Riordathon2020: Godly Parents

Som nevnt i innlegget om The Land of Green Ginger bestemte jeg meg spontant for å bli med på runde tre av #Riordathon2020, The Percy Jackson edition, organisert av @bokpanda, @bookstrider og @lesehjornet siden den ene boka slo ikke bare to, men seks fluer i en smekk. Forsvarlig behandling, som jeg allerede hadde lånt fra biblioteket, passet perfekt inn på oppgaven “anbefalt av en venn”, og siden det er det eneste punktet som må oppfylles av en bok som ikke brukes på flere punkter har jeg ikke engang vurdert om den oppfyller andre krav. Nå holder jeg på med The Outlaws of Sherwood av Robin McKinley, det er både gjenlesing og gjenfortelling og oppfyller derfor punkt 4 dobbelt opp, og dessuten punkt 11. Deretter har jeg en slags plan om å lese Min vei, Ruth Reeses selvbiografi som jeg ble tipset om på Twitter for noen uker siden. Den fikk jeg tak i i hardcover hos min lokale bruktbokpusher, så den dekker i alle fall oppgave 1.

Etter det får vi se. Jeg har fram til slutten av januar, så det skal ikke stå på tiden, nødvendigvis, men jeg skal helst finne bøker på TBR som passer til de siste oppgavene, jeg trenger ikke egentlig å få lagt bøker til TBR, kan du si. Men det gjenstår bare fem punkter, og siden man kan velge seg både våpen og “forelder” og dermed påvirke oppgaveinnholdet virker det ganske overkommelig. Det er naturlig for meg å velge enten sverd eller bue og pil, siden jeg “kan” å bruke begge IRL, og siden jeg alt har dekket “furies” som bua eliminerer er det vel smart å velge sverd… Da kan jeg kutte ut den oppgaven jeg ønsker. Av gudommelige foreldre faller det nærliggende å tenke at jeg nok hører hjemme hos Dionysos/Bacchus, med tanke på hva jeg blogger om i tillegg til bøker. Da kan jeg dessuten kutte ut enda en oppgave ved for eksempel å ta meg en whisky, og det er vel lite sannsynlig at jeg ikke skal ha meg en whisky en eller annen gang i løpet av januar.

Har du også lyst til å bli med på lesemaratonet anbefaler jeg å sjekke instagramkontoene til arrangørene (altså @bokpanda, @bookstrider og @lesehjornet). De har alle detaljer i høydepunkter i stories. For oversikt over oppgaver sjekk pdf på google drive og for oversikt over gudommelige foreldre og hvilke fordeler de gir kan du sjekke nettsiden: Godly parent guide.

Min liste så langt:

1. Medusa: read a hardcover book – Min vei
2. Lupa: read a book with a parent character – The Land of Green Ginger
3. Furies: read a book with a bird on the cover – The Land of Green Ginger
4. Chimera: read a re-telling or a re-read – The Outlaws of Sherwood
5. Lycanthrope: read a book with a mythical creature – The Land of Green Ginger
6. Cerberus: read a book with an animal on the cover – The Land of Green Ginger
7. Cyclopes: read a book with imprisonment – The Land of Green Ginger
8. Titans: read a book where someone/something is overthrown
9. Sphinx: read a book with a tragedy
10. Scylla: read a book with a blue cover, or a ship on the cover/in the title
11. Centaur: read a book about hero – The Outlaws of Sherwood
12. Minotaur: read a book with a strength
13. Empusa: read a book with demons or an evil character – The Land of Green Ginger
14. Charybdis: read a book with a trap or a plot-twist
15. To close the doors: read a book recommended to you by a friend. This is the one that can’t be doubled, it has to be one of a kind to close the Doors of Death – Forsvarlig behandling

The Land of Green Ginger – Noel Langley

The Land of Green Ginger av Noel Langley er riktignok bare delvis grønn utenpå, men siden den har ordet grønn i tittelen tenkte jeg den fikk godkjennes som januarbok i @grefvinnans #färggladahyllvarmare – en utfordring på Instagram. Den har i alle fall stått på hylla i noen år, kjøpt – selvsagt – fordi Neil Gaiman har blurbet (og skrevet forord). Først utgitt i 1937, revidert og forkortet i 1966 og deretter forkortet enda mer, har den visstnok ikke vært ‘out of print’ siden den kom ut. Utgaven min har teksten fra 1966.

