Bout of Books 30: Day 7 and final recap


Final recap

Bout of Books 30
This is my 17th participation in #boutofbooks

The Bout of Books readathon is organized
by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple.
It’s a weeklong readathon that begins Monday, January 4th
and runs through Sunday, January 10th in YOUR time zone.
Bout of Books is low-pressure.
There are reading sprints, Twitter chats,
and exclusive Instagram challenges,
but they’re all completely optional
For Bout of Books 30 information and updates,
visit the Bout of Books blog
. – From the Bout of Books team



This was a good reading week, within the circumstances. I have to remember that the January Bout of Books is not as easy as in August for instance, as it’s the week (of January 7)  my Christian Orthodox Church celebrates the Nativity of Christ, so I’m more busy at church.

So instead of 525 pages, I read only 447 pages.
Instead of an average of 75, my average is 63 pages/day.
I’m actually very happy with this: according to my 2020 stats, my daily average for 2020 was 55 pages/day, so reading 63 pages/day over a week is good for me.

I finished 1 audiobook and a short story, and did a good job on The Romanov Sisters, with now less than 100 pages to finish.
Most days, I forgot to participate in the Instagram Challenges, and did the reading-in-place only once, as I actually find it disrupting – see my comment here below under Day 6 recap.

See you on May 10 for Bout of Books 31!
Hopefully, it won’t be too busy and I can aim at an even higher level


Here is what I read on DAY 7:
Sundays are not easy for reading time for me, but I still managed to read a decent number of pages:

  1. The Romanov Sisters = 42 pages
  2. Les grands cerfs = 13 pages

Total for Day 7:  55 pages
TOTAL so far:  447/525


Here is what I read on DAY 6:
Finally a very good reading day. though I totally forgot the Instagram challenge. As for the reading-in-place, I actually find rather disrupting: if I’m really into a book, I don’t look at the time. And why bother put an alarm to stop in 30 minutes?
I won’t have much time to read today.

  1. The Romanov Sisters = 102 pages
  2. Les grands cerfs = 19 pages
  3. Audiobook: C’est arrivé la nuit = 23 minutes = 20

Total for Day 6:  141 pages
TOTAL so far:  392/525


Here is what I read on DAY 5:
This week wasn’t as planned, lol, I guess that’s life. I read a bit more today, just barely above the average I had as daily goal

  1. The Romanov Sisters = 38 pages
  2. Les grands cerfs = 11 pages
  3. Audiobook: C’est arrivé la nuit = 30 minutes = 29

Total for Day 5:  78 pages
TOTAL so far:  251/525


Here is what I read on DAY 4:
I forgot that the first Bout of Books of the year is always difficult, because it’s the week I celebrate my own Christmas (Christian Orthodox Nativity, on January 7), so more Church time, and less reading.

  1. The Romanov Sisters = 29 pages

Total for Day 4:  29 pages
TOTAL so far:  173 /525


Here is what I read on DAY 3:
Another unusual day, so little reading done

  1. Audiobook: The Book of Psalms = 1H16  = 27 pages – FINISHED
  2. The Romanov Sisters = 18 pages

Total for Day 3:  45 pages
TOTAL so far:  164 /525


Here is what I read on DAY 2:
Well, unexpected eye doctor visit, so afterwards I couldn’t really read. So instead I only listened to my current audiobook for an hour.

  1. Audiobook: The Book of Psalms = 1H  = 23  pages

Total for Day 2:  23 pages
TOTAL so far:  119/525


Here is what I read on DAY 1:

  1. Gaspard =  23 pages – FINISHED
  2. The Romanov Sisters:= 22 pages
  3. Les grands cerfs = 15 pages
  4. Audiobook: The Book of Psalms = 1H54  = 36  pages

Total for Day 1:  96 pages
TOTAL so far:  96/525

📚 I did the 9:30 p.m. reading-in-place
And the Instagram challenge


I’m setting my goal at 525 pages, that is, 75 pages per day. 

Here are the books I plan to read from. Some I’m currently reading.

  1. The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra (The Romanov Sisters #2), by Helen Rappaport
  2. Gaspard, a short story sent by a friend for review – FINISHED
  3. Les Grands Cerfs, by Claudie Hunzinger
  4. Audiobook: The Book of Psalms (Bible) FINISHED
  5. Audiobook: C’est arrivé la nuit, by Marc Levy


For Bout of Books 29, no daily challenges will be hosted on our blog. Instead, we’ll have reading-in-place times!

Reading-in-place times, or reading sprints, happen daily on Twitter. If you don’t have Twitter, make note of these times and report your reading progress on your platform of choice.

