Monday, 18 September 2017

Review: Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame by Mara Wilson

UK book cover of Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson
For the benefit of those of you slightly younger than me and for those of similar age who were living under a rock during their childhood, Mara Wilson was the child actress who starred in Matilda, Mrs Doubtfire, Miracle on 34th Street, etc. She doesn't act much anymore but after stumbling across her Twitter and, subsequently, her blog, I desperately wanted to read her recent memoir.

Summary: Mara Wilson has always felt a little young and a little out of place: as the only child on a film set full of adults, the first daughter in a house full of boys, the sole clinically depressed member of the cheerleading squad, a valley girl in New York and a neurotic in California, and one of the few former child actors who has never been in jail or rehab. Tackling everything from how she first learned about sex on the set of Melrose Place, to losing her mother at a young age, to getting her first kiss (or was it kisses?) on a celebrity canoe trip, to not being “cute” enough to make it in Hollywood, these essays tell the story of one young woman’s journey from accidental fame to relative (but happy) obscurity. But they also illuminate a universal struggle: learning to accept yourself, and figuring out who you are and where you belong.

I loved this book from the second I started flicking through it on the train on the way home, and from the minute I began sneaking pages when I was meant to be cleaning. The Boy is used to this by now, however, and my wails of 'BUT IT'S MATILDA!' did not prevent the obligatory eye roll and dramatic presentation of furniture polish.

It's brilliant because I now love Mara Wilson both as a person, and because she can actually write really, really well. I admit that I haven't given her a whole lot of thought since I last turned off Matilda because, well, why would I? I had no idea what she was doing with herself nowadays and it hadn't occurred to me to wonder. I probably wouldn't have reserved her book if I hadn't had a glimpse of her writing on her blog and felt compelled to read more.

Adult Mara WilsonI really love that it's not a chronological memoir - it's not 'I was born here and then I did this, and then I went to this school...', but it's not really an essay collection either. It's a wonderful blend of those two things. It is about Mara's life and her experiences, obviously, but cutting out the boring bits that come with chronological memoirs, and without briefly skating past topics like with the standard essay-style collections.

Topics include her experiences with competitive choir as a teenager, her childhood anxious existentialism, the need for feminism and, of course, her transition from childhood star to... not. I adore how candid she is about this period of her life. She freely admits that she was a cute child who grew up to not really conform to the Hollywood standards of beauty, so she was Out. She puts it much more bluntly, of course:
Even with my braces off, with contact lenses and a better haircut, I was always going to look the way I did. I knew I wasn’t a gorgon, but I guessed that if ten strangers were to look at a photo of me, probably about four or five of them would find me attractive. That would not be good enough for Hollywood, where an actress had to be attractive to eight out of ten people to be considered for even the homely best friend character.  
 I (now) know that she has experience in writing (both academically and through her one-man shows, etc) so perhaps it's it's only to be expected, but she writes very well. Not just '... for a celebrity,' but it's actually, objectively, good. I felt angry when she was describing the joys of seeing comparisons of your childhood and adult faces of the Internet when you least expect it, and I teared up when she was expressing her sadness over the loss of Robin Williams. She's very self-deprecating and never woe-is-me, but you end up sharing her emotions, or at least those she chooses to project.

Every week or so, a well‑meaning friend or fan sends me an article about me. Below some variation of “What Do They Look Like Now?” there is inevitably an unflattering photo of me and hundreds of comments from people who think I'm ugly.

Some are delighted, schadenfreudic: I was once paid to be cute, but now the child actor curse has caught up with me, and I'm not so cute anymore, am I? Others seem angry. My image belongs to them and they aren’t happy that I don’t match up to what they pictured. This type is the most likely to give advice: I should colour my hair, get a nose job, lose twenty pounds, go die in a hole somewhere.

There are, of course, humorous anecdotes about shooting those iconic films with Danny DeVito and Robin Williams. There's a whole chapter dedicated to the former, which was expected, but none the less moving for it.