På Goodreads er mange veldig entusiastiske, på lik linje med Gaiman, men jeg tør vedde på at majoriteten av dem har lest boka som barn og har et nostalgisk forhold til den, for i ’66 (og ’37) var nok dette ganske orginalt og spennende, men med 2021-øyne er dette… vel. Det er pur eksotisering av orienten, det hadde ikke akkurat vært vanskelig å rive den i fillebiter med postkoloniale briller.

Historien er tydelig inspirert av 1001 Natt, og hovedpersonen er Aladdins sønn Abu Ali. Bokas handling og “cultural appropriation” strekker seg fra Persia og Arabia via Samarkand til Kina (der Aladdin av en eller annen grunn er keiser), og ikke bare fremstilles det som at disse statene er maks et par dagsreiser (på kamel eller til fots) fra hverandre, men navnene til persongalleriet er ordlek med klisjemessig arabisk-, persisk- og kinesisk-lydende ord uten videre logikk i hvor personen kommer fra og hva hen heter (som de onde prinsene Tintac Ping Foo og Rubdub Ben Thud fra hhv Persia og Arabia). Ser man bort fra det er historien forsåvidt søt og til dels underholdende, men handlingen er styrt av tilfeldigheter og usannsynlig flaks og uflaks. Det eneste positive jeg kan si er at det er et par morsomme hendelser helt i starten; “the special meetings of state” er ganske fornøyelige, og at Langley får til vellykket lek med språket når han bare holder seg til engelsk i stedet for tulle-orientalsk (de to onde prinsene blir introdusert som “vapid, villainous, vindictive, vengeful, vexatious, wilfully wicked” og “small, fat, footling, fatuous, infantile, infuriating, wantonly wicked” for eksempel).

Aldri så galt at det ikke er godt for noe: Jeg hadde såvidt begynt på The Land of Green Ginger når jeg oppdaget at del tre av #riordathon2020 (organisert av @bokpanda, @bookstrider og @lesehjornet) var i gang, og boka gjør faktisk at jeg kan krysse av hele seks av punktene på lista, så da bestemte jeg meg brått for å bli med. Det krever riktignok litt mer gjennomtenkte valg for resten av bøkene jeg skal lese framover, men det skal vel være mulig å få til noe.

Boka har jeg kjøpt sjøl.

Queer Lit Readathon wrap-up

It’s been a few weeks, but here’s a belated summary of my Queer Lit Readathon reading.

This Winter by Alice Oseman checks off Background Romance, Non Coming Out and Winter Vibes. I thought Tori was Ace according to canon, so that  This Winter would count for Ace/Aro MC, too, but I think I may have been wrong about that.

Love Lives Here by Amanda Jette Knox was my pick for Adult Fiction/Nonfiction (the latter, obvs), ???, and See Yourself (I am Cis, and so is Amanda).

George by Alex Gino covers Pre/Non-Medical Transition.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta covers #ownvoices, BIPOC MC and MC Not Like You.

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales was picked for Retelling, but also works for Host Rec and Queer Friends.

Lumberjanes vol. 9: On a Roll squeezed in to cover Graphic Novel.

So that’s every square checked (well, with some doubt about Ace/Aro MC), except the group read. I ordered Summer of Everything by Julian Winters at the same time as Only Mostly Devastated, and it was supposed to arrive on time according to the estimates from the shop, but alas. It would have been a challenge to finish it within the readathon week in any case, but without the book in hand it was obviously impossible. It has arrived now, though, so it will be read eventually.

I have, to a certain extent, been prioritising reading over blogging about the books I’ve read over the last few months (if not longer), so to make sure I get these written up I will stick to a very brief summary of my thoughts for each of them here, rather than pretend to myself that I’ll do a proper review of them at some later point.

