#TomeTopple Round 6 | Readathon Wrap-up

For a readathon that was held at the same time as the most hectic weekend of my year, Anime Expo, I think I did really well. Not on all aspects but reading-wise, I think I did okay.

Let’s revisit what I said on my announcement post, shall we?

I ended up finishing two books after all. At first, I was okay with justThe Burning World by Isaac Marion on audio. I did start Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff on the first day of the readathon. Then Iron Gold by Pierce Brown while at Anime Expo as pictured on my upa plush above. (If you know which anime that came from, I love you.) I finished the audio book after the whole AX excitement and on the last day of the readathon, I managed to squeeze out Obsidio with about an hour to spare. I got through 27% of Iron Gold though. I had every intention of reading while on my commute or downtime at AX but it was just not possible. I wasn’t in the mood and I ended up being exhausted most of the time.

I read the physical hardcover of Obsidio while I based the page numbers of The Burning World on the hardcover. I have both the ARC and signed hardcover of Iron Gold but I don’t know where I’m at exactly since I read it on my ereader. In total, I finished reading 1127 pages. Probably another 100 pages for Iron Gold but we’re not counting that. I’ve put it down for a while in favor of easier reads.

With these two, it satisfies three of the five challenges: Read more than one tome (I read 2), Read a tome that is part of a series (both), Read an adult novel (The Burning World). As for the Instagram challenges, I could only do one. Oops. I even said I’m going to have fun taking pictures at AX for these challenges but like I said, I was dead on my feet every end of the day. And there weren’t really good opportunities for photos while there.

Met Yuki Kaji, Tomoaki Maeno, and fellow Haikyuu fans!

I said that Obsidio will be a quick read. I was wrong. Unlike the previous two books, this was definitely more text-heavy. The first 100 pages were a slugfest. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t the quick and easy read that I was expecting. I read Illuminae and Gemina in a day. In a few hours! This took me about two days to read the remaining half of the book. This is not a review but I did feel like it needed all those texts. It’s the final book and it told so many things. I was a bit irritated by the blacked out words but hey, that’s the only quirky thing all those text chapters had.

I won’t give a TBR for the next round. I will participate in another readathon by this weekend so watch out for my TBR for that. It will be mostly manga and my recommendations will be up on Instagram by the end of today.

How did you do on your Tome Topple? What do you plan on reading next round?

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#TomeTopple | ROUND 6 (6/29 through 7/12)

Oh my… it runs right through Anime Expo weekend. That means I can’t audio book (to preserve my phone’s battery) and my only reading time is down to my commute to and from the convention center… if I feel up to it. Wah! But I will make it happen somehow. I love this readathon that much.

Tome Topple Readathon is created by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. She also hosts the Top 5 Wednesday weekly tag. She’s one of the booktubers whose opinions I trust. I also go to her for SFF recommendations. The GoodReads group for this readathon can be found here. If you’re looking for recommendations, inspiration, and/or buddies to read with, go check out the group.

Again, the only real “rule” is to read a book with 500 pages or more. Break out those huge intimidating books and manga omnibuses. Search for a long audio book. Work on those for two weeks straight. And don’t be too hard on yourself. If you can only read one, that’s fine. If you can read 5, you’re my hero. If you can’t finish any, just as long as you read, you’re good.

It’s going to be from 12AM of June 29 through 11:59PM of July 12, your time zone.

For me, that’s Pacific Time, for those playing along.

It can be any book with 500+ pages. Check which edition you’re reading. A paperback can have a different number of pages than an ebook or hardcover or mass market. For audio books, I tend to go by the hardcover page numbers because usually audio books come out the same time as the first edition releases unless they don’t have hardcover editions so I go with… you get what I mean, right?

Short story collections don’t count. Graphic novel/manga omnibuses do. 500-page graphic novels and manga do exist but at this point, I’ve exhausted my current collection of those. Two of the three Junji Ito collections are above 500 pages: Tomie and Uzumaki. The 3-in-1 Fullmetal Alchemist collections are too. But I prefer my manga per volume.

