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text 2017-08-31 07:25
COYER Summer 2017 Wrap Up
A Lady for Lord Randall (Brides of Waterloo) - Sarah Mallory
A Mistress for Major Bartlett - Annie Burrows
The Bull Rider's Homecoming (Blue Thorn Ranch) - Allie Pleiter
Mission of Hope (Love Inspired Historical) - Allie Pleiter
Homefront Hero - Allie Pleiter
The Doctor's Undoing (Love Inspired Historical) - Allie Pleiter
Persepolis I & II - Marjane Satrapi
Falling for the Enemy - Naomi Rawlings

 

I am cutting COYER short to make room for Halloween Bingo. Between IRL obligations and running this beehive, my reading time is shorter than it was in the beginning of summer. So here is my wrap up post.

 

I chose the reading list option for this challenge, which helped a lot because I didn't spend so much time choosing which book to read next - it was already done for me. I tried to pick books that were languishing on the TBR for a long time. I only read 2 books not on my list.

 

When it came to the quality of what I read, there are some highlights: book one and two of the Brides of Waterloo trilogy, all of Allie Pleiter's books, Falling for the Enemy, and The Complete Persepolis. Some lowlights include the Midnight Breed novella, Butterfly Swords, and a few books I received at RT that failed to impress.

 

I completed a trilogy in the first read-a-thon of the challenge (Brides of Waterloo). I got ahead of a few series as well. The first two read-a-thons went well, the last one I tanked hard. I also did BL-opoly for a little while and did two outside read-a-thons (#24in48 and BoB Cycle 20). I also got a few more prompts from the Pop Sugar challenge filled.

 

For the most part, I kept up on reviews and participated in the FB group most days. The Instagram challenge went well for the first 18 days, then I completely lost the will to keep going - this is still MUCH more than I usually do, so I am happy. I won during one of the Twitter chat parties, so I just have to pick out my prize.

 

Overall, I am happy with my work in this challenge and look forward to the winter edition. For the winter edition: sign ups start November 18th, challenge starts December 18th (not as long as the summer one). The title of the winter edition is Winter Switch, and there is hints at having another list option and new rules to play by. Stay tuned.

 

Stats:

45 books total on the list (30 original and 15 additions)

37 books read

     .5 star - 2 books

     1 star - 4 books

     1.5 stars - 2 books

     2 stars - 10 books

     2.5 stars - 1 books

     3 stars - 3 books

     3.5 stars - 3 books

     4 stars - 4 books

     4.5 stars - 3 books

     5 stars - 3 books

6 books sent back to the TBR pile

2 books DNF'd

6 books from the library, everything else was from my personal library

3 non-fiction books

 

 

 

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text 2017-07-31 18:07
July 2017 Wrap Up
The Soldier's Dark Secret (Comrades in Arms) - Marguerite Kaye
The Doctor's Undoing (Love Inspired Historical) - Allie Pleiter
Persepolis I & II - Marjane Satrapi
A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson
Licensed for Trouble - Susan May Warren

Two things helped push the number of books I read this month higher than usual: 24in48 Read-a-thon and binge reading series via COYER. Since the start of COYER, I have managed to read through 4 series (1 was a duet, the others were longer). I will not be adding any more books to the list in August because I want to finish off the list. I am finding myself to be a definite mood reader (see binge reading a series) rather than a list follower.

 

Reading for the Pop Sugar challenge went better this month than last month's lonely 1 book. Again, thanks to that read-a-thon! I completed one challenge already - Library Love Challenge (hosted by Angel) "OverDrive Junkie" level (36+ books). I also earned all four badges within my library's summer reading program (adult level goal is to read 990 minutes; I am at 1200 and some change). My son earned all three badges and my daughter earned two at the kids level (goal of 660 minutes).

 

 DNFs: 2. The Rake's Redemption by Regina Scott was supposed to be read for RB Bingo but I couldn't stand either the hero or heroine - I don't think I made it to 25%. Whispered Promises by Nora Roberts was a 2-in-1 anthology of two 1980s category romance she wrote for Silhouette....1980s category romances DO. NOT. AGE. WELL. Just the sheer amount of smoking by both hero and heroine was enough to give me the dry heaves. I read a chapter from each story and then tossed it on the donation pile. And the descriptions of the clothes/hair/makeup/facial hair....NOPE.

