July and August Readathons!

Hi all! I need to apologize. I am really late in sharing this post.

This post was supposed to be all about the July #24in48 Readathon. It was on July 22 and 23 (in U.S. Eastern Time) and the goal was to read 24 hours in those 48 hours. But since the July 2017 24in48 was nearly two weeks ago now, I am going to double up (or triple up, as it were) in my talking about readathons for this post. . .

First, the #24in48 Readathon, July 22-23, 2017:

I made it past 24 hours of reading! I completed five-plus books – 1,095 pages plus around 6.5 hours in audiobooks – over 25 hours, 41.5 minutes before time was officially up for me. 😊

What all did I read? I’ll tell you (all title links will lead you to my review of the edition I read on Goodreads [you do not have to be a member of Goodreads to see my reviews!]). . .

  • First, I finished the book I had begun on Friday, July 21. After #24in48 got started, I read from page 100 through to the end on page 346 in Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear.
  • Then I read the next two books in Matt Wallace’s wonderful Sin du Jour series: Books three and four – also known as Pride’s Spell and Idle Ingredients – were fabulous! 😊
  • (All three of the above books were finished/read on Day One, July 22.)

  • After midnight (for me) on Day Two, I read Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian Vaughan and it was really great! I might someday have to buy this collection, if the later volumes continue the excellence that was this first volume. 😊
  • And then I started an audiobook: The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells (5h,56m; read by Simon Vance). It was good (I think), but sadly I did not track it at all. When all I was doing was listening, I didn’t track it, and when doing “social stuff” after I had a few hours of sleep I didn’t track it. So I “read” it, but I couldn’t tell you what it was about. I’ll have to re-listen (or maybe “reread” the Kindle edition I downloaded), something I hope to do soon. (Please note that this book’s review link takes you to “my review,” but my review remains unwritten because. . . Did I mention that though I spent nearly six hours focusing on this book, that I didn’t track it at all?)
  • After The War of the Worlds ended, I started in on another audiobook: John Scalzi’s Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi (2h,54m; performed by a “full cast”). This would have been my 15th listen had I been able to complete it, but I set it aside after finishing “the Pluto story” to read a print book. . .
  • Because You Love to Hate Me, edited by Ameriie! I really enjoyed this anthology. Fun stories, and they introduced me to a whole lot of booktubers that were new-to-me. (So that’s why this post on the 24in48 ‘thon is “so late.” I’ve been in a reading slump – or, at least, an “updating social media” slump – due to the fact that I am obsessed with watching “backlist” videos by the new-to-me booktubers, to whom I subscribed [to all of them!].)
  • I didn’t finish Because You Love to Hate Me during #24in48 (I read *only* to page 274), but, as the ‘thon ended for me at around 10p, I was able to finish the book while it was still the 23rd. 😊

And that’s it for what all I read. In sum. . .

  1. Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear (final 246/346 pages);
  2. Pride’s Spell by Matt Wallace (230 pages);
  3. Idle Ingredients by Matt Wallace (185 pages);
  4. Saga, Volume 1 by Brian Vaughan (160 pages);
  5. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells (read by Simon Vance; 5h,56m);
  6. Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi by John Scalzi (performed by a “full cast”; listened to the first 36+ minutes out of 2h,54m); and
  7. Because You Love to Hate Me, edited by Ameriie (made it to page 274/339 pages).
  8. All of which adds up to 1,095 pages read and just over 6.5 hours in audiobooks listened to! And as I said at the beginning, I read all of this over 25h,41.5m during the 48 hours of July 2017’s #24in48 Readathon. 😊

Here is the picture I put together to show what all I read – and how much time I spent reading – during July’s 24in48:
Jen's Final Tally for the July 2017 24in48 Readathon!

Did you participate in last month’s 24in48 ‘thon? I’d love to hear how you did! What did you read? Did you achieve your reading goal for it?