So really, all you need to do is to read a 500-page book. But if you want to challenge yourself:

  1. Read more than 1 tome.
  2. Read a graphic novel with more than 500 pages. (Trust me, this exists.)
  3. Read a tome that is part of a series.
  4. Buddy read a tome.
  5. Read an adult novel.
  6. Instagram challenges. (TBA)

Choosing my books was quick this time around. Before, I said I’ll be picking The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss for the next round but with Anime Expo right at the beginning, I don’t think I can do that. I need something quicker and less dense. I immediately thought of Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. The Illuminae Files take me less than a day to read. Since I don’t think I’ll be able to find a manga, this needs to be my quick read. I also plan to read Iron Gold by Pierce Brown. I know, I didn’t drop everything when this came out. But I now have 2 copies – one signed and the other is an ARC I got from the publisher months after release as a promo. Both are more than 500 pages. For my audiobooks pick, The Burning World by Isaac Marion, the sequel to Warm Bodies. I know my Overdrive has it and I’ve been meaning to read that. The hardcover has 512 pages. And for my New Adult pick if ever I find the time, Knocked Up by Nikki Chase with 548 pages as an ebook. Who knows, with my reading trajectory right now, I might read that first. XD

My choices fulfills all of the challenges except #2 and #4. No way I’m ever buddy reading a book. Nothing against it, I just don’t enjoy it. But if you want us to talk about a book, we can do that. 🙂

I’m aiming to read at least 2. I know Obsidio will be an easy read. I don’t know how much reading I’ll do with Anime Expo. When that con is in town, it takes over my life. But we’ll see. I will be bringing either my Kobo Aura ONE or my Nook Tablet 7 with me while at the convention so I’ll have something to do while waiting in line or during down time.

Let me know if you’re participating too. What is your TBR?

MUSING MONDAYS | #TomeTopple Update

Oh boy. I haven’t done one of these in ages.

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

How are you all doing? It’s a short work week for me because of the Thanksgiving holiday. I’m pretty much done with my Black Friday purchases — all I really need to do is to go back to Hot Topic for the Yuri!!! On Ice goodies that I want. I don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving personally. But if you do, have a wonderful time with friends, family, and food!

I’m having a slow start to Tome Topple Round 5. I’m reading The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson and I’m barely 120 pages in. I’m also listening to Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. It’s around 18 hours and I’m merely 4 hours in to it. I know I have until the 30th but without the convenience of a 500-page graphic novel/manga, I’m concerned that my final page count will not be as “impressive”. I know, I know… it’s all in my head. I shouldn’t be pressuring myself. I’m actually pretty excited for these two books because they both finish a trilogy. I’m enjoying both so very much anyway.

For this week’s random question: Do you like or dislike series books?

I mostly like them. I don’t really have an opinion. I like the challenge of reading a series, especially if it’s a good one. I like stand-alone books too. I went through a time when I was looking for good stand-alone recommendations … but I eventually fell back into reading series. I tell myself every year to finish more series and I think this year, I’ve been doing very well. I tried not to start as many; I usually get stuck after the 2nd book. As much as I would love to binge-read a series, I don’t have the longest attention span for that.

But yeah, I don’t mind series books. I have no problems DNF’ing a series if the first or second book didn’t impress me that much. I just hope authors don’t feel that they have to write their story stretched in a series for it to be good.

#TomeTopple | ROUND 5 (11/17 through 11/30)

It’s that reading time again. Tome Topple Round 5 is upon us and I’m so excited!

Tome Topple Readathon is created by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. She also hosts the Top 5 Wednesday weekly tag. She’s one of the booktubers whose opinions I trust. I also go to her for SFF recommendations. The GoodReads group for this readathon can be found here. If you’re looking for recommendations, inspiration, and/or buddies to read with, go check out the group.

I figured I’d just repost that since I was about to say the very same things anyway. The only real “rule” is to read a book with 500 pages or more. This is the chance to tackle those daunting reads that are collecting dust on your shelves.

It’s going to be from 12AM of November 17 through 11:59PM of November 30, your time zone.

