Yes, there’s another readathon going on!

Good morning, good morning! Now that Mother’s Day is behind us, we have a lovely readathon going on to distract us – it’s Bout of Books 16! Bout of Books was created by Amanda over at On a Book Bender a few years ago. Her bouts are held throughout the year over a few days, and all you have to do is push yourself to read as much as you can, or as much as you want, or just more than you would. It’s low key and absolutely lovely! (I say this, and yet: this is my first one!)

My goals are simple. I wanted to finish my nightstand book that I’ve been sipping for ages. (Sleep is the best when you’re an insomniac, guys. And it kept grabbing me. Jeff found me one night with my hand on the nightstand, like I’d fallen asleep reaching for the light!) I finished it last night, thanks to #boutofbooks! The Secret of Raven Point, by Jennifer Vanderbes.Then there were the lovely books I’d bought myself for Mother’s Day, just in case. (And thank goodness.)

Raven Point was fabulous! There was a reason I hadn’t given up on it. I wasn’t sure about it at first; I had read her book Easter Island and wasn’t a fan of the writing. But Raven Point was about a sister who goes to nursing school and then requests to be stations on the front line in Italy during World War II in order to find her brother who’s been listed as missing in action. It’s well written, the plot is engaging, and the voice is well executed. The characters sounded distinct (which is important when you have an entire field hospital filled with people) and I wanted to get to know them. It wasn’t a favorite, per se, but I was entertained the entire time, waiting for the mystery to be resolved. What better recommendation can you have for a book? So if you like World War II fiction, I definitely recommend borrowing, or grabbing for a decent price. 3 1/2 of 5 stars.

Today, my car book (I don’t have lunch, but Gracie has an orthodontia appointment) is You, by Caroline Kepnes. It came with strong recommendations from my friends as a totally twisted thriller, and so far it’s living up to it! So that’s on my plate.

And then there are the books I bought myself for Mother’s Day: Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family, by Amy Ellis Nutt, about an identical twin who is transgender; The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts, by Laura Tillman, about a condemned house where a family was murdered that a crime-riddled town in Texas wants to tear down because they believe it’s cursed; Project X, by Jim Shepard, my new nightstand book about a junior high school shooting; The Rabbit Back Literature Society, by Pasi Ilmari Jaaskalainen, about – you guessed it – a secret reading group; Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916, by Michael Carpuzzo; Waiting for Columbus, by Thomas Trofimuk, about a scraggly man rambling alone and confused, who swears to the mental hospital nurses that he’s Christopher Columbus; If I Fall, I Die, by Michael Christie, about a boy who escapes the house-bound restrictions imposed by his mentally ill mother and goes on an epic adventure. I mean – which do I read first?! Also, aside from Becoming Nicole and Long Shadow, I got the rest for just $12. I rule!

So there you have it. I’m going to be incredibly busy through Sunday, hoovering up all these good books! And then I’ll tell you all about the ones I need to scramble to read right away, and those you can safely ignore forever. Let’s do this, #boutofbooks!



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