Saturday, 10 May 2014

Bout of Books #10: Signing Up & Goals


Next week is the Bout of Books readathon, and after much deliberation, I've decided to take part.   I've participated once before and had a lot of fun, so it'll be nice to join in.  My goals this time are going to be modest, as I'm working and 36 weeks pregnant.  However, I do need to rest more, so sitting down in the evening with a book can only be a good thing.  Got to get as many books in as possible before the baby is born!  With that in mind, my only goal is to read for one hour a day. I'm not fussed about how many pages I read or how many books I finish.

As I'm a fickle reader, I've picked out a wide range of books that I can choose from, depending on my mood.  The stack on the left are shorter books I own, and the stack on the right are from the library.  These are the books I'll be choosing from:

Library Books:
  • A Girl is a Half Formed Thing by Eimar McBride - This one's on the Bailey's Prize short-list, so I grabbed it when I saw it on the new books shelf.  The style of writing seems to be quite unusual, so I have a feeling I'll either love it or hate it.
  • The Vintage Girl by Hester Browne - My easy read pick, I know I'll just race through this one.  It's a romance about a girl who is cataloguing heirlooms in a Scottish castle.  Perfect escapism!
  • The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - Another quick, easy read.  A teenage girl misses her plane and then falls in love with someone whilst stuck at the airport.
  • Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin - This has been on my wishlist for a while.  It's set in Rwanda and is the story of a woman running a baking business, through which she comes to know the stories of the women in her community.
Books I Own:
  • 10 Billion by Stephen Emmott - This is a non-fiction book about what will happen to the planet when the human population reaches 10 billion.  It's mainly graphs and images, so is the quickest book I have on my potentials list.  I will definitely be reading this at some point.
  • Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones - Set in Bourgainville, a tropical island on the brink of civil war, a white teacher uses Great Expectations as his only textbook.
  • A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo - This was on the Orange Prize shortlist a few years back.  Zhang is a Chinese migrant to London, who falls in love with an older English man, despite not being able to speak English.
  • We Need New Names by NoViolet  Bulawayo - I am determined to finally read this, I've been wanting to ever since it was first published.
  • Minaret by Leila Aboulela - Najwa comes from a wealthy Sudanese family, but circumstances have made her into a cleaner in London.
  • The Birth of Love by Joanna Kavenna - A story centred around childbirth through time may not be the best choice right now, but I am drawn to it.
So those are my potential reads - but I reserve the right to change my mind entirely and read nothing from the list!  As I won't be able to read them all, are there any books you think I should pick out first?

29 comments:

  1. Looks like a great list! I've heard nothing but great things about Mr. Pip in particular

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    1. The consensus seems to be that Mr Pip is well worth reading, so I'll try to pick it up at some point next week :)

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  2. Ooooh - MUST get Mr Pip for myself, and I like the look of Baking Cakes in Kigali...

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    1. I've owned Mr Pip for years - don't know why I haven't read it yet ....

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  3. I loved The Birth of Love, but I can see how you'd be a little nervous about it so close to your own experience. I read it a while after my son was born and it was great timing. I have We Need New Names and Mister Pip on my own stacks. This is the first I'm hearing of Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin but it sounds great. Good luck!

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    1. Maybe I will save Birth of Love until afterwards then.....

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  4. Good luck Sam, an hour a day is a very sensible goal. I wanted to read A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers ever since I read a sample of it on my Kindle; it seems to be one of those books where the format gives a lot of additional value to the whole story and those always intrigue me.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the sample, the format of the book really intrigues me & I'm looking forward to it.

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  5. I'm quite excited by A Girl is a Half Formed Thing. Like you, I know i will either love it or hate it, so definitely a library pick for me too. Can't wait to see what you think. And read while you can, your days are numbered before the baby arrives.

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    1. I am hoping to get to it next week, so I'll be happy to let you know what I think :)

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  6. Best of luck, Sam. I hope you enjoy this reading time before your baby is due! I love the reading an hour a day although I never get that: either I read a lot more or just don't read at all!

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    1. I am quite good at an hour a day as I have quite a strict routine on workdays, so tend to get to bed at the same time each night!

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  7. I've had Mister Pip on my shelf for a while and almost picked it as my next read a couple of weeks ago (something else won), so I'll be interested to see your thoughts on that one if you pick it. Have a lovely week reading and (hopefully) relaxing!

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    1. What book beat Mr Pip?
      I'm starting with We Need New Names this evening, it's really good so far.

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  8. Great stack of books! And an hour a day seems like a great goal - I might have a similiar goal... not sure yet.

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    1. Hope you find a goal that works for you :)

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  9. I'm considering joining in. I haven't done this one before so it will be quite fun. But mostly, I think I could benefit from something like this to help me read more.

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    1. Hope you do decide to join in, I had a lot of fun last time.

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  10. Good luck and have fun! I agree you should get some reading in before your little one arrives. I've read Baking Cakes in Kigali and thought it was a great book.

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    1. It does look good, hope I enjoy it as much as you did...

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  11. What a fantastic list! I haven't read any of these yet, but I've heard wonderful things about many of them.

    Have a very happy Bout of Books!

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    1. Thanks, Lindsey :)
      Hopefully I have many happy hours of reading ahead of me

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  12. I meant to include a bunch of books I own for this Bout of Books. But then I was attacked by the desire to read a bunch of ~new and exciting and different~ books. And the only one I own on my goal list is one I just bought because it just came out. Whoops! Such is life, I guess.

    Anyway, I commend you for including so many owned books! I hope your Bout of Books experience is completely fabulous!

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    1. New books are just so distracting, aren't they?

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  13. This is my first Bout of Books and it's exciting to see how many bloggers I follow are also participating! I love the way you set up your goal as a time thing instead of # of pages or books. I might keep that idea in mind for future events :)

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    1. Yay, glad you're taking part as well :)

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  14. The only book I've read is Mr Pip and I'm pretty sure it'd do a good pick for a read-a-thon.
    Whatever you read, I wish you a fantastic week!

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  15. That's a great list of books! I definitely enjoyed Mr Pip, and I think Minaret was a pretty good read too. Happy reading!

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  16. It's a great thing to have too many choices for a readathon. And then, if you don't read any of them, that's okay too! Hope you had a good first day! #ReadStrong

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