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Bailey’s 2016 Short List Review: Girl at War Sara Nović


Two joint reviews in a row! Book Worm and I are on a roll. Were we more aligned on this book? Keep reading to find out. Read more

1001 Book Review: House of Leaves Mark Z Danielewski


It’s time for another joint review. This time, Book Worm and I both read House of Leaves. We had pretty different reactions to the book. One of us loved it and the other thought it was just okay. Can you guess which one of us loved it?  Read more

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: Results

dewey2-2015This weekend I decided in the spur of the moment to take part in Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon. The readathon took place Saturday from 8am EST to 8am EST on Sunday. 1950 readers participated in the event across various platforms including Facebook, twitter, instagram, book tube, and various blogging platforms sites.

It was my first every readathon and I clearly had no idea what I was doing. I have to admit that my first thought when I heard about it was that it was rather silly. I mean I read a lot already, did I really need to try to set aside a day for reading. I was wrong because it was so much more than just a bunch of people sitting alone in their houses reading. The day was filled with mini challenges and fun activities and conversation via various social media sites.

Of course I did it all wrong since I didn’t prepare at all. I picked the wrong book(s) to read, I didn’t protect my time, and I didn’t plan out food/snacks. Here’s what my day looked like:

8-9am: Started reading. Book selected – House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. Trust me – this was the wrong book to pick.
9am-10: Found out my 5-year old needed cleats for soccer practice. Went to store in a panic to buy cleats. Zero reading
10-11am: Got my daughter ready for soccer. Zero reading
11-12pm: Soccer practice. I took a book with me but ran into other parents and spent the hour talking to them and watching soccer practice. 5 year olds playing soccer is amusing to watch. Zero reading.
12-1pm: Had lunch. Zero reading
1-3pm: Cleaned the house because family were coming over for dinner later. Zero reading
3-4pm: Reading! I actually was able to read for the whole hour while my daughter played downstairs
4-5pm: Set the table, played with my daughter. Zero reading
5-8pm: Dinner. Family came over. Zero reading.
8-3am: Reading! For the first time all day I had time to sit for more than an hour and read. I finished House of Leaves (our joint review to follow later this week). I started Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford.
3-7:30am: Sleeping. I’m past the age where all-nighters are appealing or possible. I normally go to sleep around 10 – 11pm so 3am was an accomplishment.
7:30-8am. Read more of Love in a Cold Climate.
Total tally: I read 1.5 books for a total of 660 pages. House of Leaves was 705 pages but I had already read 100 pages before I started. Some of those last pages were an “index” and images. I managed an extra 55 pages of my second book.

As you can see, I did a terrible job of reserving time to read. I happen to be a very fast reader so I was able to read quite a few pages despite not reading for the majority of the day. House of Leaves was probably the worst book to pick in terms of cleaning up my TBR. I did really enjoy it (Book Worm and I differed on this as you will see this week) but it’s a hard book to breeze through with all the formatting styles — having to get up and look at passages in the mirror and work my way through the crazy maze like sections.

Overall it was really fun because of all the extras. I did check in to social media (twitter, Facebook, goodreads) throughout the day to see how others were doing and to participate in a few of the mini challenges. I saw a few of you, our lovely readers and fellow bloggers, posting answers too!

The hosts of the event did a great job, as did all the volunteers. They have organized a second one for October 22, 2016 and this time around, I’d like to prepare in advance. Maybe some of you will also join us? I’ve debated whether or not we (Book Worm and I) should volunteer to host a mini challenge for the next one.

We want to hear from you. Did you participate in this readathon? How did you do? Would you want to participate in the future?

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon


This year will be my first attempt at Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. I didn’t plan ahead and didn’t block out time so we shall see how it goes – probably not too well. With a 5 year old at home and family coming over to my house tonight, there’s virtually no way I can be a fully committed participant but I do hope to check it out and get ideas for the next one.

