slow reading week for me. I’ve been so busy working on Sky’s book (It’s almost ready for the editor! Finally!) I’ve only finished two books this week. Which I know is still good reading, but it’s been slow for me.
This week’s prompt for the readathon was to read a book about an essential employee. I was suggested a book by a friend. It was a memoir of a medical examiner. I was weary of reading it because I can be squirmy with blood and guts in a medical setting.
This book did make me feel squirmy with all the talk of heart disease. Yep, it was that part that got to me. Not the horrible accidents or anything like that.
I found the writer’s voice enjoyable. She has a beautiful way of explaining graphic details in a way that’s both understandable in plain English and also sometimes entertaining. She talked about stuff tough she saw during her time as a NYC medical examiner and used humor at times to make it easier to swallow.
The most difficult part for me to read was the chapters where she discussed working as part of a team to identify bodies of victims of the 9/11 attacks. As someone who was a child during that time it was difficult to know more.
She handled other tough causes about hit and runs and helped the police solve murderers and bring several criminals to justice. She’s kick ass in my humble opinion.
This week the prompt is to read a book about something you miss the most about the before covid19 normal world. I miss my shows. I miss new episodes of Call the Midwife. So I’m reading Jennifer Worth’s Shadow of the Workhouse this week. I’m looking forward to it. It’s the third book I’ve read from her of the books which inspired the show.
Stay safe and healthy out there. I’m still enforcing my own rules with myself to stay home and keep any trips out as no contact as possible. Curbside grocery pick ups and saying no to all gatherings. This won’t last forever, but I’m staying put for now.
Today I’m blah. Reading is blah. Writing is blah. Today is blah. I wrote few really emotionally challenging chapters today for Sky’s book. It’s only 11 AM and I have what I can only call an emotional hangover. I’ve written plenty of emotional scenes, but this is the first time I’ve actually had an emotional hangover from writing. Like pure numb verging on sad emotional hangover. I always knew Sky’s book would be difficult to write, but here it is. It’s moving along.
So, let’s talk about what I read this week for the readathon. This week the prompt was to read a book with an at risk character. This book had 2 of them. One was a chronic pain sufferer, Rachel, seeking a way to live with her pain and break her dependence on abusing narcotics to survive. The other was a terminally ill older gentleman with a neuro degenerative disease named Harry.
The search for a ‘cure’ led Rachel to a fictional island with a greatly written backstory and lore. This book had me with all of its twists and turns.
Also, as someone with chronic pain I related so freaking hard to Rachel. It was good chronic pain rep (if you ignore her extra pills.) But the way the author wrote her with both desperation and determination was incredible.
It wasn’t all depressing and pain, though. There was adventure, mystery, and witty lines like this: The waitress looked like she wanted to be in the middle of an argument with a handicapped person about as much as she wanted to antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea.
It was full of laugh out loud lines like that at times.
Next week’s prompt is to read about an essential employee. I’m reading a autobio/memoir of a medical examiner. Tune in next week to find out if I made it through. This was the recommendation of a friend – HI MEG! Well, hi if you’re reading this. lol I’m excited about it, but also I know anything cardio-vascular makes me squirmy.
Howdy again! Welcome back to my little neck of the woods full of books. Literally full of books. If this is your first time dropping by I’m an indie author (Check out the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga on Amazon.) and a book worm.
I’ve chosen for many reasons to remain in self-isolation through the month of May. This means I still have plenty of time to read. I mean, I always make time for it, but reading is the perfect distraction for when I’m not writing.
Last month I participated in the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon and this month I’m participating in #Quarantineathon. It’s a lot shorter than the O.W.L.s, which I really appreciate. One book a week. That’s it. Good thing for me too, because for the first week I choose an almost 600 page book. I started it on the 5th and just finished it about an hour ago. I thought I might not get through it tonight and almost regretted reading a shorter unrelated book earlier in the week.
The prompt for the readathon this week is to read a book about humanity’s hard times to remind us that we will get through this.
