Sunday, January 05, 2014

Bout of Books 9.0: My Goals

Bout of Books 9.0 starts in just a few hours. There are now 535 people signed up for the week-long event. As stated on the Bout of Books web site, the read-a-thon “is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.” I particularly like the low-pressure part.

This time, Bout of Books begins just as I return to work after a two week holiday break. I'm spoiled by having had plenty of time to read whenever I wanted, and now a major portion of my days will be filled with work and I'll have to squeeze reading in with all the other personal activities like watching TV (lots of series start back up after the holiday hiatus), scrapbooking, playing solitaire, and making digital art. I'll just have to make the best of it.

My Bout of Books Goals

My Targets

My only real goal is to spend as much time reading as I can and to have fun!

Time Devoted to Reading

Given my work schedule, I'll be limited to reading during meal times and the evenings before I go to sleep. I'm counting on using the weekend to make a big push at the end of the read-a-thon.

Books to Read

I'll be concentrating on completing a couple of books which I have already started reading and on books checked out of the library. Next week I'll begin travel for work and I won't take library books with me. That means I'll have a lot of pressure to complete the books which are checked out to avoid having to renew them or pay late fees. First up is one book that I've already started reading and should finish on Monday:

Steward of Song by Adam Stemple is a contemporary fantasy, sequel to Singer of Souls. I'm about ⅔ of the way through the book and if I don't run into too many distractions tonight and tomorrow, I should surely finish it. I will be sending this book to GateGypsy, a fellow BookCrosser who selected this book from the Science Fiction and Fantasy virtual book box at BookObsessed.

And next up is a library book:

I requested Whisper to the Blood by Dana Stabenow from my local library. They had to get it from another library in the local consortium. It arrived on Thursday and I picked it up that day—due back on the 16th. Set in Alaska, this is the 16th book in Stabenow's mystery series starring investigator Kate Shugak. Reviews say that this is the best book in the series so far. I'm planning on completing the series (or at least ‘so far’) this year, so I'm hoping to get the next in the series from the library within a week or two.

I reserve the right to change my mind at any time, but after those two books, I will try to finish a couple of books that I started a while ago:

The Impossible Cube is a delightful steampunk novel—second in a series which the author, Steven Harper, calls The Clockwork Empire. Set in Victorian England, The Clockwork Empire tells of a horrible infection called the clockwork plague. Most of the victims die. Some turn into zombies before wasting away. And a very small number become geniuses—referred to as “clockworkers”—hence the name of the disease. Clockworkers are able to conceive and construct scientific wonders, unfortunately, they inevitably descend into madness, often with devastating results.

Months ago, I started reading Second Shift, the 7th part of the Wool saga. Technically, it's a novella and has been published in an omnibus of all three Shift novellas. The Wool saga describes a post-apocalyptic future where the remaining civilization lives in underground silos. The Shift series is a prequel to the original Wool stories and describes the initial move into the silos and the events which led to the entire population forgetting about a time before the silos.

I have requested several more books from the library and if they become available, I will make them the highest priority on my reading list. I expect to receive in the next couple of weeks:

  • A Night Too Dark by Dana Stabenow. 17th book in the Kate Shugak mystery series.
  • The End of the Road by Sue Henry. 4th and final (so far) book in the Maxie and Stretch mystery series.
  • First Lord's Fury by Jim Butcher. Last in the Codex Alera series.
  • Ghost Gone Wild by Carolyn Hart. Fourth and most recent novel in the charming Bailey Ruth mystery series.

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