I am so excited that the Thanksgiving Readathon (hosted by one of my favorite blogs, Death by Tsundoku) is almost upon us! Last year I participated for the first time and read WAY more than I expected. I actually have less going on this time, but I’m trying to keep it a low-key, no pressure situation (as intended) to help balance the “I have a ton of books I have to read right now” overwhelming feeling I have going on. Either way, I’m hoping this readathon helps me knock some of these off my list!
Here’s about more about what I’m hoping to crack into:
The Line That Held Us by David Joy – I have no idea how this got on my TBR, but it did and I need to read it before it’s due back at the library on Monday. I re-read the description and it sounds good, plus it’s short and thriller-esque, so I’m hoping it proves to be a quick read!
The Adults by Caroline Hulse – I got this one from NetGalley three months ago — the holidays seemed so far away then! But, now it’s coming out on Tuesday, which I also planned to be my review post day, so I guess I need to get started! Thankfully, this one feels like the perfect read for this time of year. (I’ll be reading this on my Kindle, not pictured.)
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – Our book club is meeting the Monday after Thanksgiving to discuss this book (and we already pushed it back once, at my request), so I really need to get this one read.
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann – Another book club is meeting on Thursday the 29th, so I have a little more leeway to get this one finished. Still, if I can at least start it during the readathon, I think I’ll feel a lot better.
I’ve also added By the Book and Marilla of Green Gables to the pile, mostly because I really want to read them, and a little bit because they’re both due to the library next Friday (and I can’t renew them because lots of other people want them…). These would be major bonuses if I get to either one of them.
What a whirlwind 5 days this Thanksgiving Readathon has been! I set a loose goal to read 5 books in 5 days (read my announcement/sign-up post here), since this “challenge” is supposed to be less of challenge and more of a conscious effort to set aside some time for yourself to read in a stress-free way while interacting with other book bloggers and bookworms on social media.
I don’t think I actually expected to get through the entirety of the stack of books I lined up to read during the readathon, so maybe that’s why I stayed un-stressed. Somehow, though, I did it, and I’m super excited about it. I also finished my 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal in the process (with book number 4), which means I’ll also be less stressed next month because I’m already set for the year. Woo hoo!
Here’s a brief overview of the books I read, some of which I’ll write longer reviews of in future posts (with book-inspired recipes, of course!):
I expected this to be a bit like The Family Stone, as I mentioned in my kick-off post, but it wasn’t. Even though it took place over Christmas, the story was more about the family dynamic and the fact that they were stuck together in a seven-day quarantine, which just happened to take place over the Christmas holiday. I’m going to do a longer post on this one, so I won’t go too deep here, but I did enjoy it for the most part. It was a solid read, and it led to an interesting back-and-forth with the author, which was a wonderful bonus. (I didn’t include some of the conversation, which was a bit spoiler-y.)
I was sure this would sustain me through a readathon, since it’s one of my favorite faux-genres, books about books. Alas, it was my least favorite of the long weekend; it was also the longest. I’m not sure what to say about it, though I suppose I’ll have to formulate some thoughts, since my book club is discussing it next week… The characters were all a bit one-dimensional and sometimes felt a bit mixed up, as though the author got them confused.Above all, it took much too long to get to the charming-bookstore-turns-the-town part of the plot, and that didn’t really land for me. I’m not sure the bookstore changed the town at all! Mostly, it was just disappointing.
It also lacked descriptive food mentions, and though it prompted a brief discussion about mini dogs versus sloppy joes – sadly, the only foods relevant to the story – I’m left feeling too underwhelmed to be inspired to do a longer post on this one.
I have been listening to Molly’s podcast Spilled Milk for a few years now, and though it’s one of my favorites, I had yet to read any of her (or her co-host Matthew’s) books until this weekend. I am delighted I did! I loved this food memoir so much; it was definitely my favorite of the readathon. It is full of rich descriptions of every food that ever made an impression on Molly, and of course, the recipes for most of them. I’m going to have a lot of trouble deciding what to make for my review post on this one, guys. Has anyone else read it and made the recipes? Any suggestions?
At 160 pages, I expected this environmental dystopia to be a quick read. That was an understatement. I don’t think I spent more than an hour with this book, which read more like lyrical or poetic meeting notes. The only character that was named was Zeb, the main character’s son, but he was primarily called Z as all the other characters were only called by their first initials as well. I’m not sure I’ve completely processed it, but it didn’t haunt me like dystopias usually do. The characters as initials felt distant to me, and in the end, the immediate threat (which wasn’t well-outlined to begin with) seemed to disappear, or at the very least lessen.
My final read, which I started on the way to a football game Saturday (lest you thought I curled up in my reading chair all weekend!), was a quirky novel about a brilliant French family. It’s told through the eyes of eleven-year-old Isadore – who prefers Izzie though everyone calls him Dory – the youngest of 6 children. As he figures out how exactly to be a normal adolescent in a family of overachievers, he makes sharp and amusing observations about those around him. It struck me as a sort-of The Family Fang meets This Is Where I Leave You and ended up being a wonderful note on which to end the readathon.
Aside from the football game, I spent a lot more time not holed up reading than I had initially thought I would. I enjoyed most of Thanksgiving Day with family (not reading); scored some shopping deals and celebrated a birthday with family on Friday; wrote and cooked for Saturday’s blog post; and even got in a little yard work (ugh) and holiday decorating (yay)!
I loved participating in the Thanksgiving Readathon because not only did I surprise myself by reading so much, it was fun following along with everyone else on social media and being a part of those interactions too! Most importantly for me, though, it made me realize that I probably can squeeze in more reading each day if I just make the time for it. 🙂
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I recently found out about this year’s Thanksgiving Readathon, put together by fellow book bloggers Ottavia at Novels and Nonfiction and Jackie at Death by Tsundoku – just in the nick of time! And I am beyond excited to participate! Thankfully, I had already taken off of work on Wednesday, November 22, which is the first day of the readathon, and am fortunate enough to have the rest of the time off as well.
I was already hoping to use the extra time away from the “everyday” to catch up on some reading and meet my 2017 goal, or get much closer to it, so this readathon couldn’t come at a more perfect time.
Here’s what I have on my TBR shelf, ready to go! I’m planning to start with Seven Days of Us, which is a cozy Christmas novel that sounds reminiscent of The Family Stone (one of my favorite holiday movies). I’m hoping it will be the perfect way to kickoff the season.
From there I’m not exactly sure where I’ll go, but I’ve opted for a stack with both genre and topic variety to keep it interesting: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend (a book about books!), The End We Start From (a short environmental dystopia), How to Behave in a Crowd (a supposedly hilarious but dark family drama), and finally, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table (a food memoir).
I’ll keep you updated on my progress across my social channels (check me out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, if you’re not already a follower). You may also want to follow the dedicated hashtag #ThanksgivingReadathon across all channels to connect with other bloggers and readers who are devouring books over the holiday.
On a Thanksgiving note, tomorrow I’ll be posting the 10 Books I’m Most Thankful For as part of my usual Top Ten Tuesday participation. I’d love it if you’d stop by again to check them out and share which books you’re most thankful for too!