I read a lot of WWII fiction and non-fiction when I’m in the mood. This whole book is just haunting. It’s beautifully written but that adds to just how haunting it is. The story follows the fictionalized lives of children in a Nazi hospital and some of the staff too. So many parts of this book broke my heart.
Part of me wishes I would’ve chosen a shorter book or a book about a different hardship, because this was a difficult read for me: in length, subject matter, and the translated language. It was worth it, though. I won’t be forgetting the images from this book any time soon.
I’ll be back to talk about the readathon next weekend. The prompt for this coming week is to read a book about someone who would be high risk for COVID19 and to stay home for them.
I love these prompts. I was searching out May readathons to participate in and found this one on a new Youtube channel. Well, new to me. Getting Hygge With It is freaking fantastic. I’ve watched so many of her videos this week. If you’re into the BookTube Community of Youtube you should definitely check her out.
So, I enjoyed last month’s O.W.L.s Magical Readathon so much that I had to find another one to participate in this month. I considered Bout of Books, but that one is for just reading more. Honestly, I’m reading more than ever. That’s not a challenge this year. So, I went on the search because I wanted prompts and this one hosted/created by Getting Hygge With It on YouTube is a readathon I can get behind.
Quarnatineathon – is a readathon for the modern times and reminder that staying in doors is good not only for our health right now, but for those who have to go out to work and those at high risk. I won’t tell anyone what to do – but honestly, my state’s starting to lift restriction soon and they can kiss my arse. I won’t be going out and resuming normal activities. I’ve been telling everyone I know to listen to scientists and doctors and watch the data roll in themselves. The economy will never be worth your life. That’s why I love the message behind this readathon. The prompts the host came up with are fantastic and suit the situation.
I’ll link her video at the end for everyone to check out, but here’s how it works. Short. Simple. To the Point. Just the way I like things. (Well, sometimes I like things like a long list of prompts relating to my Hogwarts courses, but I like stuff like this too. I’m complicated.)
The readathon runs from May 3- 30th. One prompt for each week of the month.
WEEK 1 – Read a book that explores the hard times humanity has faced before. We WILL get through this too!
WEEK 2 – Read a book about a character who would be at risk from the coronavirus. Stay inside for them!
WEEK 3– Show essential workers some love by reading a book about an essential worker as a main character.
WEEK 4– Read a book about what you miss most from the normal world. Live vicariously through it!
Since this readathon only has 4 prompts I’ll read other books throughout the month too, but my TBR is as follows.
WEEK 1 – Read a book that explores the hard times humanity has faced before. We WILL get through this too!
The Am Spiegelgrund clinic, in glittering Vienna, masqueraded as a well-intentioned reform school for wayward boys and girls and a home for chronically ill children. The reality, however, was very different: in the wake of Germany’s annexation of Austria on the eve of World War II, its doctors, nurses, and teachers created a monstrous parody of the institution’s benign-sounding brief. The Nazi regime’s euthanasia program would come to determine the fate of many of the clinic’s inhabitants.
Through the eyes of a child inmate, Adrian Ziegler, and a nurse, Anna Katschenka, Steve Sem-Sandberg, the author of the award-winning The Emperor of Lies, explores the very meaning of survival. An absorbing, emotionally overwhelming novel, rich in incident and character, The Chosen Ones is obliquely illuminated by the author’s sharp sense of the absurd. Passionately serious, meticulously researched, and deeply profound, this extraordinary and dramatic novel bears witness to oppression and injustice, and offers invaluable and necessary insight into an intolerable chapter in Austria’s past.
WEEK 2 – Read a book about a character who would be at risk from the coronavirus. Stay inside for them!
Once a century, for only six days, the bay around a small Washington island glows like a water-bound aurora. Dr. Rachel Bell, a scientist studying the 100-Year Miracle and the tiny sea creatures that create it, knows a secret about the phenomenon that inspired the region’s myths and folklore: the rare green water may contain a power that could save Rachel’s own life (and change the world). When Rachel connects with Harry and Tilda, a divorced couple cohabiting once again as Harry enters the last stages of a debilitating disease, Harry is pulled into Rachel’s obsession and hope as they both grasp at this once-in-a-lifetime chance to save themselves.
