July Book Blowout ~ Month in Review

August 3, 2008 at 12:30 pm | Posted in Books, Historical Fiction, LIfe, My Life with Books, Philippa Gregory, Reading | 3 Comments
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When I first signed up for Blue Archipelago’s July Book Blowout, I challenged myself to read 8 books in July. After reviewing what I read during the month of June, I didn’t feel that 8 would be significantly challenging to me. I up-ed my goal to 10. When July hit, I was excited to get started.

Well, the month of July is over and 10 books proved more challenging for me than I thought. I read Regina’s Closet and Aberrations very quickly. They were both easy and enjoyable books to read. Two books in 4 days is just great if you ask me. The i Tetralogy, however, really slowed me down from a reading perspective. It was intense and upsetting. It took me a full week to read it. After that, I felt like Silent Thunder put me back on track. I read that book in two days. I followed that up with The Gargoyle. I really loved that book, but it was intense as well. It took me a while to read it, so I decided to veg out a little from a reading perspective. I picked up 37 next. It was not as light as I had expected, but I read it quickly. Still, I then started to be concerned that I wouldn’t reach 10 books in July. Sweetsmoke was my 7th book of the month. As much as I enjoyed it, I’m glad that I held off on that because it was more involved. By the time I finished it, I knew that I didn’t have three more books in me. Rabies Mom, my eighth of the month, was horrible. Still, I read it fast and then picked up The Four Seasons (review coming soon). During the middle of this book about Vivaldi’s Venice, I hit the blahs. Still, I finished this novel about Vivaldi’s Venice on the 31st during my lunch break (review coming soon). Then, something amazing happened. I opened the cover to Surviving Ben’s Suicide (review coming soon) when the kids went to bed that night and was able to read over half of it!

Okay, I didn’t read 10 full books, but 9 1/2 isn’t too shabby if you ask me. Unlike in some of the previous months, I read more historical fiction. This made me very happy. When it comes to picking a favorite, I really have a hard time. So many of those books were really good. In the running would be Arberrations, The Gargoyle, and Sweetsmoke. If there was a gun put to my head and I could only pick one, I’d pick:

To finish this challenge, Mrs. S asked us to answer the following questions:

Here’s some questions to help you out – though you’re free to write whatever you wish!

1. Did you discover a new author?

With the exception of Mathias B. Freese, I hadn’t read books by any of the other authors before. In fact, 5 of those books were the author’s first novel. I would most definitely read other books by any of the authors with the exception of the authors of Rabies Mom.

2. Where was the most unusual place you found yourself reading?

I read pretty much anywhere, so it would be hard for me to define unusual. 🙂 I don’t typically go to Starbucks because I don’t drink coffee. I did find myself reading there in July when my department went there for a team meeting. While they were waiting for their orders, I was reading The Four Seasons with my Diet Coke.

3. Did you read more than usual?

I did read more than usual and I think I pushed myself a little bit too hard. When I should have taken a break from The i Tetralogy, I didn’t because I needed to meet my numbers. I think this is what brought on my dull drums at the end of the month. I’m feeling better, but it’s not over yet.

4. Did you give up anything in order to read more?

I can’t say that I necessarily gave anything up per se. I just made sure to take all of my breaks and lunch hours during the week. In the end, I feel like I was more focused at work as a result, not less.

5. If you won the Amazon voucher what would you spend it on?

There is no question about how I would spend the Amazon voucher. The Other Queen, the last book in Philippa Greggory’s Tudor Series about Mary, Queen of Scots, makes its official arrival on September 16. I cannot tell you how much I want that book. I would pre-order that book in a heartbeat.

6. Would you like to see a 2009 Book Blowout?

No question about it ~ I’d be all over a year-long book blowout.


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  1. I’m glad that Sweetsmoke was one of your favorites, because I have it coming to me pretty soon from LTER, and I just don’t think I can fit in a bad book this month.

  2. Love this idea! I will have to check this out!


    MEME EXPRESS – daily blog prompts

  3. You are a reading machine!! Sweetsmoke is up next for me. I’m so glad to hear it’s good.

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