This Winter by Alice Oseman is a novella that takes place after the three volumes of Heartstopper that are already out and before Solitaire (which I’ve since read). It is narrated by the three Spring kids, Tori, Charlie and Oliver, who each get a section in order of age from oldest to youngest. It is also illustrated in Oseman’s characteristic style. The whole of the plot takes place on Christmas day. The book comes with a content warning, in that it references mental illness and eating disorders and includes “ignorant views regarding mental illness” (a wording which I particularly liked).

Tori and Charlie are trying to put a rather rough autumn/winter behind them, and for Tori that means trying to protect Charlie as well as dealing with her own “disasterous” life. Charlie seems to want to escape from himself (and his family). Oliver mainly wants someone – preferably his elder siblings – to play Mario Cart with him. The novella is a moving and insightful portrait of a family dealing with mental illness, and of how everyone is unavoidably tied up in the situation, though the way they try to deal ranges from trying too hard to help to pretending nothing is wrong (or even, in the extended family, making fun of the whole thing).

This is Tori:

I walk back into the kitchen. Mum is still washing up. I walk up to her, and her face looks like stone. Like ice, maybe. There’s a pause, and then she says, ‘You know, I am trying my best.’

I know she is, but her best isn’t really good enough, and it shouldn’t be about how she feels anyway.

(Page 44.) It’s hard not to feel like the Spring parents are fumbling at their parenting job, but as a parent myself, who has not had personal experience with mental illness, I’m not all that sure I’d have done a much better job. Well, in fact, that is very much one of the reasons why I read books – like these and in general – in order to learn, to get the perspective of the struggling teens, in this case, letting me see the world from their point of view.

Here’s Charlie:

I should explain about the argument with Mum and all the arguments we’ve had over the past few weeks. I should explain how difficult it is to keep trying to do better when there are so many people who just refuse to understand how hard it is. I should explain that I barely slept last night because I was so anxious about dinner and, even though I actually did quite well, I still felt like everyone was watching me, waiting for me to fuck up and ruin the day.

(Page 72.) I started reading Solitaire at the tail end of the readathon, and I’m looking foreward to making my way though all of Oseman’s books, probably in the near future (I have purchased them all, so it’s just a matter of finding the time).

I came across Amanda Jetté Knox on Twitter a while back, and have been meaning to read her  well, I guess we can call it a memoir? Love Lives Here was a very interesting, and in parts moving read. Someone on Goodreads called it a bit of a Trans 101, and I suppose there is something in that, if you’ve already read a bit about the issue and you’re looking to understand more about transness in itself, this is perhaps not where you should go.

I did, however, find it interesting to get the coming-out-as-trans stories from the point of view of a cis woman, since I myself am cis, and moreover from the point of view of a parent. There is also quite a lot of discussion about advocacy, about being public as a family of supportive individuals, and being public in general. When Amanda’s partner suggest she uses her parenting blog as an advocacy platform, Alexis (then out as trans boy, now non-binary) makes a point:

“You should do that!” Alexis agreed. “When I searched for trans kids in Canada, I couldn’t find any stories of families who were supportive. Not one. We should be that one.”

(Page 99.) The frequency of sucicide and suicide ideation is already much higher in trans and non-binary kids, how much worse is a Google-search that tells them they will be thrown out from home and shunned by everyone they love going to make that situation? It is admirable to out oneself out there as the (sensible but apparently unusual) alternative: The loving and accepting family.

Interesting as this was, though, the next book I pick up about trans issues will be by a trans author. Time for some #ownvoices to teach this old cis lady about the myriad of human experience.

I read Rick by Alex Gino, which happens after George chronologically, a few weeks before the readathon. A pity, since it would have worked beautifully for Ace/Aro. Ah, well. In terms of order it didn’t make all that much difference to me that I read them “the wrong way round”, but Rick does spoil George (quite a bit, and not just on the coming out parts which you could probably take a guess at either), so if you can stick to the proper order, do.

George is a sweet story, very much not intended for 46-year-olds. Which doesn’t mean we can’t read it, obviously, and certainly doesn’t mean we can’t learn from it. I don’t suppose it’s too much of a spoiler to say that it’s a book about being trans. In fact, if so, the synopsis will spoil it for me. George/Charlotte is lucky enough to have a best friend that sticks with her, a mother who, despite taking some time, comes round and an older brother who takes it all in his stride:

“Weird. But it kinda makes sense, No offence, but you don’t make a very good boy.”

