the BookTubeAThon is an annual readathon hosted by the marvellous Ariel Bissett – how she finds the time & effort, I’ll never know ANYWAY IT IS A GREAT THING WE ARE ALL THANKFUL FOR. So basically, there’s 7 reading challenges and BTAT runs for 7 days. There are prizes and giveaways and insta challenges, video challenges Twitter sprints etc. So if you missed out this year, unfortunately you’ll have to wait for next year – BUT IT’S DEFINITELY WORTH THE WAIT. That, I can promise. This was my second year participating and I cannot recommend it enough.
1. Read a book with a person on the cover
Strange Heart Beating – Eli Goldstone | 3 / 5 stars
I picked this one up from the library & it needed to be read, so it was an easy fit to the challenge. Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. I’ve forgotten most of it now, however Eli’s prose was beautiful at times and I’d happily pick up another work by her. Think Swallowing Mercury meets The Tidal Zone.
2. Read a hyped book
Stay With Me – Ayòbámi Adébáyò | 5 / 5 stars
I’m not sure if it was really hyped to the extent of others but whatever it’s hype it deserves it! I had wanted to read it from day one and by gosh I’m so so glad I picked it up. I basically sobbed my heart out for the last fifteen pages. What. A. Book.
3. Finish a book in a day
Муха-Цокотуха – Корней Иванович Чуковский | 4 / 5 stars
(Mukha-Tsokotukha – Kornei Ivanovich Chukovsky)
I recently discovered that my local library has a few shelves of Russian children’s books (& other languages too!) but seeing as I studied Russian at three years I best try not to lose it. So I had this one & I read it aloud one evening – with my partner correcting and helping me translate. It was one he had a read as a kid. It’s a rhyming sort-of children’s poem about a fly that gets rich and then is captured by a spider but at last saved by a mosquito. A typical damsel in distress story but it was funny and it’s illustrations insanely adorable.
4. Read about a character that is very different from you
The Gangster We Are All Looking For – Lê Thi Diem Thúy | 3 / 5 stars
This one was a charming novella about the experience of Vietnamese immigrants to America in the late 1970s-80s. Luminous at times and exceptionally well written, it’s definitely not one for the linear plot driven readers. Another one which at times reminded of Greg’s Swallowing Mercury however, it unfortunately fell a little flat for me.
5. Finish a book completely outdoors
Heartland – Michele Leggott | 3 / 5 stars
Now the truth comes out. I had honest intentions with this one and low and behold the weather gods were good to me and on the second day of BTAT the sun was shining and it was a crazy 16’c and so outside I sat with some sushi & this collection of poetry. Alas, after a two day winter storm and work I fell sick with a cold, so finished the rest of it inside. (Oops). Leggott is a favourite poet of mine, but sadly this collection I don’t think was for me – or at least I wasn’t ready for it. Maybe in ten years time.
6. Read a book you bought because of the cover
My Mother and The Hungarians (and other small fictions) – Frankie McMillian | 4 / 5 stars
Picked this one up at the writer’s festival the other year. It was a definite cover / title buy and turns out I really enjoyed it. By a local writer – this one’s a collection of prose-type poems/flash fiction about Hungarian refugees to New Zealand in the 1950’s. I learnt a bit and it was a delightful experience.
7. Read seven books
The Housekeeper + The Professor – Yoko Ogawa | 4 / 5 stars
I’ve been meaning to read Ogawa for a while and what a brilliant little novella it was. A charming thing filled with courage. Heartwarming + life affirming to say the least. Highly recommend.
Oh, look a bonus book!
Swimming Home – Deborah Levy | 5 / 5 stars
I was on such a roll and with a good 10 hours left I scanned my shelves for a possible culprit. After Hot Milk I wanted to give Levy another go because I knew her writing would take me places. And boy, did she deliver with this one. By the end my eyes were filled with tears and I felt like I had woken from a feverish dream. Think Hot Milk meets The Bell Jar meets a family summer vacation.
I’m quite proud to say the least with my reading this week, eight books in seven days! If I was in a slump I ain’t now! Next up, the man booker longlist….
Did you participate in BTAT this year?? How did you get on? Do you like readathons in general?
do svidaniya reader chums xx