I'm gushing, I know, but Where Am I Now? is a wonderful, surprising book, and one that I wanted to reread immediately after finishing it. I feel that I now know more of her as an insightful, self-deprecating person, not just a former childstar. I'll honestly read anything she ever writes. 

Visit Mara's blog, Mara Wilson Writes Stuff, or find her on Twitter. 

Friday, 1 September 2017

August 2017 Wrap-Up

I just have no idea where this month has gone. I've started a new job, my housing situation has completely changed and now I spend half my evenings grudgingly waiting to be woken up by a small crying child.

I haven't been reading all that much, so it surprised me when I realised I've finished nine books this month. Not as much as normal, but the second half of the month was very chaotic. I'm hoping things will settle down and I can get back to reading more because I miss it.

It didn't help that two books - The Haunted Hotel and The Dark Circle seemed to take forever to finish, and The Shadow Rising (which is the book after The Dragon Reborn pictured - I just couldn't find it) actually did take forever. At 1,006 pages long it really felt like it was dragging and I was getting quite frustrated.

Fiction

The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Shadow Rising (Wheel of Time #4) by Robert Jordan
Meg by Steve Alten 
The Dark Circle by Linda Grant
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Re-reads

Magician's Gambit (Belgariad #3) by David Eddings

Non-Fiction

Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson

It's weird, but it seems like every book I read in August is a candidate for either the 'Best of August' or 'The Worst of August' categories. I just haven't read a lot of middle-ground books this month.

The Power completely blew me away when I read it, but then Meg was a fun read, Sleeping Giants was an unexpected gem and Where Am I Now? made me cry in three places and want to be instant best friends with the author.

I barely managed to finish The Dark Circle because it was written so badly, The Haunted Hotel and The Shadow Rising sent me to sleep, and I have major issues with One of Us is Lying.

All this will be explained in reviews, but I quite frankly just haven't had time this month. Still, I'm grateful that I've read some really great books this month and I'm looking forward to talking about them.

Best Book of August 2017:
 Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson

 
I've had way, way too many books come into my house this month. Twenty-three in total. And I've read nine, one of which was a reread. Great.

The pile in the middle is my birthday pile - the lovely Charlotte bought me a copy of Maus, which I've been dying to read forever and also The Unseen World, which we're going to buddy read at some point. I also used Amazon vouchers to buy Strange the Dreamer, A Natural History of Dragons and The Radium Girls. I'm super excited about all of these, particularly the latter which is non-fiction about the young women encouraged to use radium as make-up before the dangers were properly understood, but obviously I have read none of them yet. Figures. I'm hoping to start The Radium Girls this weekend though.

The pile on the right is my library pile, of which I have actually read three, in fairness. Admittedly I've now had most of them for three weeks. There's an amazing new library literally a two minute walk from my new office and they have so many new releases that I got over-excited. I've read Sleeping Giants, The Dark Circle and Where Am I Now?  

The pile on the left is my usual Hanna-Can't-Control-Herself pile. Charity shops, book swaps, the usual suspects.

How many books have you read this month? Have you read any of my TBR pile? Which should I read next?

Review: Meg by Steve Alten

Book cover of Meg by Steve Alten
Alright, so it's hardly a literary masterpiece. It's not going to win any prizes and the author isn't up for a Novel any time soon. Meg, however, is currently being made into a movie featuring Jason Statham and Rainn Wilson, and the book itself is, quite frankly, awesome.

High praise considering I'm scared of fish.


