Monday, September 7, 2015

Beat the Heat Readathon Week 2 Summary & Finale

The 3rd Annual Beat the Heat Readathon concluded last night.  My goal was to read/listen to 3 books (Landline, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Three Shirt Deal) between August 24 and September 6.  I met my goal with 4 days to spare and even knocked off a bonus 4th and 5th book and started a 6th.  Here is my final progress summary:

Landline by Rainbow Rowell (2013)
308 pages, 9 hours and 3 minutes (audiobook)

8.24.2015 - Started! Listened 1 hr. 16 mins.
8.25.2015 - Listened 2 hrs. 6 mins.
8.26.2015 - Listened 3 hrs. 8 mins.
8.27.2015 - Finished! Listened 2 hrs. 33 mins.

My MINI review in 200 words or less:  Overall, I enjoyed Landline.  I thought the premise was clever and the characters were unique and likable enough.  (Four year old Naomi a.k.a "Nomi" - meow! - was a hoot!)  I thought some of the phone conversations between Georgie and the "Neil of 1998" via the magic landline phone were a little drawn out and repetitious, but perhaps they had to be in order to accurately reflect the phone conversations of young love.  (I remember talking on the phone for 5 hours one night with my high school sweetheart and I can imagine that our conversation, due to sleepiness and fatigue, sounded like it was in slow motion, too.)  Georgie and Neil's landline phone conversations also evoked memories of when my husband and I were dating.  It's essential to remember those moments, to remember why you fell in love with that person, after you've been married for a while and have fallen into the marriage/kids/work/life routine.  The book was cute, entertaining, and served as a reminder to essentially never take the ones you love for granted and to always keep trying. 
Rating: ★★★

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote (1959)
127 pages, 2 hours and 52 minutes (audiobook)

8.28.2015 - Started! Listened 2 hrs.
8.29.2015 - Finished! Listened 52 mins.

My MINI review in 200 words or less:  I honestly don't have a lot to say about this novella other than it was OK.  For me, listening to it was like eating a Digiorno frozen pizza.  It wasn't bad and it was satisfying on a basic level, but it wasn't good enough to make a lasting impression like a Chicago-style Giordano's pizza.  I don’t regret listening to it, but honestly, I feel no better off having listened to it than I did beforehand.  Having only seen the movie once or twice, and not remembering much about it, I didn’t have any expectations.  I did picture Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, even though Holly is blonde in the book – I just couldn’t help it!  The image of Audrey wearing that black dress, eating breakfast while looking in the window at Tiffany's is an iconic American motion picture image. I was a little surprised by Miss Golightly’s crass language.  From what I remember, Holly was much more sophisticated and classy in the movie.  The “book version Holly” wasn't classy by any stretch of the imagination; she was simply a wanna-be.  All-in-all, the book was OK.  I felt neither happy or sad at the end, just neutral.
Rating: ★★★

Three Shirt Deal by Stephen J. Cannell (2008)
(Book # 7 in the Shane Scully series)
336 pages, 9 hours and 33 minutes (audiobook)

8.30.2015 - Started!  Listened 1 hr. 21 mins.
8.31.2015 - Listened 3 hrs. 43 mins.
9.1.2015 - Listened 2 hrs. 25 mins.
9.2.2015 - Finished! Listened 2 hrs. 4 mins.

My MINI Review in 200 Words or Less: Three Shirt Deal is a solid police/crime/mystery novel with an interesting plot as well as a compelling personal sub-storyline involving the main character, Shane, and his wife, Alexa. One thing that I have always enjoyed about this series is that Shane evolves. He ages, time passes, and he does not stay static. Throughout the series, I’ve enjoyed the diverse cases that each book focuses on as well as getting to know Shane and the other peripheral characters.  I really enjoy Shane’s personality, sarcasm, quick wit, and his tendency to bend the rules to benefit the greater good.  Some of his comments are pretty funny.  This book was enjoyable and engaging and allowed me to figure some things out along the way, without revealing everything.  My only complain is that near the end, an event occurred that was completely over the top and not believable.

NOTE: It’s not necessary to read the previous books in the series in order to enjoy this book, although having read the earlier books does provide the reader with the backstory.  I like having the background information, so that is why I have read the series in order.  It truly is a personal preference, though.
Rating: ★★★

BONUS BOOK #4 & #5!

On the Grind by Stephen J. Cannell (2009)
(Book #8 in the Shane Scully series) 306 pgs, 7 hrs. and 16 minutes (audiobook)

9.3.2015 - Started!  Listened 2 hrs. 37 mins.
9.4.2015 - Finished!  Listened 4 hrs. 39 mins.

My MINI Review in 200 Words or Less: Knowing Shane Scully as I do, or at least as I think I do having read books one through seven in the series beforehand, I figured out the biggest question of On the Grind early on.  That’s OK, though, for I still enjoyed the book overall.  It is a solid story with enough twists and turns to keep it interesting.  My only complaint is that I thought the ending was rather anticlimactic.  With everything that led up to the story’s finale, I just expected something bigger, something with a little more “umph.”  Despite that, it was still a fun, entertaining, and enjoyable read.
Rating:  ★★★★

Lick by Kylie Scott (2014)
304 pgs, 8 hrs and 37 minutes (audiobook)

9.4.2015 - Started!  Listened 2 hrs. 11 mins.
9.5.2015 - Finished! Listened 6 hrs. 26 mins.

Rating:  ★★★

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover (2014)
337 pgs, 9 hours and 14 minutes (audiobook)

9.6.2015 - Started! Listened 4 hrs. 28 mins

Was not able to finish book by end of readathon, but so far, so good.  :)

  • Goal:  MET and SURPASSED! 
  • Books completed:  5 (instead of the 3 as originally planned).
  • Started a 6th book, but ran out of time.
  • Total time spent listening to audiobooks: 41 hours and 49 minutes

Did you participate in the "Beat the Heat Readathon?"  How did you do? 

Happy reading and thanks for stopping by!

My rating system:
★★★★★ = Awesome!  Good chance I own a print copy!
★★★★ = Very good.
★★★ = Good.
★★ = Not good.  I finished it, but did not like.
★ = Absolutely loathed it!  I may not have even finished it.

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