Thankfully Reading Weekend

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Thankfully Reading Weekend has arrived! This event is hosted by Jenn’s Bookshelves and is perfect for those spending the holiday weekend at home. There are no rules or reading hours required for this event. The point is to simply relax and enjoy however many books you choose to get through from November 27-30.

I have a fabulous collection on deck for this weekend. I planned on reading The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer and **** (The Anatomy of Melancholy) by Matthew Selwyn as my reward for “winning” National Novel Writing Month (aka writing 50,000 words in November). I’ll either finish that goal before bed tonight or tomorrow morning before reading, but either way those books came at the perfect time since I have very little plans this weekend.

I’m also going to read All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon. I’ve heard so many positive reviews of Doerr’s novel, and I got pretty obsessed with Shannon’s series when reading The Bone Season (see my review here) for the book tour. If you haven’t started reading this series yet then you really need to get on board.

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Happy reading weekend to all!

What are YOU reading this weekend?

2015 TBR Pile Challenge

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The 2015 TBR Pile Challenge is hosted yearly by Adam (Roof Beam Reader). This event is perfect for bloggers who have an overwhelming list of To Be Read (TBR) books. For people like me (and most of you), this means overflowing bookshelves and books stacks on the floor, couches, desks, tables, or really anywhere they can fit.

This challenge offers a solution! It involves reading 12 books throughout the year that have experienced too much shelf time without being dusted off and enjoyed. If you want to join in the fun, stop by Adam’s blog and sign up.

I’ll admit that I’ve been rather awful with this challenge in the past. You see, I’m a book blogger who rarely reviews the books I’m reading. Pretty tragic, right? I managed to read most of the books from the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge, but I didn’t get around to reviewing any of them. I’ve decided to take the four unread books from my 2014 list and add them to my 2015 list. The other eight books are new to this challenge as well as the alternatives.

One of my goals for 2015 is to actually review the books I read, so here’s to hoping that this event is more successful for me this time around.

My 2015 TBR Pile Challenge List:
1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
2. On Writing by Stephen King
3. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
4. A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
5. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
6. The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller
7. Quiet by Susan Cain
8. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
9. Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
10. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
11. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
12. Astray by Emma Donoghue

Alternatives:
1. Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
2. Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie

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What book are you most excited to read?
What book do I need to read first?

#24in48 Readathon

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Welcome to the #24in48 Readathon! This event is hosted by Rachel (previously at A Home Between Pages). How this event works is participants read for 24 hours within a 48-hour time frame. The readathon begins at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 15 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 16. Read more about this event here.

I never know what to expect with a readathon, and I’m in the same position this time around. I’ll be attending one or two NaNoWriMo write-ins this weekend as well along with writing at home, so it’s going to be a packed weekend between reading words and writing them. Last year I aimed to read more than the 24-hour goal, but this time around I’m being realistic with getting to 24 hours.

My Readathon List:
1. Astray by Emma Donoghue
2. A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride
3. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
4. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
5. How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran
6. The Love Affairs Of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman

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I’ll mostly be updating on Twitter (@lostgenreader), but I’ll try to post on here at least once during the event.

Happy reading to all participants!

What are YOU reading this weekend?

The Classics Club Spin #8

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Update: The spinner has spun once again. The winner is…

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

I will be back by January 5th with my thoughts. I hope everyone got a read they were looking forward to, but how could you not look forward to reading a classic!?

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One of my favorite reading challenges is back! The Classics Club is hosting The Classics Spin #8. This event is designed to encourage Classics Club members to read a chosen book within a certain amount of time. The catch? You don’t know what you’re going to get! Okay, you have some idea considering you’re picking the classics, but the result is in the hands of the magical spinner. We are to each list twenty books, and on Monday, November 10th the moderators will randomly select a number. Whatever book coincides with that number is the book we have to read by January 5th.

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My List:
1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
2. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
3. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
4. The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde
5. Middlemarch by George Eliot
6. Villette by Charlotte Bronte
7. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway (Reread)
8. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
9. The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
10. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
11. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
12. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
13. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte = WINNER!
14. The Iliad by Homer
15. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
16. Dubliners by James Joyce
17. Three Lives by Gertrude Stein
18. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
19. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (Reread)
20. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

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Happy reading to all participants!

What book do you most want to read from your list?

Literary Giveaway Blog Hop

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Update: This giveaway has ended. I will randomly select two winners later today and contact them. Thanks to everyone for signing up!

