Bye bye #BBSReads

So, #BBSReads. 

I finished all three books, and I think I could have actually squeezed in a fourth had I not gotten completely sidetracked by Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess. (Both of which were purchased copies, so I couldn’t count them towards the readathon.) The first couple days of the readathon were a bit slow. I was visiting family that weekend, and so most of my time was spent doing stuff with them. I did manage to squeeze in a few hours of reading, though, and by Day 3 I finished my first book, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I’m planning on doing a standalone review of the book soon, so I’ll go more into detail about what I thought about the book then. But for now, I’ll just say that it was exciting, and very action-packed. Narrative-wise, it wasn’t as polished as Clare’s subsequent books in The Infernal Devices. The prose in City of Bones was rather choppy, and veered on cheesy at times. And the drama, while catalyzing, was a little much for me. (Dare I say, soapy?) But the book was enjoyable. 

I followed with City of Ashes, which is the next book in Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series. The main story arc progresses, but at a much slower pace than I thought was necessary. Also, the romantic drama at this point got more irritating, and I was pretty certain that Clare only included certain scenes to artificially propel the angst. By the end of the book, I was wondering why Clare decided to stretch out the series into six installments. I feel she could have condensed the story into a trilogy, and the series would have been better for it. But we’ll see. Maybe there’s some plot twist in City of Glass that requires an additional three books to resolve. 

I finished the readathon on a much different note—a historical mystery called The Hangman’s Daughter. I didn’t get to finish it in time—dang it, The Infernal Devices!—but I had a lot of fun reading it. The central mystery was fascinating, and it kept me guessing all the way to the very end. There’s elements of spookiness to the story—like man with the skeleton hand—that made me wish I had saved this book for Halloween. I really liked the titular hangman, Jakob Kuisl, and his spirited daughter Magdalena. I like that Jakob was a compassionate man, shrewd and intelligent, and incredibly progressive for his time. (17th Century Germany, where witch hunts were still in vogue.) He insisted that Magdalena be taught to read and write, and is himself very well-read. His friendship with the physician’s son, Simon, was also one of my favorite things about the book. (Also, I’m just tickled by Simon’s fascination and love for coffee, which at the time was considered an exotic drink in Germany, and not entirely orthodox.) The author has so far penned three follow-ups to this book, and I am eager to read them all. 

Overall, the readathon was a BLAST. I had so much fun, and in part it’s thanks to YOU guys who read a long with me. You guys definitely made the experience all the more enjoyable, and I hope you guys had fun as well! I’m hoping to do the readathon again next year. The one thing I want to do differently is to also include daily challenges or activities, along the lines of Booktubeathon. I think it would make the experience all the more fun and interactive. But otherwise, same time, same theme. See you guys there?

Happy reading,

Jen

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TBR for #BBSReads

Okay, so my TBR didn’t turn out the way I had expected. (For one thing, I was envisioning a higher stack of books.) But roll with the punches, as it were. And anyway, there’s still time for one more library visit, so who knows. I may be able to find a couple more titles to read.

In any case, this is my TBR. In all its diminutive glory.

256683 1582996 hangmansdaughter_hres

*tada*

In all seriousness, though, I’m excited to start The Mortal Instruments series. I’m seriously hooked on The Infernal Devices, and am looking forward to seeing the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders translate into a contemporary setting. As for The Hangman’s Daughter—I actually didn’t know much about the book until I looked it up, like, a few minutes ago. From what I’ve gathered, it’s a historical thriller that follows a family of professional executioners in 17th Century Germany. A murder happens, a witch-hunt is involved. And somehow, the aforementioned family is called upon to find the killer. Pretty interesting stuff.

So yeah. That’s it. If you guys are planning to do #BBSReads with me, let me know! I’d love to hear what books you have on your TBRs.

Happy Friday, and happy reading!

Jen

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The Bye-Bye Summer Readathon!

Dear readers,

You are cordially invited to the first ever

BYE-BYE SUMMER READATHON

hosted by yours truly

to be held on August 24 – 31, 2014

wherever you happen to be in the world

*

RSVP is not mandatory

Heck, attendance isn’t even necessary

But if readathons are your thing

then by all means

FEEL FREE TO READ ALONG

(Otherwise, I shall be reading all by my lonesome.

Which is okay. 

But still.

It’s more fun when others get in on the party.)

*

Hey guys! So, I’m doing a reading thing. Brought to you by a combination of two things:

1) I haven’t visited my local library in YEARS, and I miss going to the library, and I miss borrowing books, and I want to remedy that. Also, libraries are awesome and they need our support if we hope to keep them around.

2) Summer is coming to an end, and I thought a readathon would be a fantastic way to see summer off with a bang.

Frankly, I have no idea what I’m doing, and it’s all pretty spur-of-the-moment, and I’m harboring doubts as to whether I’ll actually manage to pull off this thing—but hey! Better tried and failed than not try at all, right?

Right.

Here are the details, if you guys want to join the fun:

☼ The readathon begins at 12:00AM on 8/24/14, and ends at 12:00AM on 9/1/14. This is not time zone-specific, so start and end whenever the clock strikes midnight for you.

☼ Read ONLY books that you have borrowed from your local library. Or, if you’re in a pinch, a personal library of someone you know. (Please, PLEASE make sure to actually borrow the books, and not, you know, filch them.)

☼ Read from whatever genre you want. Young adult, sci fi, paranormal, non-fiction … the library is your limit!

☼ Also, you do NOT have to read from a physical book! While I prefer “real” books, you are welcomed to read ebooks if that is your preference.

☼ There is no limit—or threshold—for the number of books to read. Just read as much as you can, as fast as you can. No one is keeping count except yourself.

☼ An online presence is not a prerequisite to participate. However, should you feel inclined to document your readathon experience online—whether on a blog, or Twitter, or Youtube, or whatever—you are more than welcomed to. I for one will try to do a combination of live-tweeting and booktubing. (Although I’m still figuring out a formal hashtag. Is #farewellsummerreadathon too long, you think?) #BBSReads, y’all!!

☼ Last but not least—have fun!

I think I’ve covered all the bases. If you guys have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!