My Very Ill-Advised But I’m-Doing-The-Readathon-Anyway READING RUSH 2020 TBR!

Posted July 13, 2020 by Amber in Bookish Things, Readthons & Reading Challenges / 4 Comments


Hey everyone!

I have been so, so light on readathons this year because of EVERYTHING but also because of my limited ability to read frantically due to other responsibilities.  That said, I really still wanted to join in on the Reading Rush because I had a blast with this readathon last year.  So here we are!

This is, for the record, the absolute worst time for me to be doing a readathon.  It falls the week before my FINRA 99 exam and I honestly should be hitting the books hard.  With this in mind, I’ve tried to compromise a bit between having fun and doing work, because you gotta have balance, you know?

So today I’m just going to go through my readathon TBR.  I am still challenging myself with 7 different books, just like I did last year.  However.  In the interest of time, these all needed to be books that I could easily consume in one day while still working full-time and incorporating 2-3 hours of studying daily.  Therefore, I made a couple of personal rules:

  • Physical books should not exceed 200 pages.
  • Individual audiobooks should not exceed 13 hours.
  • Audiobooks should not exceed 25 hours total (allowing me to listen for 5/8 hours each day at work)

While this sort of seems like the books are going to be unsubstantial, I’m actually excited for the mix I came up with.  Quite a few different genres, I’ve got some classics, I’ve got some re-reads, and I’ve got new recommendations as well as books I’ve been wanting to read for a while.  So here’s what I’ve got!

Read a Book with a Cover that Matches the Color of Your Birthstone

I’m an October baby, so my birthstone is opal.  My birthstone is also rose quartz, which you’ll see more often when birthstone colors are being used.  Opal is this really pretty pearlescent white, whereas rose quartz is just light pink and that’s easy.  Still, I like opal better, so I’m going with “white” as my color.

And I chose Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Anderson.

Sarah Scribbles makes me so happy, and I’ve been meaning to pick up one of her books for a few years and support her as a content creator.  This book seemed like a really good choice for me right now as well, since when I’m stressed nothing is nicer than a little laughter.  And comics like these tend to make me smile, so I’m here for it.

As an aside… Warcross would have been absolutely perfect for this prompt, and I have a copy and haven’t read it yet.  It’s got a pearly white cover and rainbow lettering and is very opal-aesthetic.  And it’s significantly over 200 pages so doesn’t fit in my page limit.  Boo.

Read a Book that starts with “The”

You know, the organizers said this one was actually a bit trickier than it seemed, and they were correct?  I had to scroll for a bit to find an unread book that began with “The” and also fell in my page limit.  Fortunately, I landed on The Test by Sylvain Neuvel, and I’m so excited.

For context, Sylvain Neuvel is the author of Sleeping Giants and that book remains one of my top 3 audiobook recommendations, period.  It was a book that I was so surprised that I liked that I kept blabbering to everyone about how much I enjoyed it.  Then I promptly added everything by Sylvain Neuvel to my TBR.  So this has been sitting in wait since the minute it was announced, honestly.

In re-reading the blurb for this book, I am so very excited.  Although it’s short, The Test seems like it’s going to be a very powerful read.

Read a Book that Inspired a Movie You’ve Already Seen

I actually do a book vs. movie every month, and I have loads of these that go both ways… movies I’ve seen and I want to read the book, as well as books I’ve read and I’ve got to check out the movie.  For this challenge, I’m choosing The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket for a few different reasons.

First of all, I’ve had a full cast audiobook of this for at least five years.  Because it’s short, it keeps getting thrown on and off TBRs because I haven’t been feeling it, or whatever.  But I do enjoy A Series of Unfortunate Events and its universe, so I would like to listen to this audiobook.

Additionally, I absolutely loved Netflix’s adaptation of the series starring Neil Patrick Harris.  It’s one of those very rewarding adaptations that brings the books completely to life and maintains their humor.

All that said, Lemony Snicket is an author on my Problematic Authors list, which I do encourage you to peek at and hold him accountable.  I’ve had copies of these books for years so I am not, in the present, offering financial support to this man.  However, I do recognize the privilege I have in being able to separate the art from the artist, so I will be donating to a charity working against the sort of damage that Lemony Snicket/Dan Handler has caused.  I will provide proof and more details about this when I review.

Read the First Book that you Touch

While the organizers’ suggestions of making a stack and randomly picking a book were good, I knew this would be a bit trickier for me to do honestly as well as choose something 200 or less.  Therefore, I decided to pick an audiobook for this one as well.