Plot summary: On a top-secret dive into the Pacific Ocean's deepest canyon, Jonas Taylor found himself face-to-face with the largest and most ferocious predator in the history of the animal kingdom. The sole survivor of the mission, Taylor is haunted by what he's sure he saw but still can't prove exists - Carcharodon megalodon, the massive mother of the great white shark. The average prehistoric Meg weighs in at twenty tons and could tear apart a Tyrannosaurus rex in seconds. Taylor spends years theorizing, lecturing, and writing about the possibility that Meg still feeds at the deepest levels of the sea. But it takes an old friend in need to get him to return to the water, and a hotshot female submarine pilot to dare him back into a high-tech miniature sub. Diving deeper than he ever has before, Taylor will face terror like he's never imagined. MEG is about to surface. When she does, nothing and no one is going to be safe, and Jonas must face his greatest fear once again.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm scared of fish, not sharks. And yes, I'm well aware that sharks are technically fish, blah blah blah. But I'm scared of the more traditional fish (goldfish, carp, trout, etc) instead of the ones that could actually, you know, hurt me. Justifiably, therefore, setting aside my phobia as an irrelevant aside, Meg is still great and still really creepy.  

It's a fairly standard pulpy action novel, but I enjoyed every second, and not just because I was amusing myself by muttering Jurassic SHARK! to myself every few seconds. There's a lot of action in the very fast-paced plot and that's written very well. At one point when I couldn't sleep I had to be reminded that it was inherently unlikely that a 60 foot shark was about to come crashing through the wall, so I could probably chill out.

I really like the plot. It's not ingeniously unique, but apparently the author has been studying Megalodons for more than a decade and it shows. The detail and near-reverence with which he describes the prehistoric sea creatures are fascinating. He also provides a believable premise as to how the Megalodons have remained undiscovered for so long - a theory which is supported by some scientists in the real world. The mechanical equipment and submersibles are perhaps a little too detailed, but the man clearly knows what he's talking about. 
No other scavengers approached the Megalodon as it fed in the tropical waters. It had no mate to share its kill with, no young to feed. The Meg was a companionless creature, territorial by nature. It mated when it must and killed its young when it could, for the only challenge to its reign came from its own kind. It could adapt and survive the natural catastrophes and climatic changes that caused the mass extinctions of the giant reptiles and countless prehistoric mammals. And while its numbers would eventually dwindle, some members of its species might survive, isolated from the world of man, hunting in the isolated darkness of the ocean depths. 
The prose is acceptable, probably to about a Dan Brown level. It's not a masterpiece, but it's mostly definitely readable without being irritated. The dialogue is a bit clunky at times but that's survivable as well.

My only complaint about Meg at all, is one of the female characters. It's not a huge part of the book by any stretch of the imagination but she did really annoy me - complaining that the protagonist was being sexist, when he really wasn't in the slightest. I'm not sure if the author was trying to appeal to the female readers or if he was trying to be funny or what, but it's frustrating.

Oh! And the ending was a bit far-fetched and odd. 

Still though, I really recommend you read Meg, for a fun and thrilling adventure  involving giant prehistoric sharks. And I can 95% guarantee that they won't come crashing through your bedroom wall.

Read more about Steve Alten's books here. 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Review: The Power by Naomi Alderman

UK book cover of The Power by Naomi Alderman
I don't even know where to start with this book. It doesn't surprise me that it won the Baileys' Women's Prize for Fiction, and I'm also not surprised that I've seen a few reviews by men that hated it. The Power is, at heart, a very female book with a very clear Message, but that in no way detracts from what is also a very compelling story.

Plot summary: All over the world women are discovering they have the power. With a flick of the fingers they can inflict terrible pain - even death. Suddenly, every man on the planet finds they've lost control. The day of the girls has arrived - but where will it end?

So we've got a very basic premise - women can suddenly create sparks from their fingertips, via a skein that has grown alongside their collarbones. A sort-of explanation is provided for why this happened, but that's not really the point of the story. It's more about the societal, militarial, religious and political repercussions of men no longer being the physically dominant race.

What I particularly appreciated about this book is that it follows a different format than it would if the same concept were played out in a sci-fi novel. There's no slow discovery, long-winded explanations or sitting around talking about how weird it all is. We start at the discovery, but then jump forward two years, then four, five, nine and finally ten years, checking in to see how the world has changed in that time. It works so beautifully. The small gaps in time allow the reader to follow developments more objectively and watch as huge consequences unravel.