“I know.”

(Page 156.) Which feeds into the theme from Love Lives Here: If we are going to make progress, we (and most especially trans/LGBTQ+ kids/teens) need stories with happy endings and families that are able to adjust and stick together and love one another, or else coming out is just going to remain as terrifying as it must have been for centuries.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta was already on my TBR pile, suggested to me by who knows. The combination of it ticking several bingo boxes and being a relatively quick read, being in verse, made it the perfect pick for the readathon.

The narrative being from the first person perspective and the verse form combine to make this a hard-hitting read. The book fits the prompt “MC Not Like You” perfectly, Michael is my opposite in every element of the snappy shorthand descriptions we use to group people. He is male, mixed-race, gay and gender bending, I am cis female, white and straight. Even so, it is not difficult to empathise with Michael’s exploration of his identity, and his emergence towards the end of the book as ‘The Black Flamingo’, fierce, in drag, and wholly himself, is a triumph the reader shares.

Interspersed throughout the narrative are standalone poems by Michael. Here’s an example:

I Come From

I come from shepherd’s pie and Sunday
roast, jerk chicken and stuffed wine leaves.
I come from travelling through taste buds
but loving where I live. I come from
a home that some would call broken.

I come from DIY that never got done.
I come from waiting by the phone
for him to call. I come from waving
the white flag to loneliness. I come from
the rainbow flag and the Union Jack.

I come from a British passport
and an ever-ready suitcase. I come from
jet fuel and fresh coconut water.
I come from crossing oceans
to find myself. I come from deep issues
and shallow solutions.

I come from a limited vocabulary
but an unrestricted imagination.
I come from a decent education
and a marvellous mother.

I come from being given permission
to dream but choosing to wake up
instead. I come from wherever I lay
my head. I come from unanswered
questions and unread books, unnoticed
effort and undelivered apologies
and thanks. I come from who I trust
and who I have left.

I come from last year and last year
and I don’t notice how I’ve changed.
I come from looking in the mirror
and looking online to find myself.
I come from stories, myths, legends
and folk tales. I come from lullabies
and pop songs, hip-hop and poetry.

I come from griots, grandmothers
and her-story tellers. I come from
published words and strangers’ smiles.
I come from my own pen but I see
people torn apart like paper, each a story
or poem that never made it into a book.

(Pages 217-218.)

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales was suggested by one of the hosts for the “Retelling” prompt and I’m glad we crossed paths.

I found it to be a clever reworking of the Grease plot. In place of Sandy and Danny we find Ollie from California, plonked down in North Carolina because his parents want to stay near his aunt (who is very ill with cancer), and Will, basketball jock, definitely not out. The supporting cast is both charming and interesting (a bit like in the movie) and help bring the story to life. Quite apart from the summer-romance-oh-now-we’re-at-the-same-school-and-that-is-not-who-I-am-here plot, there are other echoes of Grease, not least in the gradual realisation of Ollie’s that while he is finding the situation tough, so is Will, and that if they want to have a chance at an actual relationship they both need to give as well as take. Even down to the words and phrases there are echoes. I feel the title (a phrase that appears in the book, too) sounds like “hopelessly devoted” in some intangible way (and it made me hum the song every time I thought about the title), but those words also appear:

If I didn’t cut Will off cold-turkey, I’d end up pining over him, all hopelessly devoted, and hurt, and unrequited.

(Page 79.) It’s been quite a few years since I last watched Grease, but I’m positive that a careful side-by-side comparison would reveal even more details that the two have in common than the many I spotted.

It’s more of a YA romance than I would normally read (I may be growing old after all, I have grown out of teen romance…), but the revamped Grease story and the nicely handled theme of coming out – how different the experience can be depending on your family, friends and local community (Ollie from liberal-minded California has been out “forever”) – made it a much more interesting read than the plain boy-meets-boy-and-after-some-obstacles-they-live-happily-ever-after romance story.