For me, that’s Pacific Time, if you want to play along. 🙂

Your pick will ultimately depend on the edition you’re reading from. Titles have different page numbers depending on which medium you’re patronizing. For example, I’m currently reading The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin. The paperback has 468 pages while the Kindle edition has 512. If you’re planning to read the Kindle edition, it counts for this readathon.

Short story collections don’t count, unfortunately. It’s easier to go through short stories than one dense novel – although I’m not very fond of short stories… they send me to slump hell. It’s okay if you’re reading a graphic novel omnibus or a collected works of manga.

Reading a 500plus-page book is okay. But if you want to challenge yourself:

  1. Read more than 1 tome.
  2. Read a graphic novel with more than 500 pages. (Trust me, this exists.)
  3. Read a tome that is part of a series.
  4. Buddy read a tome.
  5. Read an adult novel.
  6. Instagram challenges.

One book can count for multiple items. My main read is definitely going to be The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson, to finish off the Mistborn trilogy. I have the UK edition with 748 pages. For an audio book, I’m hoping to be able to borrow Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor (613 pages), the final book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. I was going to listen to this but Overdrive was able to get me The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson after such a long hold. You can read/listen to that one as well because it has 679 pages. If I can, I would like to finally get to Night Film by Marisha Pessl (602 pages) or continue with the Rot and Ruin series by Jonathan Maberry with Dust and Decay (519 pages).

I don’t have a graphic novel read… yet. I can always read those 3-in-1 manga omnibus for Fullmetal Alchemist or whatnot. I was looking at the Another: Omnibus by Yukito Ayatsuji that has 720 pages but the thing is, I already read the first volume separately. I’m not sure if that counts. Well, I can always reread that part.

Anyway, I had so much fun with the previous round. I learned not to put too much pressure on myself, that this TBR is merely a list of options. I’ll be happy to finish The Hero Of Ages and call it a day.

Let me know if you’re participating in this readathon. If so, what’s your TBR? 🙂

#GetGraphic | Readathon Wrap-up

Armstrong plush from Wee Bit O’Freak @ Etsy

I’m still reeling over how amazing Bitterblue is and its audio book. I finished it today and oh my goodness, it was a perfect decision to listen to it. I tried reading it a few years ago but the name “Death” pronounced so as to rhyme with teeth was throwing me off. I’ll be listening to Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor next. I’ve just started with Origin by Dan Brown. I couldn’t pick anything up until I got that book. XD

But my #GetGraphic readathon participation was a success. I was able to cross out all 6 challenges and 2 Instagram challenges. I still haven’t read Maus by Art Spiegelman though. Sorry, I got my hands on the first volume of My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi and that was that. I didn’t even get to Kuroko no Basuke or Black Butler. Sure, I could’ve read more but we also got our wonderful Kiseki Box and we’re working our way through Samurai Flamenco. There’s only so much time in a day!

So what did I read? I read five things.

  • The Creeps by Fran Krause. I got a free copy from Blogging for Books just in time for the readathon. It’s a book of 2-4 comic panels about what scares people. It can be real-life worries, ghosts, actual creepy things, and/or superficial craziness. It was cute.
  • Barakamon Volumes 3 and 4 by Satsuki Yoshino. This satisfies “reading two installments from the same series”. I could read so much more but my manga-reading limit is 2 in one sitting. 😉
  • Gyo by Junji Ito. This is my 300-page read. And wow… it’s so good! I like this more than I did Tomie. It’s about rotting fish with mechanical legs that excrete a very bad smell. Pair that with Junji Ito’s art style, gimme!
  • My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kohei Horikoshi. This is a new-to-me series.  And I can count this as a friend recommendation since I see this all over. I loved the anime. And I think I’m going to love the manga as well.

All the manga counts to “black and white art”. Overall, I read 1122 pages. Suh-weet. I can’t wait to see my final page count for this month.

(I also got some volumes of Haikyuu during the readathon weekend. I got too excited so I decided not to read them yet. I might blow another paycheck on all the volumes that are currently out in English. Those Nendoroids are bad enough. LMAO.)

#GetGraphic | Readathon + TBR (10/6 through 10/8)

I haven’t been reading many manga (or any kind of sequential art) these past two months. I usually pad my numbers with manga. After all, a lot of them are long series with many volumes. I have quite a few that I have to catch up with and a lot that I want to start. What better way to finally get to those than a dedicated readathon!

