Weekly Reading Roundup

The week

I entered and won a competition to go to a 50 Shades night on Monday, where several tv personalities discussed the Fifty Shades of Grey books. I took my husband along (he was one of 15 men in an audience of 200). It was good fun to hear the different opinions of the ladies present: one said it was just like Mills&Boon (Harlequin) books and nothing new. Another, a feminist, complained that the contract that Christian wants Ana, the main character, to sign doesn’t really differ that much from the marriage contracts as we used to have them, in the sense that men had complete power over women and women had to be submissive in every way. Another lady who likes a bit of BDSM herself, was pleased with the book because it inspires women to take a more active role in the bedroom. There was also some discussion with the audience. A fun night out – my husband and I had a meal in an Italian restaurant beforehand.

On Friday, I was in the jury of a read-aloud competition at a local primary school. This is a yearly competition in which the best reader of a town goes to the national finals. In the jury were also a teacher and the head teacher. I was there as a library representative.

Also on Friday, it was Book Group Night. We discussed The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (by Rachel Joyce). We all liked the book and found it more sad than funny. I’m not sure if it was the book or us, but soon we were talking about completely different topics! We had a good time.

And then on Saturday and Sunday, it was readathon time! I didn’t read for 24 hours, because I really need my sleep, so I took a break half-way. I read for about 17 hours total and finished 3.5 books, around 1150 pages. It was great fun, I “met” some new people online who were also doing the readathon and I had made a really good choice of books, I enjoyed them all.


This week: It’s autumn holidays and the kids are at home. It’s time to buy winter coats and cleaning up bedrooms. On Saturday, there’s a book blogger meeting that I’m looking forward to. Another discussion of Harold Fry

I hope you all have a good week – let me know what you’re reading, too!


Books I finished in the last week: 5 and one DNF

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold FryMrs Queen Takes the Train by William KuhnStrangers on the 16:02 by Priya BasilForgotten by Catherine McKenzie

Corpus Delicti by Juli Zeh. About a future in which everyone has to live healthily or be sued. It was too slow for me. I liked the ideas in the book, but I gave up after 130 pages as it didn’t grab me at all. (DNF)

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. A fun (and sad!) read about a man who only goes to post a letter and keeps walking. 4 stars

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn. The Queen of England does a similar thing to Harold Fry: she leaves the palace to buy some cheese and decides to make a trip to Scotland. 4 stars

Tweestrijd [Duel] by Linda Jansma. A Dutch thriller about a woman with a very dominant husband who beats her up whenever he feels like it. But then a policewoman moves in across the street and she doesn’t believe the perfect couple story that they seem to exude. 5 stars

Strangers on the 16:03 by Priya Basil. A short novel about a journey in a very crowded train in which two strangers become closer than they could imagine. 5 stars

Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie. A laywer comes back from an extended holiday in an African country, to find that she’s been resumed dead. She has to build up her life again as good as she can. 4.5 stars


Books I’m reading and planning to read

The River King by Allice HoffmanThe Heart Broke In by James MeekFalling Together by Marisa de los Santos



Click on the blue links to see the review

The Round House by Louise Erdrich. On an Indian reservation, a 13 year old boy researches the vicious attack on his mother. The experience makes him grow up rapidly as he becomes involved in things way beyond his years. 4 stars

 My Legendary Girlfriend by Mike Gayle.  A quick and fun lad-lit about a young teacher who, at 27, is still trying to come to terms with the fact that his girlfriend left him 3 years ago. Over the course of a weekend, things change rapidly and almost surrealistically. 5 stars

The Round House by Louise ErdrichMy Legendary Girlfriend by Mike Gayle


Also check out

The new books I received: New Arrivals.

–> Literary Giveaway Blog Hop <— (Sign ups)

Don’t forget to put your name down if you’re planning to participate (give books away) in the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop. Details HERE.


That’s it!

What are you reading this week?

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

32 Responses to Weekly Reading Roundup

  1. therelentlessreader says:

    Lovely week 🙂 I don’t know if I’m hungry or what but all I keep thinking about is your Italian meal, lol.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Funny, Jennifer! It was at Vapiano’s – it’s international so maybe you know it. You have to queue up for pasta and pizza in different queues which meant my husband was eating a while before me. A bit of a pity. But it was nice and we had our desert at the same time. 🙂

  2. bibliosue says:

    The read-aloud competition sounds like a lot of fun ,,, it must have been tough to pick winners.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Suzanne, we had a children’s jury and an adult jury and forms to rate the readers. It was close between two of them, but the winner was reading so naturally, almost like an adult reading to a child before bedtime.

  3. bibliosue says:

    Oh and p.s. I am going to see Justin Bieber this week!!! (with my niece of course, who is super excited for the both of us) I know you are jealous 🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      Yay! Erm, yes, you’re right. I probably would be very jealous if I had a better idea of what kind of music the man (boy) sings. Unfortunately my music education hasn’t reached that far yet.

      But for you… I hope you have a wonderful time. Just seeing your niece enjoy herself will do that, I’m sure.

