I had so much fun with the Summer Sci Fi Read-a-Thon, I decided to jump in and do two more at the same time. I started a new job recently, which meant I needed to do a lot of reading specific to the new job. Also, my husband is out of town long-term for work, so I’m taking care of my two young kiddos on my own. As a result, my own reading for fun came to a screeching halt. I decided the readathons were a good way to get back on track. Here are the two events in which I participated this past week:
I enjoyed participating with the Seasons of Reading community earlier this summer, and I wanted to do another event with them. The 24 in 48 event is run by Liberty Hardy of BookRiot, another online community I love. So I decided to give that one a try as well. Luckily, they overlapped! I was all caught up with the work in my new job, so I decided to have some fun reading and playing with the kids all weekend. I knew I would not be able to hit the 24 hour target this time around, and that was fine with me. I just wanted the chance to relax and read. It was a good weekend.
Here is a rundown of the books I read.
The Fireman by Joe Hill
I admit I was a little leary of this author. Some of Hill’s previous titles, NOS4A2 and Horns, really didn’t interest me. I’m also probably one of the few people in the world who is not a huge fan of his father’s books (though I do respect King’s ability to write). However, I kept hearing good reviews of this book and I rather liked the premise. I’m a sucker for good post-apocalyptic and pandemic stories, and this one sounded like it had something different to offer. I am really glad I picked up this book. I had about half of it read prior to the readathons. The Fireman is a creative and thoughtful story. I enjoyed Hill’s takes on pandemic, sociology, religion, power, and relationships. The geek culture references sprinkled throughout the book were like fireflies on a dark night (he had me at “Allons-y!“). This ended up being one of my favorite books so far this year. I now plan to read more by Joe Hill.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, vol. 1 by Ryan North (writer) & Erica Henderson (artist)
I kept hearing about this series, so I decided to give it a shot. I love the concept of this comic. Having a superhero who manages to “defeat” villains through unconventional means is rather refreshing. While enjoyable, the storytelling style and the art aren’t quite my jam. However, I do think I will recommend this one to others who I’m sure will love it. I can see the appeal of this character and her stories. I also read this book as part of the Panels Read Harder 2015 Challenge. I enjoyed the 2016 Challenge so much I decided to go back in time and do 2015. Challenge Category: Features a Creative Team Representing More Than One Gender.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
I steward a Little Free Library and this book was requested by one of my patrons. It’s still in hardcover, so I’ve been keeping an eye out for it in case it came up at a cheap price. I recently decided to try out the famed Book of the Month Club (BOTM), and they had this title for sale for a pretty reasonable price. I snagged as an extra with my other title for this month (in case your curious, my primary selection was Sleeping Giants). This turned out to be a great choice for a readathon book. It is short, but impactful. Dr. Kalanithi’s book is a rather touching and thoughtful read. If you decide to pick this one up, it might be a good idea to have a box of tissues nearby.
The Rabbi’s Cat by Joann Sfar
It is fun to watch a cat ask sometimes irreverent, but thoughtful questions about religion. This is a quirky, insightful, and enjoyable read. It is also a kind of useful pairing with When Breath Becomes Air. Oddly, they both address some of the same questions about life. I also used this book as part of the Panels Read Harder Challenge 2015. Category: Originally Published in Europe. This is also a book in translation.
The Fever of 1721 by Stephan Cross
I started this audio book in June, and finished it over the weekend. It was an easy way to participate in the readathons and still get things done around the house. This is a fascinating book about a pivotal smallpox epidemic in pre-Revolutionary Boston. It delves into this multi-faceted history, explaining the impact of this even on the development of immunizations, the freedom of the press and the 1st amendment, the lead up to the American Revolution, and more. The history seems very relevant to current events. I was happy to learn more about Cotton Mather, Benjamin Franklin, and the significant contributions of James Franklin.
The audio narrator, Bob Sour, lends an authoritative voice to the story that kept my interest. The only drawback I had in listening to this book was that I tried to spread it out. In doing so, I found myself losing track of the various players and events of the story. I suggest a more compact listen to more easily keep track of the various threads. I’ll be recommending this book to others and I look forward to reading more from Stephen Coss. Note: I received a free copy of this book from the LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review.
Totals for the Seasons of Reading High Summer Read-a-Thon & the 24 in 48 Readathon:
- Books Finished: 5
- Comics/Graphic Novels: 2
- Pages Read: 794
- Audio Books Finished: 1
- Audio Hours: 5:36:36
- Total Hours Read: 16:27:18
- POC Authors: 20%
I want to say a quick word about the app, Litsy. There were a large number of Litsy participants in the 24 in 48 Readathon. Litsy itself was an active participant with giveaways, contests, etc. and it was a lot of fun. This is a great app for people who love to read. I really enjoy interacting with the community there and I encourage others to give this app a shot.