We follow several different characters throughout the novel:

  • Allie, a runaway teen who becomes Mother Eve, the founder of a new maternally-centered religion.
  • Roxy, the daughter of a criminal overlord.
  • Margot, a female politician aspiring to reach new highs in her career.
  • Tunde, a male journalist who is travelling the world and documenting the chaos.
Two further characters are added roughly two thirds of the way through, but that's slightly jarring and I'm not convinced of the need for them. However, on the whole, the changing point of view allows us to watch the consequences in multiple spheres at multiple points across the globe. Whilst I found Margot's perspective the most interesting, Tunde's experiences were incredibly moving at times, as he observed women who had been oppressed for decades finally free themselves and their sisters from their shackles.

"They do not let us drive a car here," she says, "but watch what we can do."
She puts her palm flat on the bonnet. There is a click and it flicks open.
...
There are young women advancing across the centre of the screen, each of them backed by the fire, each of them walking with the lightning. They are going from car to car, setting the motors revving and the engine blocks burning into a molten heat. Some of them can do it without touching the cars; they send their lines of power outfrom their bodies and they are all laughing.
Tunde pans up to look at the people watching from the windows, to see what they are doing. There are men trying to drag their women from the glass. And there are women shrugging off their hands. Not bothering to say a word. Watching and waiting. Palms pressed against the glass. He knows then that this thing is going to take the world and everything will be different and he is so glad that he shouts for joy, whooping with the others among the flames.
I almost cried at these parts. They really affected me and I read in a sort of stupor. The other parts that really made me sick were the reaction of the men to the new state of affairs. It's actually quite well balanced, in that the male gender isn't described to be generally stupid or or evil or even whiny, but the outward reaction of a few is fascinating and sickening. Much like the real world.

The CDC is hiding things from us, Tom says, that's what they're protesting. Have you seen some of that stuff online? Things are being kept from us, resources are being channelled in the wrong direction, there's no funding for self-defence classes or armour for men, and all this money going to those NorthStar girls' training camps, for God's sake - what the hell is that about? And fuck you Kristen, we both know you've got this fucking thing, too, and it's changed you, it's made you hard; you're not even a real woman any more. Four years ago, Kristen, you knew what you were and what you had to offer this network, and what the fuck are you now?
It's not a very subtle book and at times it is very sledge-hammery with the Point it's trying to make. That said, it is indeed a very good Point, and it's not like anybody who picked up a book where one gender develops power abilities really expected a subtle agenda. 

The thing that really brought it home for me, was the fact that The Power is theoretically written many, many years into the future, where nobody can even imagine the world being any different. The concept of men wielding any sort of power is amusing to them, cute, even. Again, not subtle, but it works so, so well, as a lot of the language used echoed familiarily in my head as that usually used about women.

Surely it just makes more sense that it was women who provoked the war. I feel instinctively - and I hope you do too - that a world run by men would be more kind, more gentle, more loving and naturally nuturing. 
Please read this book. It's important. It's enjoyable and accessible, yes, but it makes a very good point about the fragility of the gender identity perpetuated by society and the sledgehammer used to emphasise the point does not detract from the importance.

Read Ellie's review of The Power at Curiosity Killed the Bookworm. 

The Reading Quest 2017 - Sign-Up


 Current score: 
XP: 10 
HP: 12

This might be my favourite thing that I've seen all year.

It's a new reading challenge created by Read at Midnight, and it runs from 13 August 2017 to 10 September 2017.

The object is to choose a character, either a Knight, Bard, Mage or Rogue and then move around the board, collecting XP and HP as you read books from your TBR. The full rules are here.

My instinct is always to choose a mage in whatever game I'm playing, so this time I'm going to branch out and pick Bard, at least at first. 

