Category Archives: Readathon

Bout of Books Read-a-thon 9.0 New Update

bout of booksIt’s here! The ninth Bout of Books read-a-thon! This will be my first time joining the event and I’m pretty excited. Here’s some info about the event:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

We’re almost a week into 2014 and I haven’t finished a book yet. This needs to change. Bout of Books would be the perfect way to help me jumpstart my reading.

My goals:

  • to finish the four books I’m currently reading.
  • to read every day. I need to get back into the habit of daily reading.

My Books:

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – I’m about halfway through.

The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech

Finding Your Element by Ken Robinson (non-fiction)

The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky

You would think I would have finished one of these books by now. Instead, I’ve been doing things like watching Fringe and X-Files season six on Netflix and playing Just Dance 2014. Have some priorities, Vasilly. I would have taken a picture of my books but it’s 5:30 in the morning and no coffee in sight just yet. The pictures will come later, I promise.

Are you joining the Bout of Books event?

Tuesday morning update

hadfieldGuys, I’m starting to think I’m hopeless. I started another book instead of finishing one that I’ve already started reading. Actually, I started two books yesterday: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield and The Perfect Score Project by Debbie Stier. Both are pretty good so far. But today, I’m going to buckle down and read The Golden Day, one of the books on my stack. I have a few things to do outside the home today so I’m bringing it with me. Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.

Saturday morning update

You guys! I finished a book! Finally! Trying to do Bout-of-Books the same week that school has started back, hasn’t been a great idea but I’m making progress. I finished The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarksy. It was a quiet but good read. It’s been labeled as YA but it’s really an adult book. I’m write more about it next week. Now I’m on to continuing another book I’ve started: To The End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care by Cris Beam. After multiple renewals, it’s due back at the library Tuesday.

If you’re doing Bout of Books, how’s your progress going?

The readathon’s here and I overslept!

girlreadingThis is probably the second year in a row that I’ve overslept during the read-a-thon. Usually I’m up before it starts, which is 5:30 am over here in SoCal.

Here’s the first hour meme:

1. I’m reading from Southern California, also known as SoCal.

bernheimer orpheus

2. This time around I don’t have a stack of books. I’m just going to read whatever I want. My first two books will be XO Orpheus, a collection of short stories that retell world mythology, and The Whatnot by Stefan Bachmann.

3. The snack I’m looking forward to is homemade peanut butter cookies. I just have a craving for them.

4. You want to know something about myself? I’m the mother of three kids, lives close to the beach but only prefer to go during the winter. Strange I know.

5. I’ve been participating in Dewey’s Read-a-thon since the very first one. The only thing different I’m doing today is . . . nothing. I’m doing the same things as always: tons of cheerleading, very little reading, and eating plenty of snacks. Plus, my kids are joining in too.

I hope everyone who’s participating in the read-a-thon today have fun! Also, cheer your fellow readers on if you have time.

Are you participating in today’s read-a-thon?


Unfortunately, a few hours after the read-a-thon started, I wasn’t feeling that great. I ended spending the rest of the event in bed, sleeping with chills and a slight fever. Whatever it was, it’s gone so I’m happy. Books read: 0. Blogs cheered: around 30.

High Summer Readathon and Just One Paragraph

high summer ratThe High Summer Read-a-thon officially started last night but I decided to wait until this morning to begin my stack of books. My reading isn’t going very well so hopefully this week-long read-a-thon is what I need to make a dent in ARCs and library books before August gets here. August is my birthday month and I want to spend it re-reading some of my favorite books. Below is my stack of potential reads for this week. You can click on the titles to learn more about them.


Bleeder by Shelby Smoak. I picked this up last week at the library. In Bleeder, Smoak talks about his life as a hemophiliac and getting HIV as a child because of a tainted blood product that saved his life.

ottaviani feynman

Feynman by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick. This is a reread of the life of Richard P. Feynman. He’s such a fascinating person to read about.


The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau. I think Carrie (Books and Movies) loved this one.

lanagan yellowcake

Yellowcake by Margo Lanagan. I love Lanagan’s previous works so I can’t wait to read (and finish) this one.


A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff. I’ve heard whispers about this book as a potential Newbery winner next year, so I’m adding it to my tbr list now.


Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki. I’ve been waiting years for this book. Literally. No library in my area had it and graphic novels are expensive. Now that a local library has it, I can finally read it. I can’t wait.


When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka. I love The Buddha in the Attic, Otsuka’s last novel, so I can’t wait to read this. I might even add Buddha to my stack too.


Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt. I try to read this book every year in August because it’s a seasonal read and also because of the first sentence, “The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning.” I love that line. But there’s nothing wrong with reading comfort reads now.


How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times by Roy Peter Clark (ARC). I think this book is coming at a perfect time when so many people are writing online.

I doubt I will get this entire stack read but it’s nice to look at.


The lovely Bryan (Still Unfinished) told me about an informal 30-day blogging challenge that starts today. It’s called Just One Paragraph and the challenge is just to post a paragraph every day for thirty days. It doesn’t matter what you post. I’m joining the challenge in hopes of getting my blogging mojo back.

So, will you join me for either event? What are you reading this week?


girlreadingGood morning, read-a-thoners! It’s finally here! I haven’t had my coffee yet so it hasn’t hit me.

Introductory Questionnaire:

1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Southern California

2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? That’s a good but hard question. My stack is huge and there’s so many books to look forward to including Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner (YA), the short story collection, Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells, and Lynda Barry’s What it Is (graphic non-fiction).