Speaking of reading goals, I had hoped to read six books from start to finish. I didn’t achieve this goal, but I am proud of myself for finishing one, starting and finishing four more, and making it past the halfway point into a sixth (or seventh, as it turned out) book. (I read +1,000 pages!!!) 😊

So I am counting this July 2017 #24in48 Readathon a SUCCESS! 😊

Now, on to August ‘thons!

Today, August 4th, is Day One of #TomeTopple! I learned about this Readathon thanks to my subscription to Thoughts on Tomes on YouTube, in this post!. 😊

And here is my TBR for this 4th Round of Tome Topple (my first round):
Jen's TBR Pile for Tome Topple Round 4

The books I am hoping to read include. . .

  • Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry (843 pages);
  • The Sculptor by Scott McCloud (only 488 pages, but Sam from Thoughts on Tomes has this graphic novel in her stack, sooo… 😉);
  • The Phoenix of Destiny by Geronimo Stilton (574 pages);
  • Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton (710 pages); and
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (~661 pages; not pictured as I don’t yet have it [I’ll be able to check it out from my library on Wednesday or Thursday of the coming week]).

Tome Topple is a Readathon wherein we are supposed to read “tomes,” meaning books that have over 500 pages. 😀 This Round 4 runs from today, August 4th, through August 17th.

Out of all of these books, the only one that I might not read is Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton. This is book #25 in the Anita Blake series and I have never yet been able to read just the latest release. (Which is why I haven’t read this one yet. It was published in October of 2016 (!!!) and I’ve spent the time from then until now dithering because I cannot decide if I want to read the series from Book One or not.) 🤔

So if I read the Anita Blake series from Book One, I won’t get to Crimson Death during this 4th Round of Tome Topple. But if my reviews, with their chapter-by-chapter spoilers, can stand in for that reread, I might be able to read Crimson Death during the next two weeks of Tome Topple. I’ll just have to see how I feel.

And that’s it for the tomes I am hoping to read in the next two weeks! 😁😊😍❤

Oh! And Unfortunately, anthologies do not count. So though I will also be reading The Mammoth Book of Ghost Romance, edited by Tricia Telep (512 pages), during the next two weeks (it’s an interlibrary loan through my library and MUST be returned on August 16th), it sadly will not count for this readathon. 😭

Also, that’s my Max – my reading buddy – in the photo with the books. He gave Crimson Death kisses, but I wasn’t quick enough with the camera to capture it.

The #BoutofBooks 20 Readathon is also upcoming this month! It will be from August 21st through August 27th. (Sign-Ups open on Monday!!!)

And here are some of the books I am hoping to read that week! (Though some – most? – of them are books I am actually hoping to get to before Bout of Books 20.)
Jen's TBR for Bout of Books 20!

Now, what all is in this stack? Read on to find out. . .

  • The 6th-10th books in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep;
  • Theogony and Works and Days by Hesiod;
  • Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden;
  • What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman;
  • Cynful by Dana Marie Bell;
  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel;
  • Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi;
  • the 1st and 2nd Volumes of Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! by Kate Leth;
  • The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than a Man by Tom King; and
  • the 4th-6th Volumes of Saga by Brian Vaughan.

Some of these pictured books will probably have to be returned to the library before August 21st, so it’s likely that my Bout of Books 20 TBR will change pretty drastically. So shall we just add this stack to the stack of tomes in the aforementioned section on Tome Topple and call them all “the books I am hoping to read in August 2017”? 😉

And these are not all of the books I *have* to read this month! I have at least two others that must be returned to the library before August 21st. 😮😓

So I’d best get this post written and shared so that I can start reading!