Like my previous comic book/graphic novel readathon, I’m going to exclusively read manga. It’s just my preferred medium for sequential art. And besides, it messes me up when I read a graphic novel… I’m so used to reading right to left.

I first heard about the #GetGraphic readathon from Adriana from Perpetual Pages. There are others hosts and also a twitter page. Click the image on the left and follow for updates and sprints. There are six main challenges and five Instagram/social media challenges leading up to the actual readathon.

It’s going to be from 5PM of October 6 through 11:59PM of October 8, your time zone.

A chill weekend. It’s doable, right? And besides, it usually takes me about 30 minutes to get through a standard manga volume. This way, I won’t feel too guilty padding my GoodReads numbers with very short reads. Hey, it’s to satisfy a readathon. It so counts!

And what’s a readathon without challenges? I’ll be mentioning some titles as both a possible TBR and recommendations. Really, any comic, manga, and/or graphic novel counts. But here are the challenges:

  1. Read from a new-to-you series
  2.  Read two installments from the same series
  3. Read a work over 300 pages
  4. Read a work with black and white art
  5. Read a work picked out by a friend
  6. Read at least five things

Like with other readathons, one book can cover multiple challenges. Most of my choices will have black and white art. I’m planning to read a new-to-me series that is finished with 30 volumes. That is also a recommendation from a friend – although she recommended the anime more than the manga.

Here’s my list of titles that I’m interested in… and some that I’ve already read and recommend (yeah, think of me as your friend, see #5 lol):

  • Orange by Ichigo Takano – I will never stop singing its praises. This comes in a 2-volume collection that is well over 300 pages. Just read it. Fall in love with it.
  • Kuroko no Basuke by Tadatoshi Fujimaki – After falling head over heels obsessed with sports anime such as Yuri!!! On Ice, Free!, and Haikyu!! (exclamation points FTW), I want to check out another one. I’m also planning to watch the anime but with 75 episodes… lemme finish my queue first. (But that seiyuu cast list is a dream.)
  • Maus by Art Spiegelman – wow, not a manga but I have both volumes and it’s been sitting on my shelf for years. This time is as good as any.
  • Gyo by Junji Ito – This is going to be my 300-page read. I loved Uzumaki (read it for the previous comic readathon), read Tomie for Tome Toppleand now this.
  • Black Butler by Yana Toboso – I need to catch up! I think I’m on Volume 12 already.
  • Barakamon by Satsuki Yoshino – I love the anime but I’ve only read 2 volumes. Catch up!
  • sweetness and lightning by Gido Amagakure – If I can get my hands on the latest volumes translated to English. I love this series. In fact, I’m writing a Yuri On Ice AU loosely based off of it!

That looks like a lot but trust me, it will go by fast. A lot of manga are not wordy… except maybe Black Butler. I also want to read My Hero Academia and Haikyu but I couldn’t find them on my library apps. Oh well. Eventually.

Let me know if you’re participating. What’s your #GetGraphic TBR?

#TomeTopple Round 4 | Readathon Wrap-up

I would have you know that I did absolutely ZERO reading over the weekend. Instead, I binge watched Haikyu!! I polished off half the season 1, all of season 2, and almost half of season 3. I have no regrets… other than why haven’t I watched it sooner. I’m such a sucker for good sports anime and this is definitely one of them. My seiyuu otaku self is the happiest it has been. I love my some voice actors.

But I did finish my main goals for Tome Topple Round 4. There were 4 books in my TBR, 2 priority reads and 2 backups. My priority titles satisfied 4 of the 5 challenges. I skipped “Buddy Reading a Tome” because I just don’t buddy read. I don’t like it and I don’t have time for it, realistically.

I completed 5 out of the 14 Instagram challenges. I could’ve done more but my Instagram account is not specifically a Bookstagram so I didn’t want 5 posts in a row to be about books. And some categories either didn’t apply to me or didn’t appeal to me at all. But I did have fun finding creative ways to take pictures of my books with the most minimal preparation and props.

