Bout of Books is a week-long readathon held every January, May, and August. It’s low-pressure. There are optional reading sprints, Twitter chats, and Instagram challenges.

That’s it! Another Bout of Books has come and gone. I had a great time focusing on my reading this week and participating in the Instagram challenges each day. I also enjoyed visiting other blogs from the linky on the Bout of Books blog and those who commented on mine.

I hope everyone who participated had just as much fun as I did. Thank you, Amanda and Kelly, for all the hard work you put into making Bout of Books as much fun as it is each and every time!

Don’t forget that the next Bout of Books is May 9 to 15, 2022.

Instagram Challange

Here are the pictures I took each day.

Totals

I had a great week. Here are my totals!

Pages Read: 750 pages
Hours Read: 12 hours 12 minutes
Books Finished: KEEP MOVING by Maggie Smith; ANXIOUS PEOPLE by Frederik Backman; and THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE by CS Lewis

How was your week? Did you meet your goals?

Review: Anxious PeopleTitle: Anxious People
Genre(s): Contemporary
Pages: 346
Source: Library
For: Trim Your TBR Challenge
Rating:
Sexual Content: 0 Flames

Goodreads Amazon

There's a trigger warning for this book. See Trigger Warning section at end of review for more details.
Goodreads Synopsis

A poignant, charming novel about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined. Humorous, compassionate, and wise, ANXIOUS PEOPLE is an ingeniously constructed story about the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope--the things that save us, even in the most anxious of times.

My Thoughts

I’ve never been interested in reading Fredrik Backman’s books. They sounded boring to me. Then my IRL book club read ANXIOUS PEOPLE back in September and the discussion sounded interesting. Fortunately, I didn’t pay attention too much so I wouldn’t be spoiled because I decided to add it to my Unofficial Trim Challenge list and its number was chosen for January.

Some of us never manage to get the chaos under control, so our lives simply carry on, the world spinning through space at two million miles an hour while we bounce about on its surface like so many lost socks.

I’m so glad I decided to act opposite of my initial inclination and read ANXIOUS PEOPLE. I absolutely adored this book. I was giggling from the outset and I was hooked from the first time I sat down on Monday and started to read the book. I loved how it was written, that we got the story in parts. It reminded me a lot of TRULY MADLY GUILTY by Liane Moriarty (but better executed). I wanted to keep reading so I could figure out how everything would play out.

After I finished reading ANXIOUS PEOPLE, I felt almost spiritually moved and like Backman had spoken to me through his characters on a deep personal level. Backman made me feel a gambit of emotions for every single character, including the grumpy know-it-all who thrived on causing conflict. It made me love every single one of them. He even made me have feelings for bridges.

I’ll definitely look into Frederik Backman’s other books now and see if I like any of them as much as ANXIOUS PEOPLE. It was such a treat to read.

Have you read ANXIOUS PEOPLE? If so, what did you think about it?

Trigger Warning

There is a trigger warning for suicide and suicidal ideation.

Review: Keep MovingTitle: Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change
Author: Maggie Smith
Genre(s): Non-Fiction
Pages: 224
Source: Library
For: Book Club
Rating:
Sexual Content: 0 Flames

Goodreads Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis

When Maggie Smith, the award-winning author of the viral poem Good Bones, started writing daily Twitter posts in the wake of her divorce, they unexpectedly caught fire. In this deeply moving book of quotes and essays, Maggie writes about new beginnings as opportunities for transformation. Like kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending broken ceramics with gold, KEEP MOVING celebrates the beauty and strength on the other side of loss. This is a book for anyone who has gone through a difficult time and is wondering: What comes next?

My Thoughts

KEEP MOVING is my IRL book club’s pick for January. I picked it up from the library yesterday and I read it really quickly, in a few hours, as it’s mostly pages of affirmations.

Don’t wait for your life to magically come together–it’s your work to do. Every day, every moment, you are making your life from scratch. Today, take one step, however small, toward creating a life you can be proud of.

I liked a lot of the affirmations, like the one above, but my favorite parts of the book were the parts where Smith went into more detail, where she talked about her losses from losing her grandmother, two miscarriages, and divorce. Those were the times I felt a kinship toward her. Even if I hadn’t experienced loss quite the same way she had, I could still empathize with her and think of ways to apply her advice to my own life.

I really liked her perspective on things, especially when she talked about serotinous pine cones and how they only open and spread their seeds in the midst of fire. Or, how she likened trauma and loss to kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing ceramics with gold. The ceramic piece is beautiful because of its brokenness instead of in spite of it.