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Welcome to the Lost Generation Reader literary blog hop! Per usual, this giveaway is hosted by the wonderful Leeswammes. Please check out her page for more information.

THE PRIZE:
There will be two winners for this giveaway. Each winner will receive a book of choice worth up to $20. It can be any book of literary merit – your choice! In other words, choose something that could be found in the Literature section of a store/website. This will not include any specified genre such as Young Adult, Romance, Sci-Fi, etc. I will purchase the books from Book Depository.

THE RULES:
1. You must be 13+ years old to participate.
2. You do not need a blog to participate.
3. No restrictions on location. This is an international giveaway.
4. Winners will be picked using random.org.
5. FILL OUT THIS FORM.
Note: You must fill out the form above in order to be entered into the giveaway. While comments are appreciated, leaving one does not count as an entry.

This giveaway is open until November 5th (11:59 PM Eastern Time). I will select and contact winners the following day. The winners will have 48 hours to respond to the email. If there is no response by that time, I will choose again.

Best of luck to everyone!

For more giveaways, check out these blogs:

  1. Leeswammes
  2. Read Her Like an Open Book (US/CA)
  3. My Book Self
  4. The Book Stop
  5. My Book Retreat (US)
  6. Books in the Burbs (US)
  7. Guiltless Reading
  8. Word by Word
  9. Juliet Greenwood
  10. BooksandLiliane
  11. Words for Worms (US)
  12. The Relentless Reader
  13. The Misfortune of Knowing
  14. The Friday Morning Bookclub (US)
  15. Readerbuzz
  16. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  17. The Emerald City Book Review
  18. Wensend
  1. Laurie Here
  2. A Cup Of Tea, A Friend, And A Book (US)
  3. Moon Shine Art Spot (US)
  4. I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach (US)
  5. Lost Generation Reader
  6. Books on the Table (US)
  7. Orange Pekoe Reviews
  8. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  9. Words And Peace (US)
  10. Booklover Book Reviews
  11. Inside the Secret World of Allison Bruning (US)

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: End of Event Meme

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Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon has come and gone, and what an event it was! With over 900 readers and a full day of bookish fun, I’ll admit I’m exhausted this morning. I didn’t make it the full 24 hours, but I made it as far as I could until the words no longer made sense — somewhere within hour 20 (aka 2:30ish in the morning). Below are my responses to the end of event questions… complete with gifs, of course.

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

The final hours were the worst. My brain got to the point where it didn’t want to do it anymore, and I started suffering because of it. I wanted to go the full 24 hours, but after Hour 20 hit I was like this:

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2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

I’m learning that Children’s Literature and Young Adult books are easier to get through. That’s not to say it’s simple subject matter, but the writing tends to flow more easily. That, and some Nonfiction is also a good decision. Reading #GIRLBOSS went fast because she’s just a real person talking about something I’m interested in. So, when all else fails, find a like-minded person who wrote a memoir or some kind of Nonfiction work.

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3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Like I ever! This is my second time participating and I can’t think of anything from either event that I would change.

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4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

I love the massive amount of people participating in the event. I’m not someone who spends a giant chunk of my time online since the point is to read, but I enjoy the small chunks of time I take to talk with others on Twitter, Instagram, and through blogs. It’s much more fun when you’re participating with others. I mean, I read at least an hour almost every day, and the normal day doesn’t feel like this, so it’s definitely the people that make it special.

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5. How many books did you read?

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6. What were the names of the books you read?

1. See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid
2. The Hours by Michael Cunningham
3. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amorusa
4. The Only Boy by Jordan Locke
5. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

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7. Which book did you enjoy most?

#GIRLBOSS and The Hours

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8. Which did you enjoy least?

See Now Then and The Only Boy. I hate giving such assessment when I’m in the midst of a readathon, but alas.

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9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

I was not, but a message to them:

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10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

Extremely likely. I’ll be reading.

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Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: Hour 8 Update

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Eight hours have come and gone in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon! I haven’t done much with Twitter today, but I’m trying to break every so often to comment on blogs and respond to comments on my blog. I’m sure I’ll get more internet-addicted as the event wears on, but for now I’m focusing on the books. I’ve posted my progress below.

Currently reading:
#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

Books finished:
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente
See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid

Pages read:
429 pages

Running total of pages read:
See above.