 

Challenges

BL/GR: 117/150

Pop Sugar: 3; 40/52 prompts completed

COYER: 26/45 books

RB Bingo: 14/25

Library Love Challenge: 5; 40/36 for the year 

 

1. Rock Courtship: A Rock Kiss Novella by Nalini Singh (RB Bingo) (Library Love Challenge) - 1 star

 

2. Licensed for Trouble (PJ Sugar #3) by Susan May Warren (Library Love Challenge) 3.5 stars

 

3. Mayhem in High Heels (High Heels #5) by Gemma Halliday (COYER) - 3 stars

 

4. The Doctor's Undoing by Allie Pleiter (COYER) - 4.5 stars

 

5. The Soldier's Dark Secret by Marguerite Kaye (COYER) - 4.5 stars

 

6. A Charming Potion: A Magical Cures Mystery Novella (#2.5) by Tonya Kappes (COYER)- 2 stars

 

7. A Charming Wish (A Magical Cures Mystery #3) by Tonya Kappes (COYER) - 2.5 stars

 

8. A Family for Christmas (Texas Grooms #3) by Winnie Griggs (COYER) - 2 stars

 

9. A Charming Spell (A Magical Cures Mystery #4) by Tonya Kappes (COYER) - 2 stars

 

10. A Charming Magic (A Magical Cures Mystery #5) by Tonya Kappes (COYER) - 2 stars

 

11. A Charming Christmas (A Magical Cures Mystery #6.5) by Tonya Kappes (COYER) -2 stars

 

12. Bearly Awake (Providence Paranormal College #1) by D. R. Perry - 2 stars

 

13. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (Pop Sugar) (COYER) (Library Love Challenge) - 3.5 stars 

 

14. The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (Pop Sugar) (COYER) (Library Love Challenge) - 5 stars

 

15. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan and Robert Venditti (Pop Sugar) (COYER) (Library Love Challenge) - 3 stars

 

16. Honeymoon in High Heels (High Heels #6.5) by Gemma Halliday (COYER) - 2 stars

 

17. Fearless in High Heels (High Heels #6) by Gemma Halliday (COYER) - 1.5 stars

 

18. A High Heels Haunting (High Heels #) by Gemma Halliday (COYER) - 1 star

 

19. The Greek Tycoon's Green Card Groom by Kate McMurray (COYER) - 2 stars

 

20. A Sultry Love Song by Kianna Alexander (COYER) - 3 stars

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review 2017-07-25 16:45
Review: The Complete Persoplis by Marjane Satrapi
Persepolis I & II - Marjane Satrapi

I needed to fill in the "book about/by an immigrant or refugee" prompt on the Pop Sugar challenge, so I picked up the combined version of Persepolis I and II. I have been meaning to read this for a long time, but just never got around to it. I am so glad I made the time to read it this weekend - although it is a memoir of coming of age in Iran, it also reads as a history lesson about a part of the world that is often used by political foes inside and outside the country but is little understood.

 

Satrapi starts the first volume talking about the demonstrations and protests against the Shah. Her parents were educated upper/middle-class and politically active. Surprisingly, they and their friends would have interesting cultural and political discussions in front of, and involved, Marjane (who was maybe 8 or 9 at the time). Marjane asked a lot of questions in this early section so that the reader can understand this chaotic time. Her parents don't allow her to publicly protest with them, but she does find her way to a couple of protests, one that turned violent. Then the Shah was removed and the Islamic Revolution came about, with the in-between time a time of hope but also of uncertainty. Her parents were now protesting the Revolution, so home was for the most part a safe haven. That safe haven was put to the test often by the arrival of the Iran-Iraq war. After a few years and countless bombings, Marjane's parents send her to Austria to finish schooling and stay safe. Man, I hope history teachers use this first volume to teach what happened. There was even a mention of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

 

Life in Austria as a war refugee was tough for Marjane. This part of the book dragged a lot; suffice to say, without her parents intelligence or thought provoking discussions, Marjane drifted a lot. She basically did a shit ton of drugs (pot, LSD mostly) and lusted/loved after men who were assholes. She moved from flat to flat, met a lot of white people who were pretty shallow or hypocrites. Luckily, her drug addiction (her words, not mine) did not prevent her from finishing school with decent grades (she kept her drug taking to the weekends).  Finally after having a mental break down, she went home to Iran.

 

But Iran was not the same after additional years of war. She made it back in time for the cease-fire/truce, but Iran was not the same. The Revolution was still in power, but it was the war that gave them real power and it is why they wanted to keep the war going. The black market was pretty much the only infrastructure intact and running efficiently. Marjane became politically aware again thanks to her parents' influence, but she drifted again without any goals of her own. Her parents wanted her to go on to university, which she did after meeting her long term boyfriend. Her art and her politics evolved into a mature but still fiercely democratic work. However, she chafed under the Islamic rule pertaining to relationships and ended up married to her boyfriend. The marriage was a disaster from the first day, but a new development gave her much more to work with: the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the beginning of Desert Shield/Desert Storm. She goes into detail about why and how the Iranians did not care at all for the Kuwaiti refugees or the region's stability in general. This was a whole new side of the war to me and kept me very interested in those last pages. Her shitty marriage ended and she left Iran for good, moving to France to study and work on her art more.