The Lumberjanes series is a firm favourite in this house. Some time in the autumn I resolutely purchased all the volumes we were missing from Waterstones. They propmtly disappeared into the teen’s room, but I have been asking for them back in order so I could (re)read the whole thing chronologically. In volume 9: On a Roll our heroes, the Roanokes, find an overground roller derby track and challenge a group of Sasquatches to a game, in order to help the neighbourhood Yetis whose digs the Sasquatches have taken over. This being Lumberjane-country, the track turns out to have… well, deadly booby traps.

It’s unabashedly queer (yes, in both senses) and undeniably weird and unendingly charming.

Alle bøkene har jeg kjøpt sjøl.

Bout of Books 30: Sign-up and progress post

As usual, I will be participating in Bout of Books. I have previously found it a good way to kickstart my reading for the year. I will also (as usual) stick my daily updates in this post rather than add a new one per day.

The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in YOUR time zone. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are reading sprints, Twitter chats, and exclusive Instagram challenges, but they’re all completely optional. For all Bout of Books 30 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Today is day one, and I am all set to go, I just need to get through this little matter of thefirstworkingdayoftheyear first.

Monday

Finished:
A Presumption of Death – Jill Paton Walsh (inspired by Dorothy L. Sayers) p 135-372
Where the sidewalk ends – Shel Silverstein p 176-183 (reading aloud with the youngest)

Started:
The Land of Green Ginger – Noel Langley p 1-20

Instagram challenge:

 

Se dette innlegget på Instagram

 

Et innlegg delt av Ragnhild Lervik (@lattermild)

Once I’d finished the book I had to ad a comment to my own Instagram post:

You know what? Scratch that. When I wrote the above I was just about half-way through, and Lord Peter had just turned up. Now I’ve finished and I really don NOT think I will spend any further time on Walsh’s versions of Peter and Harriet. She does a decent job on the details of the characters, the setting and landscape, and to a certain extent the plot, but she completely fails to capture the relationship between Peter and Harriet, the dialogue feels clunky and the attempts at continuing Sayer’s version of Harriet’s internal dialogue is almost embarrassing. I might get rid of this one alltogether rather than risk rereading it again in a fit of “but I want MORE” the next time I reread Sayer’s books.

Tuesday

Continued:
The Land of Green Ginger – Noel Langley p 21-158

Started:
Lighting Girl #4: Superpower Showdown – Alesha Dixon p 1-25 (reading aloud with the youngest)

Instagram challenge:

 

Se dette innlegget på Instagram

 

Et innlegg delt av Ragnhild Lervik (@lattermild)

Wednesday

Finished:
The Land of Green Ginger – Noel Langley p 159-288

Continued:
Lighting Girl #4: Superpower Showdown – Alesha Dixon p 26-32 (reading aloud with the youngest)

Would have picked up a new book after Green Ginger, but went to check Twitter quickly and ended up doomscrolling the domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol in DC instead.

Instagram challenge:

 

Se dette innlegget på Instagram

 

Et innlegg delt av Ragnhild Lervik (@lattermild)

Thursday

Started
Forsvarlig behandling – Unni Cathrine Eiken p 1-40
The Outlaws of Sherwood – Robin McKinley p 1-12

Continued:
Lighting Girl #4: Superpower Showdown – Alesha Dixon p 33-45 (reading aloud with the youngest)

Instagram challenge:

 

Se dette innlegget på Instagram

 

Et innlegg delt av Ragnhild Lervik (@lattermild)

Friday

Continued:
Forsvarlig behandling – Unni Cathrine Eiken p 41-98
Lighting Girl #4: Superpower Showdown – Alesha Dixon p 46-60 (reading aloud with the youngest)

Saturday

Continued:
Forsvarlig behandling – Unni Cathrine Eiken p 98-169
Lighting Girl #4: Superpower Showdown – Alesha Dixon p 61-75 (reading aloud with the youngest)

Sunday

Finished:
Forsvarlig behandling – Unni Cathrine Eiken p 170-304

Continued:
Lighting Girl #4: Superpower Showdown – Alesha Dixon p 76-91 (reading aloud with the youngest)
The Outlaws of Sherwood – Robin McKinley p 12-32

Summary

That’s 959 pages in total, which is pretty good going for one week even if it would have been more satisfying to hit 1000. After the events of Wednesday, the official updates and events of the readathon were toned down to a minimum, understandably, and I fell out of the loop Instagram-wise. Hopefully we can return in May (Bout of Books 31 is scheduled from May 10th to May 16th) in a world where the orange cheeto is a nobody (preferably in jail) and where the mob of Wednesday have discovered the little something that is the consequences of their own actions. We’ll see.

