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Bout of Books 10 Update 2

Good evening everyone!

I’m sad to report that I didn’t make much progress today. I continued some of Voyager, but did not get any further with The Lies of Locke Lamora. Tomorrow is a new day, however!

Cheers!

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Bout of Books 10 Goals

Hi Everyone,

As promised, here are my goals for this years Bout of Books Read-a-Thon!

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This year, time has been a little crunched and I’ve not been able to read near as much as I would like. However, I’m going to attempted to read each day – mainly in the evenings – even though I’m leaving for a four-day weekend vacation on Thursday. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to read even more sitting under my favorite oak tree in Gettysburg?

My general yearly goal, each year, is to read one book a week, or 52 books per year. However, my Goodreads shelf is presently reminding me that I’m behind this year…three books behind. Therefore, I would like to read five books during the Bout of Books 10 Read-a-Thon. This will catch me up, and even get me a little ahead.

Here are some of the books I might choose to read:

1. Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay

2. Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

4. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

5. Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

6. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

7. Fangirl by Rainbow Powell

8. The Secret Crown by Chris Kuzneski

9. Undressing Mr. Darcy by Karen Doornebos

10. Of Grave Concern by Max McCoy

11. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

12. Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding

Obviously, I will not get to all of these books. If I do, it’ll be a miracle, but I do have some long amounts of time that I can devote to reading this week.

I will update you each day with books that I have read and/or started.

Cheers!

 

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Outlander is one of those books that I could visit time and time again. In fact, I’ve just finished my second round. When I first read the book, approximately a year ago, I was floored by the story. Now that I’ve finished it for a second time, I’m still floored, but with a light, floaty afterglow.

Why did I read the book so soon after reading it the first time? Two reasons: 1) I got through the first two books in the series last year, couldn’t find the third until November, so decided to start from the beginning, and 2) just around November, I discovered that the last book of the series (#8 I think) would be coming out in 2014, with Diana engaging in a book signing nearby, so I convinced a few friends to jump on the Outlander book wagon with me.

Outlander takes place first in the 1940s, just after World War II, when Claire and Frank set off on a second honeymoon. While visiting Scotland, Claire is introduced to the standing stones of Craigh na Dun. Fascinated by their history and other-worldy charms, the two secretly venture forth to watch a Beltane festival, conducted by the local “witches.” The trouble doesn’t start until Claire ventures forth alone and suddenly ends up in the 1740s. Nearly two hundred years in her past.

I could talk about Outlander all day, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. I will say this: Although strange and mysterious, and rather outlandish (haha), events occur in the novels, Gabaldon has a way of making them all seem so believeable. There’s never a moment where you’re jolted out of the text to say something like, “Oh really? I bet not.” That’s what is so extraordinary about the writing. Even though you could never imagine all of the bad things that happen to Claire (and Jamie) occurring over the span of a lifetime, everything still seems believable.

Outlander is a science-fiction/fantasy, romance, mystery, historical fiction masterpiece.

In the words of the Ninth Doctor (Outlander is a time-travel novel) FANTASTIC.

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

I’d always meant to read Brandon Sanderson. Well, not always, but for the last three years. Mistborn was introduced to me by a college friend. So I bought it. Then, it stood on my bookshelf for three years. It’s still standing there.

I picked up Elantris a few months ago when I was wandering around Barnes and Noble. Sanderson’s name was in my mind because I had recently heard about a new book set to come out, SteelheartElantris seemed like it was right up my alley. I desperately wanted to read a fantasy, but didn’t want to commit myself to a 30-book series (some exaggeration intended). I began reading a little over a month ago, and even though Orson Scott Card had a lot of great things to say about the book, I wasn’t impressed. In fact, I wanted for 300 pages, wavering on the brink of setting the book down for good, to finally be hooked.

That being said, I greatly enjoyed the final 300 pages. There were so many twists and turns, and *spoiler alert* at the very end when I was actually sure all was lost, and was attempting to give up hope, just as Galladon was, Raoden saved the day. I actually felt a little lost when the book ended. I haven’t experienced that since January when I read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. *Mental note* I need to start that series again.

Highlander Betrayed by Laurin Wittig

Several weeks ago, I was hit with an unusual craving – a craving for the supernatural that focused its sights on Scotland and sparked a wonderfully realistic romance.  It’s unusual because it was not a craving for food, but for a certain plot, and that rarely happens to me.  I pride myself on being able to pick up anything, anywhere, and nearly always being able to melt into the plot.  At this point, I desperately wanted to re-read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, but I had neither the time nor the patience for such a slow (but delicious) plot and large book.  I wanted a short book with a fast pace and a slow romance.

I spent days culling through the Kindle store.

I finally found Laurin Wittig’s Highlander Betrayed.  The reviews were so-so and after days of searching, I was desperate.  I’m happy to say that I picked the right book.

Rowan and Nicholas’ relationship was so rocky and fraught with danger that it instantly held me captivated.  His orders to find the Highland Targe for the King of England and her destiny to protect it, her clan, and the rest of the Highlands from harm made for a delicious plot with a lot of adventure and a romance that kept me on the edge of my seat.  I felt several times that my hopes for the pair would be disappointed.

Because this book was exactly what I wanted when I wanted it, the plot, the characters, and the pace suited me perfectly.  In general, this is not a book that I would pick up and highly enjoy.  In fact, I’ll most likely (almost most definitely) never pick it up again.  Not because it was written poorly or didn’t capture my attention, but because I’m rarely in the mood for such books and tend to dislike them when I’m not in the mood to read them.

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