My bookmark for the whole weekend said — “I like BIG BOOKS and I cannot lie” — which I thought was appropriate for the readathon. I quite prefer those bookmarks with the tassel on top. I tried those magnetic bookmarks I didn’t like the way the closed book looked with a large bump on top. The magnetic bookmark was just too big.

But I digress.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson was my first read of the fortnight. I read it both as a book and as an ebook. I had to go out of the house during that first weekend and I did realize that I read slightly faster on my Kindle. My copy of the book, albeit pretty, acts like a mass market paperback. And it’s huge so I didn’t want to risk breaking the spine.

Needless to say, I loved it. I loved the many twists, the political intrigue, the war planning… and the characters! I love them all. This is marketed as an adult fantasy fiction but it is so easy to read and it’s so much fun. The Mistborn trilogy is a very good gateway to adult fantasy if you’re coming from YA. I had so much fun with this. I even was dream casting the characters with anime characters instead of real-life people. There was no way I’m giving this less than 5 out of 5 stars.

At 781 pages, this is my longest read to date. The Final Empire is my 1st read of 2017. And by the looks of things, The Hero of Ages could close out the year. This satisfies 2 challenges: “Read a tome that is part of a series” and “Read an adult novel”.

My next read was Tomie by Junji Ito. This is the deluxe collection where all the chapters are collected into a 752-page tome. I finished this in a few hours. I loved Uzumaki and I had high hopes for this. But I wasn’t all that impressed. I did give it 4 stars but I’m kind of leaning towards a 3 to 3.5 to be honest. While the premise was good, it became a bit repetitive as it went on. I was thinking that if I didn’t consume this in one go, I would have a better experience with it.

It’s a story about a girl named Tomie who is so beautiful, she enchants every male that lays eyes on her so much that they are driven to kill and and cut her to pieces. Those pieces then grow and become more Tomie and then spread the “virus” to the rest of Japan. You can imagine how many times that main story line can be recycled before it becomes redundant. The art style is pretty creepy; that much you can expect from Junji Ito. I still prefer Uzumaki but Tomie isn’t so bad.

This satisfies two more challenges: “Read a graphic novel” and “Read more than 1 tome”. If I call it right here, then I read 1533 pages between two books.

But I started reading another book on the final days of the readathon. A Court of Wings & Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. I figured this was an easier read than Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab. I clocked in about 172 pages by August 17th. I wasn’t forcing to finish it but at least I was able to get 25% of the way through.

With that, it brings my total to 1705 pages across 2.25 books. Not bad for my first showing!

I don’t have a TBR for the next round yet but I’m definitely taking part as well. I learned a lot of things during this readathon. It might have “readathon” in name – such as a marathon, a race to accomplish something. But Tome Topple is not about finishing as many books as possible. A 700-page book can have you reading the whole two weeks. Reading 200 pages in one sitting means nothing if you’re reading a 1200-page tome. Reading a big book does take time.

Pacing is key. No one is actually chasing you. Do not compare yourself to others participating with you. We all have different activities in life outside reading. Maybe you’re just unlucky that things went to shit during those two weeks and you couldn’t do as well as you hoped. Or maybe you’re not as fast a reader than the next person. THAT. IS. PERFECTLY. OKAY. If by the end of the readathon you’ve only read one book, pat yourself on the back. You did it! That’s one less tome, one less intimidating read on your TBR.

Although… it kind of sent me to a sort of slump. When I finished both priority books, I was so ready to read a trashy NA novel. But then I never got to it. I thought of pushing myself for one more book, thus ACOWAR but I was just a bit burnt out in the end that I did things other than reading. (Or maybe it’s Tomie‘s fault… Hmmm.) Now that I started ACOWAR, I’m stuck with it. I need to finish that before I can move on to other books. And so far, I’ve only completed 3 books this month. THREE. I might pad that number with manga. 😉

Overall, I enjoyed this readathon. I wasn’t able to participate in any sprints because I’m at work or asleep whenever they are on. By the time I get home and start reading, no one’s holding one. But I did answer Twitter questions as I saw them on my timeline. The hashtag #tometopple on social media was fun to check out too. Congrats to all the hosts and participants and see you all next round!