Are you participating, or planning to participate, in any August readathons? I’d love to see what all you have in your TBRs, if you are. 😊

And speaking of August readathons, there is one more that I might participate in. I haven’t decided yet, though, if I want to do the #TheReadingQuest Readathon, mainly because it starts on August 13th and, though it runs through to September 10th, it will overlap both of the readathons I am definitely in or planning on being in this month! So though it seems like it would be a LOT of fun, I just don’t know if I’ll be able to handle a third readathon in August. (But maybe I’ll sign up and then focus on The Reading Quest from August 28 to September 10? That could be doable…) 😉


Hi! My name is. . . + Best Books: 1st Half of 2017!

Hello there! I’m Jen, also known as reader44ever, and this is my new blog! I’m not sure how active I’ll be, or even what I’ll share, but I would like to share things about the books I read/am reading/read.

Before we get started, as I said, my name is Jen. I am disabled by mental health issues (depression; three forms of severe anxiety), and I also have a few physical health issues (osteoarthritis; carpal tunnel; De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis). I live in Tucson, Arizona, with my mother and my puppy-son, Max. Max is also my service dog! 🙂

Here is a “recent” picture of me and Max, taken after Christmas of 2013:
Jenni with Max, Christmas 2013

And now to get started, since we’re still about halfway through 2017, I’ll share the best books I read in the first half of 2017! January 1 through June 30! (All covers are from Goodreads and, if you click the link on the covers, you’ll be taken to my reviews on Goodreads. You do not have to be member to see my reviews.) 🙂

    Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews - My Review

  1. My very first book of the year (January 1-2) was a reread: Magic Binds (Kate Daniels #9) by Ilona Andrews. (I had first read it in December of 2016.) And it was W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L. I laughed, I cried, and that ending! Oh! This book destroys me! I LOVE it. (This is the only reread I will include in this list. Since I read it for the first and second time so close to one another, just over three weeks apart, I think it’s okay to include this reread.) Also, yes, I do laugh and cry in pretty much the same places every time I read/reread any book in the Kate Daniels series. 🙂

    When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz - My Review

  3. My second “best book of 2017 so far” was an entry by my most favorite author: specifically, When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz. (It was also the second book I read in 2017, January 2-4.) I loved this book! Charlotte and Max, our protagonists, were just delightful (singly and together). This book opened with a murder, and how things connect in this story was really great and fun to read. 🙂

    Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers - My Review

  5. I read Grave Mercy in February (18-19) and it was really a wonderful story. Ismae was a great protagonist, very mature for her age (about 17). I love reading about mature teenagers, because I was one. 🙂 Duval as Ismae’s love interest was also delightful. They make an excellent pair. And though this book was long (549 pages), I never once felt like it was too long. It was such a fun read! (Sadly, I read book two in this series – the His Fair Assassin series – in June and it was not nearly as good for me.)

    Because I'm Watching by Christina Dodd - My Review

  7. Because I’m Watching is the third book in Christina Dodd’s Virtue Falls series. I read it first, though (on March 18). I subsequently read book one, Virtue Falls, but didn’t love it as much as I did the third book. Because I’m Watching was the story of Maddie and Jacob, and it was tense, chilling, scary, and overall just delightful! I laughed; I cried. It was wonderful! I really love this story. 🙂

    Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi by John Scalzi - My Review

  9. I have so much love for this audiobook. (The print – I have it on my Kindle – edition is also fun, but the audio! Oh! The audio!) Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi is read by “a full cast” and the casting choices were positively inspired. I laugh out loud at sooo many lines in this book. It is really just fantastic. And I’ve listened to it fourteen times (!!!) including my first listen on April 1, so when I have lines playing in my head (as they do, don’t you know), I hear the performers who performed the lines in the audiobook doing voiceovers in my head. 🙂