      • bibliosue says:

        You are right — the fun for me will be watching R enjoy herself. I have no idea what the guy sings but it should be entertaining nonetheless.

      • Nishita says:

        I recently saw an acoustic version of Justin Bieber doing one of his songs. I was pleasantly surprised, the boy can sing. I was always under the impression that he was one of those manufactured talents.

  4. trish422 says:

    I have to admit that a live discussion of 50 shades intrigues me. Sounds fun.

  5. Joanna says:

    I borrowed the Harold Fry book after you mentioned it last week and I’m glad you liked it. It already seems sad. I have also borrowed the new Marian Keyes book but it seems so precious to me that I don’t want to start it because it would mean finishing it! Gotta love books. Great reading, Judith and I’m looking forward to reviews on the rest.

    • Leeswammes says:

      I hope you’ll enjoy *Harold Fry*, Joanna. I think you’ll just have to sit down with the Marian Keyes book one day when you don’t have M around and just read all day!

  6. Athira says:

    The 50 Shades event sounds like it was fun! I’m glad that you liked the Harold Fry book!

  7. I’ve just found your blog – it’s great – I’d like to branch out into a book blog but I’m not sure I could be as prolific as you! It too am intrigued by the 50 shades night. I live in a remote part of Scotland and so far the only person I have to discuss it with is my husband – he seems to have interpreted my enjoyment of it to mean that I want to be bossed around more, along the lines of ‘make me a cup of tea’ – he has a long way to go.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Morna, if you manage about one book review a week I think you’d be OK starting a blog. Any less and people would not find it interesting enough.

      I read your post on 50 Shades and I agree with you for the most part (although I am a little insulting in the beginning of my comment on your blog, sorry about that!). Your husband hasn’t got the right angle on the story yet! You should tell him ***SPOILER*** that in the end, Ana doesn’t bend to Christian’s wishes, in fact, later on, it’s the other way around! ***END OF SPOILER***

      You should try and start a book discussion group in your area. Although internet is a great alternative of course. There are many, many book blogs around and you’ll definitely be able to find many blogs that review the kinds of books that you enjoy.

  8. Leslie says:

    You had a very bookish week. I enjoyed Harold Fry but I agree, it was, overall, sad. I probably couldn’t discuss it for more than 5 or 10 minutes either.

    Hmmm… a 50 Shades night. I’ll have to digest that one. I think if I went they would throw me out! I would definitely enjoy judging a a read-aloud competition though.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Ha ha, Leslie. No one was thrown out even though not every one had something pleasant to say about the book. In fact, that was the whole idea, to get some discussion on it.

      The read-aloud competition was fun. I loved the children’s jury with kids as young as 7 or 8 judging each contestant – they all had something to say which I thought was amazing at that age.

  9. Book Nympho says:

    What a great collection of books! So many here I’ve never heard of which sound interesting. You seem to discover so many unique books!

    • Leeswammes says:

      I’m lucky with books, Book Nympho, and very choosy – as I’ve discovered there are more good books than I will ever be able to read. So, quite a bit of filtering goes on before I decide to accept a book for review, borrow or buy it.

  10. Thanks for all the great books to read. Two are about to be published here (US) so I will be at the ready. I enjoy getting all your ideas.

  11. You had a busy week, Judith. I do wonder when you find the time to read.

    • Leeswammes says:

      I wonder about that too, Nadine! I guess the readathon took the bulk of the reading but at the moment, reading is going very slow, because I don’t have so much time.

  12. Charlie says:

    The talk sounds particularly sensible unlike so much of the articles around! Considering everything, well done on the reading!

  13. Marie says:

    Sounds like a week jam-packed with bookish events. Well done on your readathon, that was a good result especially when you consider that you slept in the middle as well!

    • Leeswammes says:

      It was a very busy week for me, Marie. But it was all very pleasant. This week is nice and quiet, but even so I don’t get much reading done – or not as much as I’d like.

  14. Chinoiseries says:

    Your evening out sounds like great fun! It’s refreshing to hear all kinds of different opinions on the Fifty Shades hype, I think 🙂

    With autumn break this week, practically all my co-workers with kids are on holiday, it’s a bit chaotic right now. It doesn’t feel like a holiday period to me at all :/

    Mrs Queen takes the train is a book I think I’d enjoy!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Chinoiseries, yes, it was a fun evening out with different opinions and all very tasteful.

      Sounds like they didn’t really organise it well at work – how can so many people get time off and leave the others with the chaos? It shouldn’t be allowed! 🙂

  15. Nishita says:

    I must be missing something. How does the book encourage a woman to take a more active role in the bedroom? Did that lady clarify? It’s pretty interesting, the various divergent opinions this book generates. It must have been a fun discussion.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Nishita, it was a fun discussion. Well, I think the idea was that women realise there is more that you can do than just wait there for things to happen. 🙂 Although I may not have got her point completely. At first sight, you’d think, being submissive give you a *less* active role. But I think she meant women might be more vocal about what they would like to happen.

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