My TBR pile is likely to change as we progress, but for now I've put together this provisional pile:


A book that has a movie/TV adaptation 
Okay, so Meg doesn't technically have an adaptation yet, but it is due for release next year with Jason Statham, and the challenge doesn't say it has to have an already released adaptation (#technicalities). It looks like a fun, pulpy horror novel about prehistoric sharks. Yay!
 
A fairy tale retelling
The only fairytale retellings I've read that I've really enjoyed is the Lunar Chronicles series, and Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series. Imagine my delight when I was scanning my TBR shelves for inspiration and realised that I actually have one of the latter still to read! It's Blood Red and I'm super excited.
 
A book cover with striking typography 
This is one of my most newly purchased books (with birthday Amazon vouchers only this week), so I'm disappointed I have to wait three books into the challenge before I can read it, especially as I've heard it's brilliant. It has especially striking typography - it's gold and shiny, and just beautiful.
 
A book translated from another language 
Shame on me, but I actually struggled to find something from my TBR to meet this requirement. I eventually found Like Water for Chocolate, which I've been meaning to read for ages.
 
A banned book
I've actually already read a decent portion of the more well-known banned books - Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty Four, Lady Chatterley's Lover (twice), To Kill A Mockingbird, etc. Instead, I'm going to read Lolita which will also count for the purple squared 'respawn' challenge, as I tried to read it previously but DNF'd it.

I'll be keeping track of my progress at the top of this page and I'll probably check in at the halfway point too. I'll also be tweeting at @bookinginheels.

Good luck everybody! 

Monday, 31 July 2017

July 2018 Wrap-Up

I'm very surprised I managed to get through all of these books in July, especially considering the length of some of them! 

Everything is chaos here at the moment - I start a new job in a new city on 14 August and I'm trying to prepare for that, as well as cleaning out and packing my possessions in order to move. It's not going well. Many angry tears have been shed and many unintelligible noises have been made.

My new job has a library literally right next door though, so I can't complain :)

Why yes, there is definitely a fantasy theme to my July reading. I read The Eye of the World, the first book in the Wheel of Time series, because Charlotte told me how amazing it was and then I had to get the next book immediately.

At the same time, she was reading my favourite fantasy series, The Belgariad by David Eddings, and then I had a sudden urge to reread those as well... so I ended up alternating between series. I've currently finished neither series (understandably considering The Wheel of Time books are long and there are fourteen of them) but I'm persevering! 

I finally finished Wilkie Collins: A Life of Sensation, which I was reading as part of Alice's read-a-long. I enjoyed learning more about him (and his multiple STDs), but I didn't also need to learn more about everybody he passed in the street. 

Fiction

The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time #1) by Robert Jordan
The Great Hunt (Wheel of Time #2) by Robert Jordan
The Dragon Reborn (Wheel of Time #3) by Robert Jordan

I love this series and I'm simultaneously annoyed and thrilled that I haven't read it before. The first book is mostly scene setting, but the second is amazing. So much plot development and twists and... argh. There are some really great plotlines.

I didn't review the third book because a) the reviews are probably going to start getting repetitive, but also b) I didn't like it quite as much as the others. It was in the middle of frantic packing and throwing a strop-fit, so I possibly wasn't the most impartial! 

Graphic novels

Super Mutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki

Rereads

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Pawn of Prophecy (Belgariad #1) by David Eddings
Queen of Sorcery (Belgariad #2) by David Eddings

David Eddings was one of the first adult authors I ever read. As a teenager, I devoured this series and his other books on multiple occasions, and so I was really concerned that they would stand up twelve years down the line. They do, they really do. The dialogue is still very dry and witty and, whilst I've now seen the same plot devices used in other books, it doesn't matter as it's still done well. I'm looking forward to reading the others!

I'd say that I enjoyed Ready Player One slightly less than I did on my original reading, but only slightly. I think I was so blown away by all the references to my favourite things that I wasn't paying attention to the actual plot! There are a few holes and there is some shoe-horning in relation to a certain character, but it didn't stop me from loving it overall.