I wasn’t sure I’d like KEEP MOVING, but I’m glad I read it. I gave KEEP MOVING 3 stars because the ratio between affirmations to the parts I actually wanted to read was too high. Otherwise, I would’ve given it 4 stars.

Have you read KEEP MOVING? If so, what did you think about it?

I recently read DUNE by Frank Herbert for the seventh time! The first time I read it was in high school for my Sci Fi class. (It was one of the only books I actually read.) I fell in love with the story that first time I read it. Over the years, DUNE has become my all-time favorite book. I adore everything about it. I love Herbert’s writing, the characters, the setting, the complexity of the story, and the ethical/moral issues it explores.

I understand why some new readers have a hard time with it. I had my IRL book club read it almost seven years ago and most gave up or didn’t understand the political and economical aspects of the book. In today’s publishing world, so much of DUNE would’ve been edited out and the third-person omniscient POV isn’t for everyone.

I’ve never read any of DUNE’s sequels. I’ve toyed with the idea, but I’ve decided against it. I don’t want to be disappointed and I don’t want that disappointment to ruin my love for DUNE. Fortunately, DUNE stands well enough alone that I don’t need to go on.

During this reread, I was very aware of how much Herbert relied on Islamic culture as his inspiration for DUNE. In past reads, I had wondered if some of the words were inspired by Arabic. It wasn’t until I was watching the new movie that I became more curious about Herbert’s inspiration. As I did a little research, I was surprised to find out how much of Islamic culture he used. It made me wonder … is DUNE a misappropriation of Islamic beliefs? If so, can I still love DUNE, acknowledge the misappropriation for what it is, AND help society do better by also supporting Muslim authors and authentic Muslim stories?

What are your thoughts? Do you have any recommendations for Muslim authors and authentic Muslim stories that I should read?

P.S. My shortest read of 2021 was DUNE, THE GRAPHIC NOVEL, BOOK 1 at 160 pages and my longest read was DUNE at 894 pages. Ha!

Bout of Books is a week-long readathon held every January, May, and August. It’s low-pressure. There are optional reading sprints, Twitter chats, and Instagram challenges.

During the week as I participate in Bout of Books, I’ll keep track of my progress on this post. At the end of the week, I’ll post a wrap-up post with my totals.

So far I’ve had a good time reading and joining in on the Instagram prompts. If you’d like to follow me on Instagram , click here.

Progress

Monday

Pages Read: 84
Time Read: 3 hours (I’m a slow reader )
Book Finished: None
Currently Reading: ANXIOUS PEOPLE by Frederik Backman
Comments: I’m really enjoying ANXIOUS PEOPLE so far. It’s funny and sad. I’m very curious as to what the whole picture is. It reminds me a little bit of TRULY MADLY GUILTY by Liane Moriarty.

Tuesday

Pages Read: 38 pages
Time Read: 1 hour
Book Finished: None
Currently Reading: ANXIOUS PEOPLE
Comments: I wasted too much time doing other things. By the time I started reading, it was really late and I couldn’t stay awake for longer than an hour.

Wednesday

Pages Read: 108 pages
Time Read: 3 hours 33 minutes
Book Finished: None
Currently Reading: ANXIOUS PEOPLE
Comments: I think I’ll finish ANXIOUS PEOPLE tomorrow. I’m so excited to see what happens!

Thursday

Pages Read: 224 pages
Time Read: 2 hours 38 minutes
Book Finished: KEEP MOVING by Maggie Smith
Currently Reading: KEEP MOVING
Comments: I started feeling sick (not COVID–have to specify ) on Tuesday and I’ve just been feeling worse and worse, especially today. When I’m feeling this sick, I don’t often like to read because I can’t concentrate on the words. Fortunately, my IRL book club book for January that I put on hold at the library came available and it was a really easy read.

Friday

Pages Read: 122 pages
Time Read: 3 hours 41 minutes
Book Finished: ANXIOUS PEOPLE
Currently Reading: ANXIOUS PEOPLE
Comments: I’m glad that I felt well enough to read today and I’m so glad I finished ANXIOUS PEOPLE. It was such a joy to read.

Saturday

Pages Read: 0 pages
Time Read:
Book Finished: None
Currently Reading:
Comments: I felt too sick today to read. As I said on Thursday, I don’t often like to read when I’m feeling this sick because I can’t concentrate on the words. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

Sunday

Pages Read: 180 pages
Time Read: 4 hours 58 minutes
Book Finished: THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE by CS Lewis
Currently Reading: THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE
Comments: I’m glad I felt well enough to read for so long today, especially since the later the day got the worse I felt.

Let’s make this a great week!