Sunday, July 3, 2016

Summer Read-a-thon 2016: Day 1

Welcome readers to the first recap of the Summer Read-a-thon 2016. I may be tired, nay slightly exhausted, but I'm determined to maintain high levels of excitement. I'm ready to make this week one of the best reading weeks of the year. I started out Day 1 of the challenge determined to read as many pages and books as possible.

Before the reading challenge started, I was already in the middle of two books and decided to finish those off before starting a new one. The first book that I read during the read-a-thon was The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.

Originally, I had this book on my June TBR list, but didn't manage to finish it before the month was over. The book is about a man named Jean Perdu, who runs a bookstore in a boat, which he calls a literary apothecary. He gives people the books he thinks will cure whatever emotional ailment they might suffer from. When a newly heartbroken woman moves into an apartment next to Jean, she discovers a letter from his lost love that he's avoided for years. She convinces him to read the letter, an action that forces Jean to confront his past while traveling to the south of France.

I finished this book well before Day 1 of the read-a-thon was finished and it started my challenge total at 138 pages.

The next book that I started before the challenge, but decided to finish was The Rook by Daniel O'Malley. 

The story begins with the main character, Myfanwy Thomas, returning to consciousness with no recollection of her past. Immediately, she has to fight for her life and discovers that the previous Myfanwy knew she would lose her memories and left letters instructing her new personality. Myfanwy works as a Rook in the Checquy, a secret organization that protects Britain from supernatural phenomena. A large portion of the organization is run by people with extraordinary powers, one of those people being Myfanwy herself. Now, she has the challenge of running an organization with no recollection of her life while also trying to determine the identity of the traitor that wiped her memories clean.

This book kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time and I completely finished it on Day 1. In total, I read 262 pages of The Rook during this challenge.

For whatever reason, I've been the mood to read more nonfiction lately and when I took a look at my huge TBR stack, the one book that grabbed my attention was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

Despite the fact that this is a nonfiction book, it only took a couple of pages before I was hooked on the story. Skloot presents readers with the life of Henrietta Lacks, a woman who receives treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital for cervical cancer. This event leads to the creation of the infamous HeLa cells that scientists used to develop a polio vaccine as well as many other scientific research and discoveries. Those so called "immortal cells" were taken from Henrietta without her knowledge and Skloot shines a spotlight on Lacks' life, her influence on the scientific world, and the fall-out that the Lacks family had to endure because of it. 

I didn't get a chance to finish this book before the end of Day 1, but I did manage to read a total of 158 pages. All I can say is I'm looking forward to starting off Day 2 learning more about Henrietta's life.

Now it's time to tally up all of the pages that I read during Day 1. 

My page count for Day 1 of the Summer Read-a-thon 2016 is 558 pages. Not too shabby for someone who just about hit a reading slump last month. Now I think it's time to get started on Day 2 or maybe go to sleep. Who am I kidding!? Of course I'll be reading after this! Don't forget to return tomorrow night to see how I fared during Day 2 of the challenge.