Queer Lit Readathon TBR

Background Romance: Meaning a book where the romance isn’t the point of the book, it’s just there.

The Deep by Rivers Solomon has been suggested on the @queer_lit Instagram, and I recently purchased it.

Group ReadSummer of Everything by Julian Winters.

I’ve ordered this (and Only Mostly Devastated, see below), just hope it gets here in time.

Adult Fiction/Nonfiction: Read an adult book that is either fiction or nonfiction.

Love Lives Here by Amanda Jette Knox, also ticks the box for Nonfiction November.

???: Choose Your Own Category – tells us what it is in your TBR

Hør her’a by Gulraiz Sharif. This autumn’s big thing to talk about here in Norway.

Non Coming Out: Read a story that does not have a coming out

Ace/Aro MC: Read a book with an asexual/aromantic main character.

I belive Radio Silence by Alice Oseman will work here, but I’m not sure. I’d read Loveless, but as I just read it it seems like cheating to read it again.

Pre/Non-Medical Transition: This means a trans main character that is pre medical transition, or one that has no desire to physically transition.

George by Alex Gino.

See Yourself: Read a book where a character shares an identity of yours.

The Ace/Aro book will do here, though I guess I’m demi- rather than completely a-.

#ownvoices: Read a book that has been written by an author with that identity

BIPOC MC: Read a book with a main character that is Black, Indigenous, or a person of color.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta – would also tick off #ownvoices, I guess?

Winter Vibes: Read a book that gives you feelings of winter.

This Winter by Alice Oseman.

Host Rec: Read a book recommended by one of the hosts

Well, I guess The Deep would count here.

Queer Friends: Read a book about queer friends

Can I reread? Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me would tick off both this and the graphic novel prompt, and I feel like I should reread it anyway, I sped through my first read (I always do). Come to think of it, it’d do for non-coming out, too. I’m open to suggestions, though (though I’m running short on time to get hold of new books).

Graphic Novel: Read a graphic novel

Retelling: Read a retelling of a fairytale, classic story, or the such.

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales as recommended by @queer_lit sounds like fun and is a possible candidate.

MC Not Like You: This is open to of a different sexuality, gender identity, nationality, ethnicity – just read diversely

Well, let’s say The Black Flamingo for this one, too.

Expect changes, but at least I have a plan… Sort of.

TBRs from other participants (lots of tips for books to read in the future here!):

Queer Lit Readathon

Queer Lit Readathon is a readathon I’ve seen others participate in before, most notably @hiddeninabook on various platforms. But for once I’ve caught whiff of the ‘thon before it starts rather than after the act, so this time I’m going to participate.

Round 6 runs from November 2th to December 5th in your timezone. For the details, watch Kathy Trithardt explain on YouTube (or read the video description, which has all the useful links and everything), or go to Rogan Shannon’s blog post about it.

There are 16 challenges, and since the same book can count towards several, the obvious goal is to tick them all off. I’ll have to dig through my TBR and see what sort of plan I can come up with.

Bout of Books 29: Signup and progress post

The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in YOUR time zone. Bout of Books is low-pressure. All reading-in-place times, Twitter chats, and exclusive Instagram challenges are completely optional. For Bout of Books 29 information and updates, visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I should have plenty of time to read this week, and I could do with a boost (or a good kick up the behind, if you like), so I will be “bouting” again.

This post will be updated with progress throughout the week. I will also try to participate in the Instagram-challenges, you’ll find me as @lattermild (same nick on Twitter, but I post less about books there).

Update: Well. I did read, a bit. But I completely forgot to update here. I managed to post pictures on Instagram for the first three days, and then we travelled to Oslo for a long weekend and that unravelled as well. Anyhoo, books finished during Bout of Books 29:

  • Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
  • Zalt: Dampherrenes planet by Jon Bing
  • Lumberjanes: The Shape of Friendship by Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Brooklyn Allen, Grace Ellis and Lilah Sturges

Hardly terribly impressive, but not nothing. I also read a few pages of Zeshan Shakar’s new novel, Gul bok.

