WRAP-UP: #CramAThon Winter 2016

#CramAThon is over, and that means it is time for wrap-up of the books read, challenges completed and general reflections.

As you know I did a TBR at the beginning of this readathon, in which I did not expect to complete the challenge of reading seven books and… I was right. What can I say, lots of stuff to do before I go home for Christmas. Furthermore, on Thursday, when I was hoping to do a lot of cleaning and reading, my laptop decided to glitch the start screen so the login prompt did not appear on the screen so I spent a good 12 hours searching in vain for a solution that did not involve me resetting the entire system and then having to reset it. By the time I was done with it was 3 AM and I still was not finished cleaning and tidying before going to my parents’ place so I prioritized that.

So here is a short summary of how I fared with the books I mentioned in my TBR:

Books I finished:

  • Helvedesskærmen (eng. “Hell Screen”) by Ryunosuke Akutagawa. This was a collection of Akutagawa’s short stories, containing his stories Hell ScreenRashomon and The Spider’s Thread. The first one was grim, cynical and quite horrifying, describing a selfish ruthless artist’s pursuit to finishing a screen depicting Hell, in the end costing him everything. The second story is Rashomon, however, I found out that this is not the story Kurosawa’s film is based on, but rather a completely different one of a servant and him visiting a place on the Rashomon gate in which unclaimed bodies of Kyoto are left to rot. The final story is a retelling of a buddhistic legend of a man in Hell getting the chance to enter Paradise because he once spared a spider’s life.
  • Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen. I burned through this one in less than an hour because I just find Andersen’s comics so funny and relatable and she definitely deserved the Goodreads award she received earlier this month.
  • Vincent by Barbara Stok. An interesting view into the mind and struggle of Vincent van Gogh through the letters between him and his brother Theodore. The passages portraying his seizures and mental breakdowns are vividly depicted and it will make you both pity, dislike and adore Vincent as a character. Furthermore Stok has based several of the panels on van Gogh’s works, while letting her own style shine through. Beautiful.
  • Saga, Volume Six by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. Ok, so this was not on my TBR, but I wanted to read something more before CramAThon was done and this was something I could read fairly quickly while keeping an eye on the system reset! And it was a nice revisit to the Saga universe.

Books I did not finish:

  • The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki. I managed to finish 150 pages of Genji before I had to return it to the library. What I can say so far is that I love the writing style and story development. Genji as a character frustrates me as he is sexist, rude and careless of what his actions leads to. Will I continue? Are you kidding, I already ordered it again at the library.
  • Shylock Is My Name by Howard Jacobson. blablabla

As with any other readathon there were a couple of reading challenges to complete to help you along with the reading. Here is how I did:

1. Read a book under 200 pages.
Status: Completed. I read Akutagawa.
2. Read 2 books in 24 hours.
Status: Completed. I read Akutagawa and Stok within 24 hours.
3. Read a book set in a different country than where you live.
Status: Completed. While I did not finish The Tale of Genji because I had to return it to the library, all of the books I read were set in a different country than my own (Denmark).
4. Read a book you’ve been putting off/have been meaning to read forever.
Status: Completed? Technically, even though I did not finish Howard Jacobson’s Shylock Is My Name. most of the books I chose for this challenge were on my TBR, so I have been wanting to read them forever.
5. Read a book with pictures. 
Status: Completed. I read Andersen’s compilation of comics.
6. Read a graphic novel.
Status: Completed. I read Stok.
7. Read 7 books.
Status: Not completed.

Final thoughts: It was a good readathon that did what it should: It made me catch up on my Goodreads challenge, even if I did not get to read 7 books. I should now be able to finish it before the year ends so thanks to the entire crew behind #CramAThon, you did a great job 🙂

Did you participate in the #CramAThon and if so, how did it go?


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