Thursday, April 09, 2015

15 Books in 30 Days

I don't think it's any secret that the book slumping in my life has been SERIOUS. And it's been over a year that I've felt a struggle to read. That is, I sit down with a book and I have trouble sinking into it. There's a lot of "word word word" on the page, with serious emotional connections being few and far between.

I've found solace in short works, comics mostly. But I do miss sitting down with prose, so after learning about Jenny from Adultishbooks' 30 books in 30 days project, I decided to spin this idea to fit into my schedule.

I'm tackling a 15 books in 30 days (#15in30) challenge. With lots of birthdays, travel, and events in April, I think it's far more likely I can swing a book every two days than a book a day. Here's my plan:

  • Graphic novels, novels, and novellas of 200ish pages or less
  • Most of my reading will happen at work during lunch, breaks, and in the evening
  • Weekends rule! I have no problem wiping out two or three books in a weekend to free up some weekday wiggle room
  • Readathon is April 25, so that's a built-in boost
It might sound extreme to some of you that I'm "forcing" myself to read x number of books, but my problem lately is that I often don't prioritize my reading, and I need something to help me get back in the groove. I really miss it, and I need a jolt. 

My project officially started on the evening of April 6, and I've already completed my first book:


The Red Notebook, by Antoine Laurain, was a charmer! Liberty described it best as, "While You Were Sleeping in Paris!" 

Next up:


They're both going to get read, I'm just not sure which order. 

I got some amazing short book recommendations on Twitter, but I'd love to gather some more, so be sure to leave your own recommendations in the comments. 


57 comments:

  1. Hammer Head is short and really engaging non-fiction. Highly recommend. It's not under 200 pages but you'll definitely plow through it. It was a one-sitting read for me.

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    1. Thank you for the rec, Rachel! I haven't heard much about that one, but it looks great!

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    2. I actually came over to this post to say, hey Andi, I already listed a whole bunch of short books on Twitter, but I'm halfway through Hammer Head, and even though it's *technically* over 200 pages (like 216ish?), it's a quick read (two sittings for me, not one, but still).

      All of which I just said anyway, even though Rachel already said it. So... seconded?

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  2. You hit the nail on the head! It's all about priorities. I tend to leave reading for the end of the day, but by then I'm too tired to read for very long. Yesterday I plopped my butt in Rod's comfy chair in the living room and read from 4:00 to 5 :00. I really got engrossed in my book! Finally!

    Good luck with your challenge!

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    1. Yes! It's so hard, isn't it? By the time the work day is done, I get home, wrangle Greyson, spend some time catching up with David, I am exhausted! I do find that I often wake up an hour or so before the alarm goes off in the morning, so I've been trying to take advantage of that time, too. I'm glad you were able to sit down and get engrossed in your book!

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  3. Sounds like a great way to get a jumpstart! I hope it works out for you...I know I'm looking to Readathon for a good jolt, too.

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    1. YES! It's working so far. Given, I'm only a few days in, but I've stuck to it so far. Lately it seems like I only read a novel or two a month, so even though I'm reading shorties, I think it'll get me comfortable with reading again and prioritizing. Thank goodness for the readathon jolt twice a year, right? :)

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  4. I'm sorry about your never ending slump. I've had a bit of one in 2015 so far, but feel like I'm finally turning a corner. I've heard great things about Last Night at the Lobster and it's on my TBR too. Didn't realize it was a short one! That just got it bumped up a couple notches :)

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! I'm starting to see the light, and I'm so excited that I'm enjoying reading. I'm only a couple of books into the project, but it already feels like it's working. I'm planning to read Lobster next (finishing up Men Explain Things to Me today). Can't wait!

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  5. Good luck. Never ending slumps are a pain in the arse! I've been itching to read but this eye issue really put a dent in my schedule. I am reading again now but if I read for longer than 20 min straight I get a massive headache. That's a problem!

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    1. Yes they are! I'm glad your eye situation is starting to straighten out. I hope the headaches go away soon!

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  6. I loved While You Were Sleeping!! Now I have to look that book up.

