What’s on Your Nightstand is a monthly meme hosted by 5 Minutes for Books that summarizes what you’ve read for the month, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan to read next. It’s basically a wrap-up, though not as detailed, depending on how you structure your reading wrap-ups. The meme is held the last Tuesday of every month.
I haven’t done one of these wrap-ups since June because life has been busy and I forgot. In this post, I will briefly talk about books I read since that June post and I’ll also do a wrap-up for the Bout of Books readathon and an update on my progress for the Pokemon Indigo League #ReadThemAllThon. I won’t mention articles I read or podcasts I listened to because I hardly read any articles and didn’t keep track of the ones I read. As for podcasts, I listened to a lot of them but didn’t keep track either.
Bout of Books
The Bout of Books readathon is now over. It was from Monday, August 22nd, to Sunday, August 28th. My goals were simple:
Read library books, or at least start them. Read everyday.
Try reading at home and before bed.
The library books I was supposed to read were:
Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future The Life of Elves This One Summer
When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain: History’s Unknown Chapters
The Sound of All Things
I count this readathon a success though I didn’t fully complete all my goals. Of the library books crossed out above, I only completed one: The One Summer, which is a graphic novel. I’m still reading the other two books, one of which I started before the readathon — The Life of Elves. I would have completed at least one more book or started one of the others, but the majority the time I read A Storm of Swords. I’ve been listening to the audio book of it for some time now but I want to pay attention to the story so I decided to read the physical book.
I read everyday. That was the easiest goal. But reading at home and before bed was hard. When at home, I spend most of my time watching YouTube or Netflix or playing Sims or interacting with family or just on the internet, so I was much too distracted to read. And reading before bed was not a good idea. I usually play Sims before bed, but now I know it’s best to read. I fall asleep 5 mins after I look at the book.
Overall, this readathon was okay. A success, but not a strong one.
Pokemon Indigo League #ReadThemAllThon *update*
What have I read so far for this readathon? Nothing.
This readathon is almost over and I’ve already failed miserably. I thought this would be an easy one and it was because we were given 3 weeks to complete the books we selected, but things didn’t go as planned in my personal life. I planned to get the majority of reading done during my 2-week vacation. Instead, I was busy and the books I was reading at the time were super slow aaanndd…. I also forgot about the readathon. I had too much going on. *sigh*
Song of Kali by Dan Simmons was unsettling. It’s a horror novel set in Calcutta, India, about a writer who visits the city with his wife and newborn daughter to inquire about the sudden appearance of a noted poet who had disappeared years before. Simmons’s descriptions bring Calcutta to life and totally immerses you in this gripping story.
Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff is a fun, young-adult adventure comic. We follow Selim, the Turkish lieutenant, as he gets caught up in Delilah’s adventures. I wasn’t crazy about the story but the illustrations are beautiful.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi is a memoir that received a lot of buzz at the beginning of the year. Kalanithi chronicles his struggle with cancer. The memoir is essentially unfinished since Kalanithi died before completing it. The book is thought-provoking and is one I will return to time and time again.
Issue one of Boy-1 by H.S. Tak, illus. by Amancay Nahuelpan. It’s a sci-fi comic about a guy who works at a genetic-engineering company inquiring about his father’s disappearance. The story is pretty interesting and has made me curious because it seems that the protagonist was modified in some way by the company but he doesn’t know. The art is okay.
Issue one of Faith by Jody Houser, illus. by Francis Portela and Marguerite Sauvage. This is a sci-fi, action comic about Faith, a female superhero. I chose to read it because Faith is different from other female superheroes I’m used to because she is fat. The story so far didn’t grab my interest but because it’s received so many rave reviews, I’ve decided to give it another chance. The art is good.
Issue 1 of Oddly Normal by Otis Frampton is a children’s fantasy comic book about a girl named Oddly who has green hair and pointy ears and is half-witch. She is lonely and frustrated with her parents for failing to see who she really is. I just got a bit of the story in this issue and I’m hooked. I also love the artwork, which is cartoony and bright.
Velvet, volumes 1 and 2, by Ed Brubaker, illus. by Steve Epting, are action comics set in the 1970s about a woman, Velvet, who works for a spy agency and is framed for the murder of one of the spies. This was very entertaining and I’m hooked on the story but I’m not a fan of the art.
Lady Killer, volume 1, by Joëlle Jones (illus.) and Jamie S. Rich is an action comedy comic about a 1950s housewife who is an assassin. The story was entertaining but lacked strong character development because it progressed too fast. I love the illustrations and the bright colors.
Copperhead, volume 1 by Jay Faerber, illus. by Scott Godlewski, is a sci-fi, western comic about a single mom who relocates to a “backwater planet” to be its sheriff. At first, I wasn’t crazy about the story but upon reflecting on it to write the review, I started to love it. There’s a lot going on and I’d love to know more about the politics in this world. I’m not a fan of the art, but I like how detailed it is.
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer is the second installment in the YA, sci-fi series Lunar Chronicles. I enjoyed the first book, Cinder, but didn’t like this one much. The titular character was annoying and I didn’t like the new romance.
Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb is the second installment in the Fareer epic fantasy trilogy. Though the pace in this one was slow, it had a stronger plot development than the first book. But, though the story is stronger here, the first is my favorite. I usually favor the first book of fantasy series because they introduce me to the world.
Monstress, volume 1 by Marjorie Liu, illus. by Sana Takeda, is an epic fantasy comic about a girl seeking answers about her past. I love this story because of its depth. I love the world building and I can’t wait to know more about everything and everyone in the story. The art is beautiful.
The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel is a debut literary novel about a town that receives a visit from the devil during a sweltering summer. Because the pace is slow and the writing is very descriptive, it took a while for me to read this book. But after the events picked up, I became absorbed for a time. It was a good read, but I didn’t agree with the argument made at the end about who’s at fault for what happened.
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire is a YA fantasy novel about a school where children who make it back to the normal world from magical lands can seek refuge. I loved this book. The concept isn’t something I’ve ever considered so that was a pleasant surprise and I like how it shows how the kids would act when they return.
This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki is a YA graphic novel about a summer the protagonist spends at her family’s beach house. It basically presents a moment in the protagonist’s life. I enjoyed reading it and couldn’t stop thinking of it when done. I want more. I’m not crazy about the art but I do like it.