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The top 8 books to read in January 2021

Here are

The top 8 books
I plan to read in January 2021

Click on the covers to know more


Binti The Night Masquerade Les grands cerfs

📚 The Night Masquerade (Binti #3), (2018) by Nnedi Okorafor
My library has a service where they recommend you 5 books every month. Thanks to them, I have discovered Africanfuturism, and have devoured the first two books in the series.
It’s about a Himba girl, going to attend a university on another planet. S it’s a mix of African cultural elements and science fiction! I don’t think I could find more diverse than that!
It made me discover the Himba culture, which I knew nothing about.

📚 Les grands cerfs (2019), by Claudie Hunzinger
This is the last book I had on my Netgalley requests for 2019! Why did I wait so long to read this? This is a gorgeous book on nature (deer), on observation. Loving it, and considering now reading other books by her.


The Romanov Sisters  The sound of waves

NP Some Prefer Nettles

📚 The Romanov Sisters (2014), by Helen Rappaport
This book was chosen by my public library for the winter reading challenge. It’s supposed to get me out of my comfort zone. I guess they forgot I was Christian Orthodox, lol.

“They were the Princess Dianas of their day—perhaps the most photographed and talked about young royals of the early twentieth century. The four captivating Russian Grand Duchesses—Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia Romanov—were much admired for their happy dispositions, their looks, the clothes they wore and their privileged lifestyle.
Over the years, the story of the four Romanov sisters and their tragic end in a basement at Ekaterinburg in 1918 has clouded our view of them, leading to a mass of sentimental and idealized hagiography. With this treasure trove of diaries and letters from the grand duchesses to their friends and family, we learn that they were intelligent, sensitive and perceptive witnesses to the dark turmoil within their immediate family and the ominous approach of the Russian Revolution, the nightmare that would sweep their world away, and them along with it.
The Romanov Sisters sets out to capture the joy as well as the insecurities and poignancy of those young lives against the backdrop of the dying days of late Imperial Russia, World War I and the Russian Revolution. Rappaort aims to present a new and challenging take on the story, drawing extensively on previously unseen or unpublished letters, diaries and archival sources, as well as private collections. It is a book that will surprise people, even aficionados”

📚 The Sound of Waves, (1954) by Yukio Mishima
This books counts for The Japanese Reading Challenge, for the Books in Translation Challenge, and for The Classics Club

“Set in a remote fishing village in Japan, The Sound of Waves is a timeless story of first love. It tells of Shinji, a young fisherman and Hatsue, the beautiful daughter of the wealthiest man in the village. Shinji is entranced at the sight of Hatsue in the twilight on the beach and they fall in love. When the villagers’ gossip threatens to divide them, Shinji must risk his life to prove his worth.

📚 N.P. (1990, by Banana Yoshimoto
This books counts for The Japanese Reading Challenge and for the Books in Translation Challenge

“In N.P., Banana Yoshimoto’s enchanting novel of uncanny subtlety, style, magic, and mystery, a celebrated Japanese writer has committed suicide, leaving behind a collection of stories written in English. But the book, itself titled N.P., may never be published in his native Japan: each translator who takes up the ninety-eighth story chooses death too—including Kazami Kano’s boyfriend, Shoji. Haunted by Shoji’s death, Kazami is inexorably drawn to three young people whose lives are intimately bound to the late writer and his work. Over the course of an astonishing summer, she will discover the truth behind the ninety-eighth story—and she will come to believe that “everything that had happened was shockingly beautiful, enough to make you crazy.”

📚 Some Prefer Nettles (1928), by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki,
This books counts for The Japanese Reading Challenge, for the Books in Translation Challenge, and for The Classics Club

The marriage of Kaname and Misako is disintegrating: whilst seeking passion and fulfilment in the arms of others, they contemplate the humiliation of divorce. Misako’s father believes their relationship has been damaged by the influence of a new and alien culture, and so attempts to heal the breach by educating his son-in-law in the time-honoured Japanese traditions of aesthetic and sensual pleasure. The result is an absorbing, chilling conflict between ancient and modern, young and old.”


  Death in the Clouds  C'est arrivé la nuit

📚 Death in the Clouds (Hercule Poirot #12, 1935) by Agatha Christie
Part of my project to listen to all of HP, for The Classics Club
Murder on the Orient Express is on a train. This murder is on a plane, and it seems nobody has seen it happening!! Hercule Poirot himself was asleep when it happened. Loving it.

📚 C’est arrivé la nuit (2020) by Marc Levy
His books are usually in the romance genre, so I stay away of those, but they say this is a totally different genre for him, and it’s about hackers, so should be fun!


Listed on the homepage 

Review copies available throughout January-February

List of books I can swap with yours


📚 Bout of Books, January 4-10
📚 Start reading for The Japanese Reading Challenge (January-March)
📚 Post reviews of RockRidgePress books

Eiffel Tower Orange