24 Hour Read-A-Thon: What I Read

Read-A-Thon Books

Happy Saturday everyone!

We’re half way through October, which I just can’t believe. How are you all doing?

I returned from a girl’s trip to Las Vegas last Sunday, and the next morning my husband left for a three day trip to Charlotte for a work conference, which meant that I was in the house alone overnight for the first time in three years.

What’s a book loving introvert to do with all that time?

A 24 Hour Read-A-Thon, of course!

I became obsessed with the idea of doing a 24 Hour Read-A-Thon after deep diving into the land of BookTok and BookTube and seeing all the creators making their cozy, read-a-thon content. However, I never seem to have an uninterrupted 24 hour span to engage…until this past week. And can I say, it was absolutely delightful.

A quick word on my read-a-thon however. I didn’t do a “pure” 24 hour read-a-thon. It turns out that, as much as my brain thinks I can sit and read for 24 hours straight without any sleep, my body (migraines and anxiety) needs breaks and sleep. So, my 24 hour read-a-thon spanned five days. But I did keep time on my phone’s stopwatch and only counted the time I spent reading. Whenever I was eating, watching tv, working, etc., I stopped the timer. And in that 24 hours I was able to finish 6 books. Some of the books I had already started (I’m generally a slow reader), but here are my reviews of the books I read during the read-a-thon!

1. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

This book was a bit of a departure from my spooky season tbr, but I didn’t feel like reading about witches and autumn when I was on vacation. Ya know what I mean? This book was the perfect vacation read, which feels redundant to say considering the title. But the story is about Poppy and her best friend, Alex, who vacation together every summer. They stop talking for two years after an incident on one of their trips and come together for another vacation like old times. The book alternates between past and present, which adds a lot of depth to Poppy and Alex’s relationship. I enjoyed this book so much and highly recommend. It’s a quick, easy read, especially if you’re looking for a good book to bring on vacation.

2. Invest in Death by Anne-Marie Sutton

Invest in Death is part of a cozy mystery series that takes place in Newport, Rhode Island. And if you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know I am a sucker for anything set in Newport, especially a cozy mystery. I want to love this series, but I’ve read two books from it now and would give both two stars. This particular book is about the death of investment broker, Althea Tanner. Amateur sleuth Caroline Kent and police detective Lt. Hank Nightingale are on the case to discover Althea’s killer and the shady dealings behind her investment business. The stories of this series always feel lost to me between being set in the present but using language that makes them feel as though they are set in the past. The books are less than 300 pages, so they read really fast, but the story just wasn’t that interesting, sadly. And there were certain points in the dialogue or character’s actions that felt unnecessary or out of the line with who the characters were.

3. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

Rosemary’s Baby is a horror classic, but if this book is on your tbr for October, go in understanding that it is very much a product of it’s time and the language and themes of the novel reflect that period. The story is about Rosemary Woodhouse and her husband, Guy, an actor desperate for fame. They move into the Bramford in NYC, having been warned of the building’s reputation for housing members of the occult over the centuries and soon befriend their odd, old neighbors, the Castevet’s. Rosemary becomes pregnant and chaos ensues. Overall, the book was good. But I definitely got hung up on the writing because, like I said, it’s very much a product of the time in which it was written and published. And the way Rosemary is gaslit through the entire book coupled with the way the Castevet’s are all up in her business made me so angry. However, if you’re looking for classic horror, this one is worth a read.

4. Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

Go read this book. I read it in a day. Fast paced, super interesting and atmospheric. It’s a mix between The Sixth Sense and And Then There Were None. On the eve of her 80th birthday, reclusive author, Beatrice Darker, invites her estranged family to her home for a reading of her will. That night, members of the family begin to die, but who is the killer? I love Alice Feeney’s writing, except for when she breaks out of the narration to give these little philosophical asides that kind of took me out of the story. However, it was not enough to pull me out completely. I loved how she set the house on a remote island on Halloween on a dark and stormy night. It was the perfect book for October. Highly, HIGHLY recommend.

5. The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

I have been trying to finish this book for, what might have been, a year. It’s the story of the Eastwood sisters, living in New Salem, and trying to defeat the terrible, Gideon Hill, who has been terrorizing witches for centuries. I wanted to love this more than I did. It’s historical fiction. It’s witches. And magic. And the main narration is interspersed with fairy tales, and I LOVE fairy tales. (Can I get a woot woot for Faerie Tale Theatre with Shelley Duvall??) But I felt like the story was slow and that the action got lost in the words. Underneath all the nuance, I did enjoy the bones of this book. And this is definitely more literary than fluff, which is totally fine. I love a literary witch book. I also took issue with the fact that some of the dialogue felt out of place because it felt so modern. Overall, worth a read if you’re looking for a smart book about witchcraft, fairy tales, and magic.

6. The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

This book was cute. It was like Book Lovers by Emily Henry, but with ghosts and a touch of Six Feet Under if the show had been a comedy. Ghostwriter, Florence Day, goes to her hometown for her father’s funeral and is haunted by the ghost of her new editor, Benji Andor, who has recently passed away. What I enjoyed most about this book was, yes the romance between Ben and Florence, but more than that the relationship between Florence and her family. I loved the way Florence’s parents were written and the way each member of the family loved one another and their home. It made me want to be a part of the Day’s. And, for someone with death anxiety, it made death not so scary. It was actually really beautifully written. I did get frustrated that Florence’s narration repeated itself A LOT. So, her feelings were really driven home by the redundancy of her thoughts and dialogue. But, overall a cute read for any time in the Fall!

Did you read any of these books? What are you thoughts?

I’ll be back next week with a writing prompt and draft. But in the mean time, I hope you are reading some great books (and if you are, please send me your recommendations! I need more books for my ever growing tbr pile!)

Have a wonderful week, and I’ll see you next Saturday!

Published by Robyn Neilsen

I am a writer and educator based out of New Jersey. My creative nonfiction essays and flash fiction stories have been published by Thought Catalog, Vocal Media, and On Mogul. As a lifelong learner, I enjoy honing my craft through writing workshops with LA Writers Group, Gotham Writers, and The Moth. I am currently querying my first novel and am actively working on my second.

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