Non-fiction

Wilkie Collins: A Life of Sensation by Andrew Lycett 

Best Book of July 2017:
The Great Hunt (Wheel of Time #2) by Robert Jordan 

Despite the fact that I'm moving and I'm meant to be depleting my possessions, I have somehow still managed to accumulate eleven more books. I know. It's space I don't have... but hey, they were books I didn't have! :)

I bought The Great Hunt and The Dragon Reborn whilst reading the previous book and each time deciding I would absolutely need the next installment. On one such occasion, Charlotte accompanied me to Waterstones and, after rearranging the shelf to her liking, encouraged me to buy Across the Nightingale Floor too. Which I did, because I have no will power.

All the rest are from charity shops, aside from The Power (which I bought at 2am using next day delivery because I was that desperate to read it - which, naturally, I still haven't done) and The Haunted Hotel, which is a Wilkie Collins novel that I heard about from his biography.

I'm particularly excited about Saplings, an adult novel by Noel Streatfield, the author of Ballet Shoes. I can't even remember what it's about but I know I want to read it!

August is my birthday month so it's highly unlikely that there will be no books coming in... but hopefully I'll have finished moving soon so I can justify books again. Not that my lack of justification matters, clearly!


What was your favourite read from July? Which book are you most looking forward to reading in August?  

Saturday, 22 July 2017

24in48 Readathon: Day One

The readathon started at 00:01am ET, but over here in the UK that means 5:01am. Needless to say I did not set my alarm for this ungodly hour. It's now 8:28am and I'm blearily awake and ready to start reading. Admittedly I'm still in bed.

My target was originally going to be 12 hours over the whole weekend, because I need to sort, pack and clean in order to move house as well as read! I now also have plans on the Sunday, so we're probably looking around the 6-8 hour mark. I'm going to leave my official target as it is, but I'm not going to worry about it too much and just aim to read more than I would normally, which is about two hours a day.

8:28am (Hour Four)

Time spent reading: 0 minutes
Books read from: 0 books
Pages read: 0 pages
Time spent blogging: 20 minutes 

Introduction Survey

1. Where in the world are you reading from this weekend?

I'm reading from West Yorkshire, England. I live a few miles away from Haworth, where the Brontes lived.

I haven't opened my curtains yet, but I can hear it's currently absolutely pouring with rain. Sounds about right for July.

 2. Have you done the 24in48 readathon before?

I have not! The timing has never been quite right. It's still not right, to be honest, but I figure that I'll just be relaxed about it and see how it goes.
    3. Where did you hear about the readathon, if it is your first? 
     Weirdly, I actually just fancied doing a readathon so I googled it about Wednesday. This readathon came up and it sounded perfect, so here we are.
      4. What book are you most excited about reading this weekend?
    Well we'll have to see how it goes. I'm currently reading The Dragon Reborn, the third book in the Wheel of Time series. I love it, but it's quite heavy going at times.
     If I need a break from that, I'm going to read either One of Us is Lying, which is a light YA, or The Super Mutant Magic Academy, a graphic novel.
     
5. Tell us something about yourself.

I collect different editions of Pride and Prejudice - I have 77 so far.
    6. Remind us where to find you online this weekend.
    Here, mostly, on this post. I'll also be rambling on my Twitter, which is @bookinginheels.com 
    10:07am (Hour Six)
Time spent reading: 1 hour 1 minute
Books read from: The Dragon Reborn
Pages read: 62 pages
Time spent blogging: 28 minutes
Well that's a good start, at least! After setting up this post and completing the introductory survery, I spent a solid hour reading in bed. I'm up and dressed, and unfortunately I now have to do a bit of packing and other life admin.
The Dragon Reborn probably isn't ideal readathon fodder, to be honest. Whilst I do really enjoy this series, it's a little heavy and I'm beginning to get frustrated with the characters. After my break to deal with my real world responsibilities, I might try for a little more of it, but then switch over to Super Mutant Magic Academy for a while.
Hope your reading is going well!