 

There is a deep connection with Iranian culture and heritage as well as with family. In particular, there was a constant sharing of history and future hopes stemming from her grandmother and mother to Marjane. None of Marjane's family talked down to her or made her feel stupid for asking questions about politics or culture. She knew martyrdom and political executions intimately because they happened to her family and friends. She is proud of her family and to call herself an Iranian, but does not blindly give loyalty to a government that she feels is evil.

 

I want a copy for my personal library now.

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text 2017-07-24 23:05
#24in48 Read-a-thon Summer 2017 Wrap Up and COYER Update #2
The Son of Neptune: The Graphic Novel - Robert Venditti,Orpheus Collar,Antoine Dode,Rick Riordan
Persepolis I & II - Marjane Satrapi
A Sultry Love Song (The Gentlemen of Queen City) - Kianna Alexander
The Greek Tycoon's Green Card Groom (Dreamspun Desires Book 14) - Kate McMurray
Killer Countdown (Man on a Mission) - Amelia Autin

First up, 24in48

 

Here are my answers to the closing survey:

1. How many books did you read? Pages? 2 graphic novels (The Son of Neptune and The Complete Persepolis) and one category romance (A Sultry Love Song) from start to finish. 31% of one category romance (TGTGCG).

 

Page wise I read 723 pages.


2. How many hours did you read? 12 hours over the two days, with the bulk being read on Saturday. After doing some math, it averages 60.25 pages per hour; now I can use that bit of datum to plan out future reading.


3. What do you think worked well in this read-a-thon?

The weather made it clear to all the family that going outside and doing something other than reading was a no-go. Thank you rainy England! Please stop raining now, kthanksbye. Also my food game was great this time around; I must order take away from my favorite kebab place for all read-a-thons.

 

Reading wise, what worked well was reading shorter books and in print (I read faster in print over e-books for some strange reason).

 

4. What do you think could be done to improve the readathon for next time?

I should maybe check in every two hours rather than every 3-4 hours, as I missed a bunch of participation challenges. To improve the read-a-thon in general, new challenges - I am tired of the "take a shelfie" and the "make a verse with book titles" challenges as every read-a-thon does those challenges.


5. Will you participate in a future 24in48 readathon? Yep, and it's on my calendar already.

*****************************************************************************************************

COYER update #2

Sunday: finished A Sultry Love Song by Kianna Alexander (started during 24in48). Started The Greek Tycoon's Green Card Groom by Kate McMurray.

 

Monday: finished TGTGCG. Next up is Killer Countdown by Amelia Autin, which I will start reading tomorrow. Reviews are quickly piling up, so I may spend some time tomorrow writing up those.

 

 

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text 2017-07-22 19:23
#24in48 Read-a-thon Check In #2
Persepolis I & II - Marjane Satrapi
A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson
How to Train Your Dragon - Cressida Cowell
Naked in Death - J.D. Robb
Food: A Love Story - Jim Gaffigan

Six hour mark and finished The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. I'll write reviews after the read-a-thon, but suffice to say that I want to buy a million copies of this book and just hand it out randomly. Such a great work.

 

I had twenty minutes left of my 3 hour block of reading that I knocked out chapter 3 of A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (I read chapters one and two yesterday). I like it so far, but it doesn't live up to the hype.

 

Whenever my darling son and daughter manage to clean up their rooms, my next order of read-a-thon business to set aside my personal reading and read to them. We borrowed a copy of one of the Wimpy Kid books and a couple of Pokémon graphic novels from the library. Once the darlings of my life are safely tucked in for the night, I am going to dive into A Sultry Love Song by Kianna Alexander.

 

Hour Twelve Question: 1) which three audiobooks you’d recommend for a roadtrip and why, OR 2) if you could take a roadtrip to any three bookish locations, what would they be?

 

I would choose option one. First audiobook would be one for the entire family, so I would choose the first How To Train Your Dragon book. Second, for when the kids are fast asleep (just like their mom, car trips make them drowsy), would be Naked in Death so that my husband would finally give ...In Death series a shot. The last one would be Jim Gaffigan's Food: A Love Story which is tame enough for the kids but funny enough for the adults.

 

More from me at hour 9.

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