The readathon is a biannual event where book lovers around the world come together to read for 24-hours (or as close to it as possible). There are mini challenges, prizes, and a lot of events on social media. The event starts in 30 mins. You can still sign up if you are interested.

You’ll probably be thankful to hear that I won’t be updating this blog with new posts for my personal progress. I will update on twitter and in the goodreads group. So you can follow my updates there. I will post an update at the end of the day on my experience participating and my level of success (which will probably be fairly unimpressive).

Will you be participating? Tell us your plans for the readathon including the five opening questions:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
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?




Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami


I’m finally back on track! After close to a month of reading very little literary fiction and too much “escapist” fare, I finally got around to reading a book that I can actually review for this blog. Today’s book has been sitting on my TBR shelf at home for a while so it’s about time. Keep reading to see what I thought, although those of you who know me well can probably guess. Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: The Cauliflower Nicola Barker


The Guardian describes Nicola Barker’s latest novel as “unclassifiable genius.” Keep reading to see if I agreed with them. Read more

March Madness Challenge Update: Early Winners

bkmadness_bracket_lgThe tournament is over so we have our first two winners. Keep reading to find out who won the first two prizes and who is in the lead for our grand prize. Read more

Bailey’s 2016 Shortlist

Today they released the 2016 Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist.

Here’s who made the shortlist for this year’s prize: Read more

Beyond Books: A personal update


I’m going to do some thing I’ve rarely, if ever, done on this blog: A personal post with only loose ties to books and reading. Read more

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye


Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Published in: 2016
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: ★★★
Find it here: Jane Steele

This ARC was provided by Headline (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Reader, I murdered him.

A Gothic retelling of Jane Eyre.

Like the heroine of the novel she adores, Jane Steele suffers cruelly at the hands of her aunt and schoolmaster. And like Jane Eyre, they call her wicked – but in her case, she fears the accusation is true. When she flees, she leaves behind the corpses of her tormentors.

A fugitive navigating London’s underbelly, Jane rights wrongs on behalf of the have-nots whilst avoiding the noose. Until an advertisement catches her eye. Her aunt has died and the new master at Highgate House, Mr Thornfield, seeks a governess. Anxious to know if she is Highgate’s true heir, Jane takes the position and is soon caught up in the household’s strange spell. When she falls in love with the mysterious Charles Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: can she possess him – body, soul and secrets – and what if he discovers her murderous past?

Book Worm’s Thoughts: Overall this is a light-hearted, feel-good novel where good triumphs over evil. That said there are some sad moments and I did find myself tearing up occasionally.

Like Jane Eyre, Jane Steele is an orphan sent to a terrible school by her uncaring relatives and she does eventually end up as a governess however that is where the similarities end. Jane Steele is a completely different character to Jane Eyre. She is a tough survivor with a foul mouth and an impressive count of dead bodies behind her. So while, Jane Eyre is a classic novel about right and wrong and true love, the story of Jane Steele is a great romp where Jane rights the wrongs of society in murderous fashion.

I had great fun reading this novel and particularly enjoyed the inclusion of a Sikh household and vanished treasure to add to central storyline. The romance between Jane and Charles is very believable and even though I knew they how it would end, it was still satisfying.

Here are some of my favourite quotes;

“This was the day I learnt that friendship need not be labeled as such in order to be a very similar thing indeed”

“Were I to picture my honour, I imagine it might resemble a less attractive than usual tadpole”

“Some cities bustle, some meander, I have read; London blazes, and it incinerates. London is the wolf’s maw. From the instant I arrived there, I loved it.”

“And I heard you were a governess, but not many of that set can say bugger with quite so much purity of conviction.”

“We had shared the same tastes once, Clarke and I, moved in twin orbits like binary stars”

So who would like this book? I would recommend it to fans of Jane Eyre, steampunk fans (although it is not steampunk), those who need a light-hearted and fun read, and those who love a good romance.

Want to try it for yourself? You can find a copy here: Jane Steele

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? Does it sound like a book you would enjoy?