    Good luck my dear. Your slump has depressed me as well. :(

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    1. It's one of my favorite movies! I think you would LOVE this book! Thank you, love. My slump sucks for everyone. lol

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  7. Good luck, Andi. Hope you love Last Night at the Lobster as much as I did. O'Nan's The Odds is short, too, and maybe not quite as good, but he sure nails Niagara Falls in that one.

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    1. Thanks, JoAnn! I absolutely cannot wait to read Lobster. I buckled and downloaded it yesterday, so I'll dive into it next.

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  8. Sometimes changing things up is just what we need! You can do it!! :)

    Last Night at the Lobster was one of those books that didn't hit me over the head, but I'm still thinking about how O'Nan takes something everyday and makes it really interesting and heartfelt.

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    1. Exactly! Thank you, Lindsey! I'm so excited to try Lobster since I've heard so many positive reactions to it!

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  9. Are you caught up on all the Flavia de Luce books? Those are nice, quick slump-busting reads. :) I'm hoping you get some great reading done this month.

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    1. I'm not! I actually need to read the third one. I think I'll tackle one on a weekend since it's a bit longer, but definitely a quick, fun read!

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  10. I was going to recommend We Have Always Lived in the Castle (super successful Dewey's read!), but then I saw you've already reviewed it! Rats.

    I did just read a collection of short stories by Yu Hua. Boy in the Twilight: Stories of the Hidden China. Very contemporary and dark. Not sure if it's your thing!

    I'll keep thinking...

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    1. I do love a good short story collection! I also love contemporary and dark! Looking it up!

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  11. What an interesting idea. I'm such a slow reader. I could never do something like this unless they were children's books, lol. I hope you have a fun and I hope it helps you get your groove back. :)

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    1. So far so good, Jenni Elyse! Wish me luck!

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  12. Dewey always gives my April or October book number a much needed boost!

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    1. Same here! Just starting a little early this time. lol

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  13. I love this idea, and I really hope it helps! I read a book earlier this year that might work perfectly for you (if you haven't already read it, of course). Touch by Adania Shibli, a Palestinian woman. I absolutely loved it, and it was super quick (less than 100 pages, if I'm remembering correctly). Anyway, good luck!!!

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    1. So far it's helping a lot, and I'm so thankful for that! I am absolutely going to look up Touch right this second!

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  14. Good luck! That is certainly a great way to jumpstart your reading. That's usually what works for me as well. Not an x number of books in y days challenge necessarily, but just sitting down and reading, and not blogging/doing other stuff.

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    1. Thanks, Athira! I've had such a hard time prioritizing my reading, I figured I'd go this stricter route this time around. We'll see how it shakes out!

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  15. Good luck! It sounds like I need to read The Red Notebook!

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    1. It's soooo gooood! Highly, highly recommend.

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  16. Good luck, and hopefully this is the slump buster you need! A quick, compelling read (if you haven't already for ToB) is All the BIrds Singing. Easily could be read in a day or so, and is fast-paced, and awesome.

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    1. I have been eyeballing it, Katie. I downloaded the sample a while back, and I think it's time to download the whole thing!

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  17. 15 in 30? Exciting! Well I loved Last Night at the Lobster! It would be an interesting and quick read. Best of luck with your 15!

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    1. I'm so glad to know you loved Lobster! I'm reading it next.

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  18. This sounds like a great little challenge to get you back into your reading groove. Sometimes a little challenge can unlock any resistance you've been struggling with. Best of luck. I look forward to hearing about all you manage to read.

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    1. I thought so! :) Resistance is the perfect way to put it. I just can't settle down with a book! Though that seems to be loosening up some in the beginning of this project. We'll see if I can endure!

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  19. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn and On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan are both very short and great! Or go the classics route with Lord of the Flies, Metamorphosis, The Awakening, or Chronicle of a Death Foretold.