    Shadow Rising by Yasmine Galenorn - My Review

  11. Shadow Rising is book twelve in Yasmine Galenorn’s Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon series. It is also my favorite book in the series so far (I’ve read the first 18 of 21 books). I love everything about this book, from the cover (Seattle! Oh, how I miss you!) to the minutest details of the story, it is a wonderful book. I read it May 12-14. In this outing with the D’Artigo sisters – Camille, witch; Delilah, werecat; and Menolly, vampire – we got to finally learn more about Shade, Delilah’s partner. (!!!) While I wish we had received details about him in a Delilah book (#s 2,5,8,11,14,17), I suppose the situations in Shadow Rising were finally suitable for sharing. (This book is a Menolly book, meaning Menolly is the protagonist. She is protag. in book #s 3,6,9,12,15,18.) And what situations they were! 🙂

    Priestess Dreaming by Yasmine Galenorn - My Review

  13. After a chaotic beginning, Priestess Dreaming (book 16 in the Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon series by Yasmine Galenorn; read June 3) took off strong and never gave up. Everything that happened in this story – and there was A LOT going on! – was fantastic, and fantastical. 😉 And when I realized that in the whole of the story, bad-guy-demons and spirit seals never played a role? Well, I was astonished! After all, the overarching arc to this series is the threat from the bad-guy-demons and the sisters’ hunt for the spirit seals. But did I miss them in this book? No sirree, I did not. 🙂

    Death Masks by Jim Butcher - My Review

  15. Death Masks is book #5 in the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. And so far, it is my favorite entry in this series. (I read it June 18-19.) There was so much going on in here; we had two storylines! The main storyline involved Denarians (fallen angels) and the Shroud of Turin; the secondary storyline involved a “Red Court champion” who was in Chicago to duel with Harry over events in an earlier book. Both of these storylines were full of exciting things. Overall, this was quite a thrilling book to read. I really loved it. 🙂

    Poison by Jennifer Estep - My Review

  17. Poison is a short story in the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep. (I read it on June 21.) Out of all the shorts that I’ve read so far (I’m through book four, and have read all of the shorts that fall before book one through book four), this one is my favorite. Told from Finnegan Lane’s point-of-view, it gives us a glimpse of Gin (Gin Blanco, main protag. in the series and Finn’s foster sister) when she was 13, newly a member of the Lane household. I loved this story, it made me cry. 🙂
  18. And that’s it for those new-to-me books that I gave five stars to in the first six months of 2017.

    If I were to add in all of the books I read and gave five stars to, including all of the books that are rereads, that would make this list 17 books long. I honestly didn’t want to type that much, so I’ll just share covers. As with the covers above, all are from Goodreads and if you click on them, you’ll head over to my review of the book you clicked on. (Again, you do not have to be a member of Goodreads to see my reviews.) Most of these rereads were first read years ago, but there is at least one exception. That exception should stand out to you, since my first reading of it was shared up above. 😉


    Annie's Day by Andy Weir - My Review

  19. Annie’s Day by Andy Weir. Read for the 3rd time on January 9.

    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - My Review

  21. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. “Read” (listened) for the 2nd time April 10-11.

    Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi by John Scalzi - My Review

  23. Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi by John Scalzi. Read for 1st time in print (along with 6th audio listen) on April 13.

    Fool Moon by Jim Butcher - My Review

  25. Fool Moon by Jim Butcher. Read for the 2nd time (1st was via Kindle) May 23-25.

    Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep - My Review

  27. Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep. Read for the 2nd time on June 19.

    Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep - My Review

  29. Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep. Read for the 2nd time on June 20.

    All Night Long by Jayne Ann Krentz - My Review

  31. All Night Long by Jayne Ann Krentz. Read for at least the 7th time on June 23.

    Falling Awake by Jayne Ann Krentz - My Review

  33. Falling Awake by Jayne Ann Krentz. Read for at least the 13th time on June 30.


Well, that’s now it for this, my first ever blog post! I hope you enjoyed seeing and reading a little about those books that I found worthy of five stars in the first half of 2017. I think for future, I will try to share other five-star reads. That seems like a blog-worthy goal. (I might also share reviews for any books I rate poorly, as “rant reviews” can be fun. 🙂 But I’ll only do that going forward from here.)