But the Miracle does things to people. Strange and mysterious things. And as these things begin to happen, Rachel has only six days to uncover and control the Miracle’s secrets before the waters go dark for another hundred years.
WEEK 3- Show essential workers some love by reading a book about an essential worker as a main character.
The fearless memoir of a young forensic pathologist’s rookie season as a NYC medical examiner, and the cases, hair-raising and heartbreaking and impossibly complex, that shaped her as both a physician and a mother.
Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband T.J. and their toddler Daniel holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation, performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy’s two years of training, taking readers behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple, including a firsthand account of the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax bio-terrorism attack, and the disastrous crash of American Airlines flight 587.
Lively, action-packed, and loaded with mordant wit, Working Stiff offers a firsthand account of daily life in one of America’s most arduous professions, and the unexpected challenges of shuttling between the domains of the living and the dead. The body never lies, and through the murders, accidents, and suicides that land on her table, Dr. Melinek lays bare the truth behind the glamorized depictions of autopsy work on shows like CSI and Law and Order to reveal the secret story of the real morgue.
WEEK 4- Read a book about what you miss most from the normal world. Live vicariously through it! (More on why I chose this one for this prompt in a later blog.)
In this follow up to CALL THE MIDWIFE, Jennifer Worth, a midwife working in the docklands area of East London in the 1950s tells more stories about the people she encountered.
There’s Jane, who cleaned and generally helped out at Nonnatus House – she was taken to the workhouse as a baby and was allegedly the illegitimate daughter of an aristocrat. Peggy and Frank’s parents both died within 6 months of each other and the children were left destitute. At the time, there was no other option for them but the workhouse. The Reverend Thornton-Appleby-Thorton, a missionary in Africa, visits the Nonnatus nuns and Sister Julienne acts as matchmaker. And Sister Monica Joan, the eccentric ninety-year-old nun, is accused of shoplifting some small items from the local market. She is let off with a warning, but then Jennifer finds stolen jewels from Hatton Garden in the nun’s room.
These stories give a fascinating insight into the resilience and spirit that enabled ordinary people to overcome their difficulties.
This is just part of what I’ll read in May, but I invite everyone who is able – stay home, read, game, make art. Try making sourdough bread and dalgona coffee (I like this one) and all those other things that are becoming cliche as we stay inside. Try them or try something else and start a new trend.
I had a lot of fun in April with this readathon! It really brightened up the time I spent at home. A lot of places are relaxing social distancing, but I’m not. I won’t go into what I think too much in this, but let’s just say if there were another big readathon this month with great prompts like this I’d be down for it.
I completed all the prompts this time around. This is my second year attempting the O.W.L.s last year they went great and then life totally freaked up my N.E.W.T.s in August.
I enjoyed most of what I read last month. (I read books outside of this too which totaled 19.) My favorite new reads were The Things I’m Seeing Without You and What If It’s Us?. Seriously I love those books. They’re YA, but you should still read them.
This month I’m participating in a smaller readathon that I love the message of! More info on which readathon it is and what my TBR looks like for it.
So… I participated in Dewey’s this year again. I really enjoyed most of the day, but didn’t get to read at much as I wanted. It was stormy. I have weather anxiety after living in the Midwest. It interrupted my day. Though, I really enjoyed the 6 hours and 12 minutes I did read. I probably would’ve hit ten if the storm didn’t come when it did. I was never going to read for 24 hours or even 12. I have to move around. I get stiff and brain fogged if I don’t. I was aiming for 8, but since no one’s counting in the long run I’m okay with the fact I didn’t manage it.
So what did I spend those 6 hours and 12 minutes reading?