Amount of time spent reading:
Almost 6.5 hours

Running total of time spent reading:
See above.

Snacks:
I haven’t snacked yet. Breakfast was cereal and yogurt (with coffee), and lunch was a peanut butter and banana sandwich (with coffee). I’ve been at my mother’s house and didn’t plan on being here this long, so once I get home I’m sure I’ll eat some puppy chow as a reward for getting through two books.

Thoughts on my first two reads, courtesy of Ron Swanson…

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland… by Catherynne Valente:

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See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid:

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So, I guess the books evened out. But that’s all I have for now! You can find me on Twitter (@lostgenreader) for random updates and shenanigans. Link up any posts you want me to check out. It’s easier for me to visit people that way than some massive list.

Happy reading! Stay excellent!

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: Hour 0 Update

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Welcome (again) to Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon! The reading is about to begin, but first I thought I’d fill out the “Opening Meme” questions as posted on the main site. My answers are below, and then it’s time to start reading!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I am reading from Fargo, North Dakota, United States. It’s in the low-40s this morning, so I’m happy to be indoors.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to reading The Hours by Michael Cunningham. I’ve been meaning to read it for a long time, and it’s shown up on other readathon event lists without getting read. The time has come for The Hours. I plan on starting that a little later in the day. You can find my complete list here.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
I’ve been eating healthy lately, but for today’s event I made puppy chow, so naturally I’m pretty excited about that. Also, COFFEE.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I work at a natural health company as a Copywriter/Proofreader. I’m also gearing up to start National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in a couple weeks. My life consists of working, reading, and writing for the most part, and I travel when I can afford it. My massive trip comes next summer when I go to England. I’ll be visiting other countries in Europe as well but haven’t made any final plans yet.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
This is my second Dewey’s Readathon event. One thing I’d like to do different this time around is have more focus. It was hard for me to concentrate last time with other plans cropping up, but today I have no other plans. I am ready!

I begin my readathon at my mother’s house (cat-sitting/laundry day) with Popcorn the cat, a mug of coffee, and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

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That’s all I have for now. You can find me on Twitter (@lostgenreader) for random updates and shenanigans. Feel free to link me to your first update post, or anything readathon related.

Happy reading to all participants!

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Master Post

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Welcome to Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon! This event is hosted by some pretty fabulous ladies. Read more about them and the event by clicking here. There’s a lot of information on that blog, so make sure to click around. With over 900 readers participating, you know this event is going to be huge. Rest assured, if it’s 7AM Central Time, October 18 – 7AM Central Time, October 19, I will be reading. Okay, I might be sleeping at some point, but I will mostly be reading.

This reading event comes with more than just books. It comes with snacks. It comes with taking a break for dance parties in the comfort of your home (or favorite coffee shop, I don’t judge). It comes with Twitter chats. It comes with mini-challenges. It comes with reading updates.

I have a lot I want to accomplish this time around, but mostly I hope to be reading. I’m always in favor of spending most of my time reading during a readathon… you know, because that just makes sense. But this is a special kind of event, so I’m sure I’ll make some times for Twitter chatting, updates, and mini-challenges along the way. With that in mind…

My Readathon List:
1. What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey
2. See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid
3. The Hours by Michael Cunningham
4. #GirlBoss by Sophia Amorusa
5. Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood
6. The Only Boy by Jordan Locke
7.The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

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I’m certain I won’t get through all of these reads, but I’ll be happy with 4 or 5. I wanted to break it up a bit this time around with some categories so I had a nice collection to work from. We have…

The Youths (YA/Children’s Lit)

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The Power Women (Non-Fiction)

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The (Mostly) Fictions

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Find me on Twitter (@lostgenreader) for random updates and shenanigans.

Happy reading to all participants!

What are YOU reading this weekend?

Jane Eyre Read-Along Update: Chapters 6-10

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Week two of the Jane Eyre Read-Along is now behind us. With week three nearly over already, the hosts (A Night’s Dream of Books and Babbling Books) posted some questions regarding Chapters 6-10 that I have answered below. Please feel free to leave me your thoughts or link to your own responses for me to check out. I apologize in advance for any rambling bits.

1. What are your impressions of the way Helen Burns endures punishment and abuse?

I would first like to throw out a single line of lyrics by one of my favorite musicians, the great Billy Joel: “Only the good die young.”

