Read: Armada by Ernest Cline

armada I loved, loved Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. If one could marry a book, this would be “the one” for me. So, when I saw Armada in the book shop (well, a department store in The Hague, to be precise), I had to buy it straight away, even though I should not buy any more books.

I read it during the Readathon (April 2016), and it was OK. It was OK. That’s it. Unbelievable and a little childish – as in, boy dreams come true – and I never really suspended disbelief. What a pity after the great, great RPO! It reminded me of Ender’s Game, which works great as a movie, and I’m sure Armada would (will!), but I wasn’t convinced this is a great book for adults.

The publisher says: “As [the novel] opens, high-school student Zack Lightman glances out his classroom window and spots a UFO. At first he thinks he’s going crazy. A minute later he’s sure of it, because the ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada,—in which gamers just happen to be protecting Earth from alien invaders.  

Zack is sure he’s lost his mind. But what he’s seeing is all too real, and his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save Earth from what’s about to befall it. Yet even as he and his new comrades scramble to prepare for the alien onslaught, Zack can’t help thinking of all the science-fiction books, TV shows, and movies he grew up reading and watching, and wonder: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little too… familiar? 


Book read: Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party by Alexander McCall Smith

fatty I read this very funny book for the Readathon (April 2016).  This short book was highly entertaining and ideal for the readathon.

Fatty O’Leary is a well-proportioned American of Irish descent. Together with his wife Betty, he spends a holiday in Ireland, hoping to find his roots. However, Ireland isn’t prepared for people of Fatty’s size and many things go wrong for him. Is it him or is it the Irish?

Read this when you need a good laugh and see what you think: is that Lord Balnerry playing tricks on him, or is he really just friendly?

The publisher says: “[Fatty O’Leary’s] loving wife Betty plans a trip to Ireland for his 40th birthday and almost immediately things go wrong: the seats in economy class on the plane are too small; Irish bathroom furniture is not as commodious as he’d have liked. And all the time Fatty must put up with the unthinking cruelty of strangers.

In an hilarious and touching portrayal of a kindly and misunderstood soul, McCall Smith has created yet another memorable character who will become an instant favourite to his many fans.”



The 24-Hour Read-a-thon! #readathon

readathonIt’s almost time to start the 24 Hour Read-a-thon! Over 800 book bloggers and other book lovers all over the world will be reading as much as they can within 24 hours. Some will read 6 hours, some will try and read the full 24 hours.

Everyone starts at the same time, 12 GMT, which is 2pm for me here in the Netherlands. I do need my sleep, but I will try and read for 16-18 hours.


This is what I’ll be reading from:


Zink by David van Reybrouck – non-fiction
Armada by Ernest Cline – science fiction
Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party by Alexander McCall Smith – humor
Day Four by Sarah Lotz – science fiction
Brooklyn by Colm Toibin – historical fiction

Opening Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? I’m reading from the Netherlands – that’s in Europe (to the right of England, to the left of Germany and above France and Belgium). 
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I’m especially looking forward to Armada. I LOVED Ready Player One by the same author, so this just has to be good! 
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I got some Rocky Road (shop-bought, I’m sorry to say) and I’m planning to make guacamole later on.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I have my own book editing business so I get to read ALL THE TIME (and I still wanted to join in the readathon – there’s nothing better than that!)
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? I often get sidetracked by all the social media fun. I’ll try to spend a bit more time actually reading.

After 9 hours I finished my first book

Armada by Ernest Cline (355 pages). It was an OK read, but not half as good as Ready Player One by the same author.

On to my next book: Zink by David van Reybrouck

After 11 hours I finished my second book

Only 63 pages, Zink by David van Reybrouck took me to almost 1 am. The book is finished and now it’s bedtime!

Then I slept for 7 hours and read my third book

Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party by Alexander McCall Smith was a fun, short book about an American man in Ireland (174 pages).

My fourth book I finished just after the end of the readathon

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. A lovely story about an Irish woman moving to America after the Second World War (316 pages).

End of event survey

  1. Which hour was most daunting for youHour 11 – this was 1 am for me. I dropped my book while reading because I kept falling asleep.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party by Alexander McCall Smith was an easy, quick and fun read that I think many readers would enjoy.

  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season? No, it’s wel organised.

  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I liked the Facebook group. Was there one last time? For me, this was the first time I joined in on Facebook as well as Twitter and the blogs.

  5. How many books did you read? Four

  6. What were the names of the books you read?
    Zink by David van Reybrouck
    Armada by Ernest Cline
    Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party by Alexander McCall Smith
    Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? Fatty O’Leary was the most fun, but I also very much enjoyed Brooklyn.

  8. Which did you enjoy least? Armada was a bit of a disappointment, given that I so much loved Ready Player One by the same writer.

  9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again?  Yes! This was my 10th or so readathon and I still enjoy it a lot.


Did you participate? What did you read?

Please leave a link to your starting post so I can easily find you.

24-Hour Readathon – Plans

My weekend plans: read. And read a bit more. And read. And repeat. It’s READATHON weekend. Below is my reading pile. I have no idea how much I’ll be able to get through, but these are some of my newest books and I don’t want them to end up in the black hole, a.k.a. my book case with unread books.


Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
Day Four by Sarah Lotz
Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party by Alexander McCall Smith
Armada by Ernest Cline
Zink by David van Reybrouck

I think I’m most looking forward to Armada, just because Ready Player One by the same writer was one of my very favorite books of all time.

I’m not planning to read as fast as possible, just as much as possible (as in: time spent reading). I will not read for 24 hours. I do need sleep. In the Netherlands, we’re starting at 2pm on Saturday, and usually by 12 midnight, I take a few hours of sleep, to continue early in the morning until 2pm on Sunday.

Wish me luck! And let me know if you’re joining in!



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