    11:47am (Hour Seven)
Time spent reading: 1 hour 13 minutes
Books read from: The Dragon Reborn
Pages read: 79 pages
Time spent blogging: 28 minutes
Time being Life Productive: 1 hour 12 minutes

Pfft, tired now. I've been packing up clothes and I've done a trip down to the Post Office, and now I'm wiped. I've not been that well, so I'm fatiguing easily at the moment. Probably a good time to get some reading done. Or I will when I clear up the pile of irritating stuff that I can see out of the corner of my eye, anyway.

Oh, and here's our first challenge!

Snap a Shelfie

 
 Here are some of my lovely bookshelves!

    2:20pm (Hour Ten)
Time spent reading: 2 hours 8 minutes
Books read from: The Dragon Reborn
Pages read: 145 pages
Time spent blogging: 36 minutes
Time being Life Productive: 2 hours 7 minutes

It's weird how I keep spending almost exactly the same time reading as I do with my packing - it's unintentional but I'm happy with that.

I've read a little more and I'm happier with my book though. I'm still a bit frustrated with certain parts, but my grumpiness from this morning has worn off.

I had to go on a drive to a village a few miles away to return one of my Cub Scout's possessions (it's almost an end of year ritual, by this point) as well as stop for some lunch, but I'm home now and ready to read some more!

    4:18pm (Hour Twelve)
Time spent reading: 2 hours 53 minutes
Books read from: The Dragon Reborn (176 pages)
                                      Super Mutant Magic Academy (37 pages)
Pages read: 213 pages
Time spent blogging: 41 minutes
Time being Life Productive: 2 hours 30 minutes

I've changed books for a little bit - I'm now reading from the Super Mutant Magic Academy, a graphic novel by Jillian Tamaki. I'm very achy and very tired, and my mind just wasn't able to deal with the dense prose of The Dragon Reborn anymore! I like it so far - it's drawn very basically and it has a dark sense of humour that's quite amusing at times.

My progress on packing has slowed somewhat as it hurts when I move. I'm still persevering, but perhaps not as enthusiastically as I was.

My original reading target was 12 hours which boils down to 6 hours per day. There's no reason that I shouldn't make that at this stage, so I'm quite pleased really :) 

    9:17pm (Hour Seventeen)
Time spent reading: 4 hours 31 minutes
Books read from: The Dragon Reborn (266 pages)
                                      Super Mutant Magic Academy (104 pages)
Pages read: 370 pages
Time spent blogging: 48 minutes
Time being Life Productive: 2 hours 39 minutes

Every time I do a readathon, it amazes me just how much time there is for reading, if I only focus. It's not even particularly late and I've managed to read for 4.5 hours as well as running errands, milling about and spending thirty minutes looking for a viable Women's Institute that doesn't meet on a Thursday (there isn't one).

There's probably a lesson to be learned there - maybe I should spend less time faffing about and messing around on my phone, and more time reading.

I'm 56% into The Dragon Reborn now. I do like it, but probably not as much as the second book, The Great Hunt. I was hoping to finish the whole thing this weekend, but considering I have plans tomorrow, that's not likely now. 

    11:52pm (Hour Nineteen)
Time spent reading: 6 hours
Books read from: The Dragon Reborn (352 pages)
                                      Super Mutant Magic Academy (142 pages)
Pages read: 494 pages
Time spent blogging: 55 minutes
Time being Life Productive: 2 hours 39 minutes

Well that's it for today. It's bedtime. I admit to getting a bit distracted towards the end - I kept checking to see if I'd reached six hours yet (halfway to my goal of twelve hours). I'd probably naturally have given up around 5.5 hours, so not that much earlier really.

I'm very unlikely to make twelve hours overall as I've ended up with plans tomorrow, but at least I reached my goal for today.  

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