Okay, okay, I realize Billy Joel wasn’t solely focusing on goodness in his song, and I realize that he came long after the writing of Jane Eyre, but there’s an overlap here. The overly good characters rarely live long once their purpose is served, especially if their death is part of said purpose. Jane needs people like Helen in order to accept that there is some goodness in the world among all the wickedness she endures. It also helps Jane accept that being good along isn’t enough. Helen endured so much abuse, but that didn’t save her from death’s door. More than anything I think this encourages Jane to remain true to herself. She loves Helen, but she knows she isn’t like her in many ways. Experiencing this terrible loss serves as an acceptance of who she is rather than encourage her to behave like Helen.

Along those lines, Helen is a damn saint, or at least it’s hard to think of her as anything else. That, or she’s brainwashed. She continues to recite scripture in the hours of her pain. Her beliefs never waiver and, like Jane, she remains true to herself until the very end of her life. Upon her death, Helen experiences peace rather than anger, and she tells Jane she’s going to heaven. She truly believes the pain is worth it because of where she ends up, and there is no focus on her pain. For a child, that’s pretty damn saint-like.

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2. What are your impressions of the way that Jane sees punishment and abuse in comparison to Helen?

Helen is passionate about her faith, but Jane is passionate overall. Helen believes that she must deserve her punishments, whereas Jane knows she is being treated unfairly and argues the fact. I find myself viewing Jane’s reactions as more realistic, but then again there isn’t much that’s considered realistic about a saint when compared to the average person. I admire Jane’s passion and fierce defense of herself. She rejects the injustice and fights for her beliefs and freedoms. Jane can perhaps be too stubborn at times, but that’s to be expected with children. They still have a lot to learn, and considering how much abuse Jane endures I’m not surprised she behaves how she does. I feel that the two girls cover each end of the spectrum when it comes to their reactions.

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3. Would Mr. Brocklehurst have been a more realistic and interesting character had he been less overtly fanatical, cruel and hypocritical, and just deeply flawed, instead?

I don’t think a single characteristic of Mr. Brocklehurst should be changed. Perhaps he doesn’t seem like a realistic character to some, but neither does Helen, yet I find her characteristics fitting for this novel. As such, Mr. Brocklehurst’s intense behavior serves a purpose. We’re meant to hate him. We’re meant to see nothing redeemable in him. We’re meant to feel sympathy for these poor girls. To suggest that he isn’t realistic is to put up blinders to the types of people existing in the world both in Bronte’s time and in the present. We may not want to think or believe that such people exist, but they do. He’s a villainous character for a reason. Him simply being flawed would take away from the purpose of his character.

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4. Helen Burns exudes confidence and is sure of her personal beliefs. Do you find it realistic that a young person exhibits such traits?

I’m not sure I’d call Helen confident overall. She’s confident in her faith, yes, but she still accepts her faults. She’s sure of her personal beliefs in regard to faith, but she’s not sure of herself overall. I think she simply wants to please her superiors, god being the biggest superior of all. Because of this, I think Helen is more realistic than we give her credit for. She’s a bit extreme, perhaps, but when you end up somewhere with nothing it’s only natural to cling to something such as faith. Considering how much abuse she endures, it’s only natural to find solace somewhere. She’s going it at the best she can.

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5. Miss Temple seems to influence Jane’s personality and outlook on life during her stay at Lowood. Would Jane have developed differently without her influence?

Jane found goodness in Helen, but that wasn’t enough. She needed to find the same in an adult, and she found that in Miss Temple. She meets adults who are (sometimes) kind to her, but she needs to see a kind and gentle adult with no malice or deceit. Miss Temple helps Jane accept that there is goodness in the world, and that there are people who don’t misuse Christianity and faith. Jane doesn’t completely forgive her negative upbringing, but Miss Temple helps her accept that not every adult in the world is evil. This will help her later on when it comes to trusting others.

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6. Jane’s time at Lowood is marked in the narrative by the seasons and the description of weather. Does this have any significance?

Just as the weather is significant at the beginning of the novel, so too is it significant during Jane’s time at Lowood. Negative times cross with poor weather conditions such as Jane’s arrival. The season improves when Miss Temple appears. Generally speaking, the weather will foreshadow the overall mood of the scenes throughout the novel. Perhaps that’s Bronte’s way of saying, “It’s storming outside, so here comes a big one.”

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And because I can’t help but include Harry Potter, here’s another meme in regard to weather/foreshadowing:

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