I started with a great audiobook. I still haven’t finished it, because my brain will only take so much audiobook at a time. I listen while I do chores or play Stardew Valley. (And when I make book covers! lol)
What If It’s Us? By Becky Albertalli
This is a YA Romance. It’s cute and funny and insightful. I love that the characters are well fleshed out. Ben’s character gets a bit preachy at times for me. He talks with insight that surely comes from the author and not his teenage self. I’ll forgive that, though, because this book has made me laugh, cry, and just bang my head on the proverbial wall of ‘why did he do that?’ I’m loving it. I still have about an hour left of it and will likely finish it up today while I do laundry and stuff.
Then I read Quidditch Through the Ages, because I wanted something fun to read. It took me all of 20 minutes, but it was a nice trip back to Hogwarts.
Then this one is probably what really slowed me down – I don’t know why I choose to read a memoir – no matter how short- in a readathon where continuing to read is the goal.
I Have Lived a Thousand Years by Livia Bitton-Jackson
It’s been on my TBR shelf for a long time now. It’s the book I mostly read at night for the prompt. I love memoirs and history. Even heart-breaking history. I just think if I would’ve read something more light-hearted I would’ve finished more books.
Yesterday evening I finished reading Nicholas Spark’s Message in a Bottle. It was the last book I needed to fulfill the prompts to be a healer through the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon (along with my extra lectures.) Since there are still 8 days left in the month I’m going to go for a clean sweep of the prompts. Yep, I was that kid in school too.
The books above in green are the ones I needed for my readathon goals and have finished readidng. The ones under those are the ones I need to make a clean sweep of the readathon.
I think besides being stuck at home what helped me the most this time around is the fact I changed out books that fit the prompts and my reading whims and moods. We’ll see how the rest of the month goes, but either way I’m ready for my N.E.W.T.s come August 2020!
Reading has definitely made my time in self-isolation more magical. I don’t have much more time than I did before this started. I work from home. I write almost everyday. I just published a book and am taking a long weekend. Which is rare. Really rare for me to do as a workaholic. This hasn’t been my highest reading month. That was January with 17 books. So far this month I’ve read 10 books so far this month. Only 6 of them have been for the readathon.
So far most of the books I’ve read for the readathon haven’t been the ones I thought I would from the start. All of them have changed except Hum If You Don’t Know the Words. It was a really good book. I’ve added in other rereads and some random books I grabbed off the shelf when the power was out here for 21 hours earlier this week.
The only O.W.L.s I have left to pass are Transfiguration and Defense Against the Dark Arts. I’m currently reading and listening to two separate books that have nothing to do with the readathon, but caught my attention. One is a library loan e-book of World War Z. I want to get it read and returned so the next person can read it. I had to wait a few weeks to get it.
I’m happy with my progress this month, because I have 12 days (one of them including Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon) and only 2 more books to read for this challenge. I don’t plan on switching the books I chose for those subjects at this time, but who knows? I’ve always been a reader who follows her whims.
Finally! I’m writing a blog at an appropriate time and not when I should be working on my novel! Book 9 of the Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga is off to the editor! I can’t wait to bring it out for everyone to read, but for now it’s time to catch up on my own reading. My O.W.L.s are going a bit slower than I thought they would.
I know it’s only the 8th, but I’m behind by my own logic.I should finish a book about every 2 days to get through all 8 of them this month. It’s the eighth and I’ve finished one. My Potions O.W.L. at that. I’m in the middle of my O.W.L.s for Care of Magical Creatures and History of Magic. My TBR has shifted a little bit as my mood has changed. I switched from the Christmas Carol to the Most Dangerous Game for my Potions O.W.L. Then I switched my History of Magic to The Witchcraft of Salem Village. It’s non-fic about the Salem witch trails. I think it’s in the spirit of the O.W.L. I’m currently reading that one and Hum if You Don’t Know the Words. I’m enjoying them both for different reasons.
I’ve put together a handy spreadsheet to track my progress. I should say I’ve also finished two books I wanted to read that were not for the O.W.L.s and that’s why I’m behind on the readathon. I’m reading just not what I should be reading. lol As usual, this list is subject to change on O.W.L.s I haven’t started.