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    1. Ooh, I've read and loved both Ella Minnow Pea, On Chesil Beach, and Lord of the Flies! I obviously need to add the rest of your recommendations to my list! I have The Awakening already on my TBR, too. :)

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  20. Oh! The book reading slump. I teaching Literature in middle school and ask my students to read every night...but sometimes I find myself not following this rule. I have things to do. Grading, laundry, writing, playing with my daughter and then it's suddenly 11:00 and I haven't read anything and I'm exhausted. One day it happens, so what? Then it's the next day and the next? Ugh. If you enjoy young adult novels, then try One Came Home by Amy Timberlake. It's more like 250 pages, but an easy read.

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    1. We are SO in the same boat! Where does the time go? I will definitely give One Came Home a look!

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  21. Ongoingness
    Poisoned Apples by Christine Heppermann

    Two short ones I recommend.

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    1. Thank you, Candace! Going to add these to my Goodreads list now!

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  22. Good luck with your challenge! I mentioned a few recs on Twitter, but a few more just occurred to me: On Immunity and See You in Paradise by J. Robert Lennon!

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    1. Thank you, Leah! For the recs here and on Twitter! I didn't realize On Immunity was so short, so definitely adding it and See You in Paradise.

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  23. I have noticed a deprioritization of reading lately too. My solution was to put my phone on the charger in the other room when I'm reading. Otherwise, I pick it up at every alert and at the end of each chapter. It's super disruptive and I get caught up reading random crap rather than a good book!

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  24. The only reason I have been reading is because of comics... If not for them, I wouldn't be reading at all!

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  25. I think I also need to work on making reading a priority. Unfortunately, I feel like lately I"m "wasting" too much time on the computer vs. reading. Hope you reach your goal! And, hurrah for the read-a-thon coming up.

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  26. This project sounds like so much fun, holy shit. Like I really want to do it too, because I love short books, but right before graduation probably isn't the best time to start something like this. Prioritiiiiiies. I hope some of my suggestions were useful/at least interesting to you!!

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  27. I think I've been having a similar problem myself. For me, I think it's because I'm pretty stressed out about school right now. That makes it hard for me to get excited about reading books or writing for my blog, because I'm already reading and writing a lot for work. That means I've been spending what fun time I have on gaming a lot more and on reading a lot less. I'm not sure your exact plan is for me, since I'm not a huge fan of shorter works, but I do really like the idea of requiring yourself to re-prioritize your reading. I love gaming, but reading really is more important to me.

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  28. What a fantastic idea! I'm thinking about joining you on this one! I haven't prioritized reading at all lately and there's this feeling that I'm missing something. (I am.) Hmmm. I need to come up with some rules for myself and how long I want my own challenge to last. Do you mind if I join you on this?

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  29. Fantastic Idea! I did something like this years ago when I had a stack (and I mean a big stack) of magazines collecting dust. I knew I was moving soon and didnt want to move them with me only the articles I wanted to save. Most of them were educational journals. 30 Magazines in 30 Days. 15 in 30, you can rock this!

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  30. Ugh, I've been there. I hope this project jolts you out of your slump! It certainly sounds like a fun project, especially with the upcoming Readathon. I was going to recommend something, but I just looked through my shelf of favorites and apparently all the books I love most are long 'uns. Sorry!

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  31. It's been a really long time since I've read a mindblowing book--and what's crazy is most of the books I seem to remember LOVING so much are the ones that I read before book blogging. Not sure what that says, but I don't like the implications. Hope this blows that slump away for you, though! I've been trying to squeeze in some sorter books, too.

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  32. Girl, you’re crazy! Then again I’m in the final stages of my thesis so reading 5 books seems daunting right now!

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  33. I love a good short novel/novella. Some of my favourites include Ignorance by Milan Kundera, Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio by Amara Lakhous, Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote, The Life of Hunger by Amelie Nothomb, An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro and Kick the Animal Out by Veronique Ovalde. I could go on listing them far too easily. Enjoy your challenge!

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  34. I think sometimes I really do need to force myself to read - as much because then I have permission to do it, like a task I can put a line through when I'm done. Otherwise, I think I get distracted with thinking I should be doing other things. Good luck!

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