The methodology was pretty simple – I really just filtered my Audible list by “unfinished” and closed my eyes, held the “down” button down for a minute, and went with the book at the top of the page when I opened my eyes again.

And that book was The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette.

I remember Evelina gushing about how good this book was when it came out, so of course I had to pick it up when it appeared as one of Audible’s Daily Deals back when I was a subscriber.  Really looking forward to a little fun sci-fi and I’m quite sure it’s as good as she said it was.

Read a Book Completely Outside of Your House

This is a bit of a freebie for any book, as long as I read it out-of-doors.  If COVID-19 was not a thing, I would have definitely chosen an audiobook for this and just listened on my commute, but my rotation is actually home that week (thank goodness, tbh) so I decided to take advantage of this easy prompt to pick up a short book that I’ve been wanting to reread for a while.

For this one, I’m going with Night by Elie Weisel.

I remember very little about this book – it was summer reading going into freshman year of high school, so I haven’t read it in 17 years, I think?  I do remember it being powerful.  It checks a lot of boxes for what I’m trying to read these days, including non-problematic classics (there are so many problematic classics), diverse books, and I enjoy revisiting books I read for school and looking at them with fresh eyes, so Night is a good choice for that as well.

Additionally?  I’ve never seen a blog review this book.  I’m not an #OwnVoices reader, but I’d rather put it out there than leave Night to the dusty back shelves of required academic reading….

Read a Book in a Genre You’ve Always Wanted to Read More Of

This lined up for me very well because I’ve been saying to myself a lot that I want to read more poetry and discover more poets whose work I really enjoy.  I love Edgar Allan Poe, and I discovered Jane Kenyon as well as Emily Dickinson in high school, but otherwise?  Couldn’t name a poet.

A friend recently shared a poem by Nikita Gill with me and strongly recommended Wild Embers as empowering and beautiful.  And I agreed with her.  And also told her I have +1200 books on my TBR, but I’ll add it and read it someday!

Whelp, thanks to The Reading Rush, I’m going to read it now.  What time like the present for empowering poetry recommended by a friend with excellent taste?

Read a Book that Takes Place on a Different Continent Than Where You Live

There was not a lot of careful thought and science that went into this one.  Basically, don’t read a book set in North America – no problem!  I read a lot of fantasy so most my books don’t take place in North America?  But anyway, for this one I had a bit more of a limited net because I wanted another audiobook, and I wanted a short one, and I wanted an audiobook I hadn’t read.

I landed on Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.

While I’ve read Peter Pan before, it has been exactly 13 years because I read it for an assignment my first semester of college.  I remember absolutely loving it, especially in looking for themes and metaphors and the like.  I haven’t read it since, and I’ve had mixed luck with film and stage adaptations as well.  But I’m still intrigued by the story and looking forward to listening to the audiobook.

Unfortunately, like Dan Handler/Lemony Snicket, J.M. Barrie is a pretty unsavory being.  You can read up more on him on my Problematic Authors page.  Fortunately, Barrie can get no financial recompense from my reading Peter Pan, and he left the rights to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, so any time you do read Peter Pan or watch a film interpretation or ANYTHING, that money goes to charity and not a pompous estate built on racism, sexism, and mental abuse. … So… that’s something?  Still, to hold myself accountable, I will be making a donation and I will discuss more about that in my actual review.

So!  That’s my whole TBR for the Reading Rush, which start exactly one week from today!  I hope I’ll be able to get through seven books despite my own personal obstacles, but I’ve tried to make it very easy on myself to complete these goals.  And I hate to lose, so that drive will always be there as well!

I think this is most likely going to be my only readathon this year, so I really hope it goes well.  I’ve had a mixed history with loving/hating/getting burnt out by readathons, so we’ll see how this one goes.  Especially because I’m rusty!  I was using Off-The-Grid-Athon to dig into my ARCs in 2019, but I haven’t really participated this year, and I’ve been stressed and exhausted so I’ve been rubbish with hardcopy reading most the time….

Wish me luck!


Are you participating in this year’s Reading Rush?  Are you like me and trying to read 7 books, or do you double up your challenges?  Drop me links to your Reading Rush TBRs in the comments!

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4 responses to “My Very Ill-Advised But I’m-Doing-The-Readathon-Anyway READING RUSH 2020 TBR!

    • Amber

      I didn’t realize how short The Test was, either, until I started looking for short books. From the description, it looks like it’s going to be a lot to unpack in a single novella. I’m looking forward to it, and I’m curious to see how it goes. 🙂 Have you read it?

    • Amber

      The readathon’s going pretty well, actually! With the weekend still left, I’ve managed to actually finish all my initial TBR and am working through bonus books. How is it going for you?