Bout of Books 27: Signup and progress post

It seems a little optimistic, but what the hey, here I am signing up for Bout of Books again.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, Twitter chats, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 27 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I will update this post as the week goes on. At least that is the plan. The last Bout of Books I signed up for (number 25) didn’t go too well for me, but it’s a question of getting up, dusting oneself off and trying again.

Monday

Book-related activities: I’ve tidied my bloggroll, removing any blogs that have not been updated in 2019 seems safe enough, and I’ve added a couple of new ones.

Despite claiming to ignore all challenges for 2020 I have added both Bookriot’s Read Harder, Elida’s 1001-boksirkel, Bokhyllelesing and Kaosutmaningen to my spreadsheet. Ambitions are low. We will see.

But I blogged today! Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons, which I finished yesterday AND the two graphic novels I read today.

Today’s Instagram challenge: Current read.

Monday reading:
The Eternal Smile by Gene Luen Yang and Derek Kirk Kim, 170 pages.
Edelgran by Fredrik Di Fiore and Geir Moen, 196 pages.
Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani, page 1-73.

Tuesday

Well, I blogged AGAIN. About an audiobook, no less.

Tuesday reading:
Tubakrisen by Pia Lise Selnes (as audiobook), 104 pages.
Heltinner jeg har møtt by Arnhild Skre, pages 1-64.
Dishoom: From Bombay with Love by Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar and Naved Nasir, pages 1-20.
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl, pages 1-19.

Wednesday

Mucking about with the blog again threw up some issues, and after a quick chat with my web host (the ever helpful Direkte.no) I realised some blog maintenance was in order. So now I’ve ditched my old WordPress theme (Twenty-thirteen. I did say old.), deleted some unused plugins, updated to use https and just generally shaken some dust out of the nooks and crannies.

Wednesday reading:
Heltinner jeg har møtt by Arnhild Skre, pages 64-80.
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl, pages 19-27.

Thursday

Thursday reading:
Heltinner jeg har møtt by Arnhild Skre, pages 81-104.

Friday

Today’s Instagram challenge: Recent five-star read.

Friday reading:
Heltinner jeg har møtt by Arnhild Skre, pages 105-117.
One of OurThursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde, pages 195-206.
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl, pages 28-35.

Saturday

Saturday reading:
Heltinner jeg har møtt by Arnhild Skre, pages 117-126.
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl, pages 36-46.

Sunday

Sunday I was busy all day with something that meant reading was a no-go, so NO pages.

Summary

Well. While I could certainly have read more during the second half of the week, I’m pretty delighted with the total number of pages (746), and three blog entries (and one draft, soon ready, too). What a nice kickstart to 2020.

Bout of Books 25: Sign-up and progress post

It is Bout of Books time again, and though it falls in a somewhat busy week I will attempt to participate. Perhaps it can push me to getting at least a LITTLE reading done.

For new readers:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 13th and runs through Sunday, May 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, Twitter chats, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 25 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

NEWTs Readathon

Since I managed to tick off a few OWLs in July’s resit, I might as well make a stab at NEWTs in August.

I found out about the readathon from Liz at Travels in Retrospect, but the idea comes from Gintare of Bookroast, and the announcement video can be found here (with links to the rules and tasks in the video description).

Since which NEWTs I can sit is determined by which OWLs I managed to pass, the following are my subjects and tasks. I should surely manage at least an Acceptable in each, right? The book I am about to start right now is Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters, which should get me going on Charms at least, and then we’ll see how I go from there.

Arithmancy

A – At least 300 pages long: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

E – Ends on an even page

O – Not the first in a series

Care of Magical Creatures

A – Has an animal on the cover

E – Book with less than 160 pages

O – Includes dragons in some way

Charms

A – Has magic in it: Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

E – A cover that charmed you

O – You think it will leave a mark

Muggle Studies

A – Book from a favourite Author: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J. K. Rowling

E – Biography

O – Retelling

Potions

A – Has a name of a colour in the title

E – Read a book with a male lead character

O – Book over 350 pages long