3. Which snack are you most looking forward to? The Florentines that I plan on buying this morning from the bakery.

4. Tell us a little something about yourself! For some reason, this question always gets me. Here’s something: I’ve only missed the read-a-thon once since it started.

5. If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I wouldn’t change anything. I know this event inside out!

Here’s my read-a-thon stack:



  • I am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak (re-read)
  • When the Emperor was Divine by Julie Otsuka
  • The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka (re-read)
  • The Inexplicables by Cherie Priest
  • My Letter to the World by Emily Dickinson (I always add some poetry to my pile.)
  • Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells: An Anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy edited by Ellen Datlow
  • Chew Vols 3-5 by John Layman and Rob Guillory
  • Apple Cake : A Recipe for Love by Julie Paschkis
  • What it is by Lynda Barry
  • and a ton of picture books

On my Nook:


  • The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes -ARC
  • In the House Upon the Dirt between the Lake and The Woods by Matt Bell -ARC
  • Flora by Gail Goodwin – ARC
  • Dreaming in Hindu by Katherine Russell (Thanks to Olduvai‘s great review on it.)

I’m going to update my progress throughout the day via this blog, Twitter, and Instagram. Wish me luck.

Are you read-a-thoning today?


First Update: Hour 5

So far, I’ve:

  • left comments on blogs, twitter, and through Instagram.  
  • fixed the coffee pot after my mom kind of broke it. A read-a-thon without coffee? Crazy!
  • went on a bakery run
  • went grocery shopping

Mini-challenge: Re-title Your Current Read

My current read is I Am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak. I would retitle it: 19 Year-Old Dead Man Feels Alive Saving Others.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon Needs Your Help!

24readathon1Just in case you don’t know, the next Dewey’s Read-a-thon is set for Saturday, April 27th. Every six months, readers from all over the world get together and dedicate twenty-four hours to reading. For me, the read-a-thon is like Christmas. I get my reading stack and snacks together, then wake up early the day of the event to participate. I love it.

With that said, the lovely ladies behind the read-a-thon, Heather and Andi need your help. Prizes are a huge part of the read-a-thon and they’re given out to readers and cheerleaders alike. If you can, please consider donating a prize to this month’s event. It can be a set of bookmarks, a new ARC, book bundles, gift certificates, anything. Or you can become an angel – someone who pays for the shipping of a gift to an international winner. Shipping is anywhere from $10 to $30.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, the form to donate is up.

Maybe you can’t be a reader in the read-a-thon this time around. If you have a few hours to spare the day of the event, why not consider becoming a cheerleader? Along with prizes, cheerleaders are what make this event great. You can cheerlead for as little as an hour – it all helps. The read-a-thon has spread to various platforms – Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, so it would be really nice to have a huge number of cheerleaders. If you can donate even an hour, please do.  You can find the sign-ups for cheerleaders here.

If you still haven’t signed up for the read-a-thon, that’s here too.

Reading Event: Easter Read-a-thon

A few days ago, I found out that Kate (Nose in a Book) is hosting an Easter Read-a-thon.  Over here in California, today is the last day of school before spring break starts. I have one week of freedom so I’m taking advantage of this time to join the read-a-thon.  The event is from today until Monday evening but in my case, it will be from this evening until Sunday, April 7th. My goal is to read as much (or as little) as I want. I’m using the next week to finish books I’ve already started reading including:


Since I plan on spending so much time reading, I’m just going to try and update this post every day. So that’s my pile. What are your plans for this weekend?

1st Update – Friday night

I finished Eleanor & Park. I thought it was a nice sweet read about two teenagers in love. Now I’m trying to figure out what to read next: Half-Blood Blues, which I have on audio and in print, or Yellowcake.

Weekend Plans

tbr readathonVertigo is kicking my butt so I’m taking a small blogging break until next week. While I’m away, I’m joining the Take Control Read-a-thon, which is going on right now. The read-a-thon lasts until Monday at midnight. There’s still time to join.

My weekend reading stack includes:

A Map of Time by Felix Palma. The Chunky Book Club discussion has already started and will continue until the end of the month. You can find the discussion here plus there’s a giveaway going on.

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. I’m still reading and enjoying this.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones for DWJ month. jones howl

Possession by A.S. Byatt. I’m hoping to catch up with the read-a-long that’s going on with Lu and Kim.

What are you reading this weekend?

First Update: Sunday night

My vertigo is winding down so I’ve been reading and ignoring homework as much as I can.  So far I’ve finished:

1. Home by Novogratz (3 out of 5 stars)

2. Fables 17: Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham (5 out of 5 stars)

3. Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins (kids’ book, 4 out of 5 stars)

4. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (5 out of 5 stars)

5. A Thousand Mornings: Poems by Mary Oliver (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)

Not bad. I think my next read will be The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng. It just won the Man Asian Literary Prize. It’s either that or re-reading Relish, a foodie graphic memoir by Lucy Knisley.

March Bookish Events

I’m starting to think March is a book blogger’s January, filled with tbr to-do lists, read-alongs, and events. It’s like everyone decided that January wasn’t good enough so they’re cramming as many things into March as possible since February was so short. Yesterday, I looked around the blogisphere and found some really interesting events going on, so I thought I’ll share them with you all.

miller mThe lovely Care is hosting a read-along of Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles that’s going on right now.  This is a really great book to read so if it’s on your reading list, why not join in? I think the read-along is going on all month though Care’s final post will be up March 15th. The Twitter hashtag is #achillesong

Care also told the rest of us about the read-along that’sbyatt going to start of Possession by A.S. Byatt that’s being hosted by Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness) and Lu (Regular Rumination). The official post is here. On March 11th there will be a check-in of chapters 1-6. I’ve always been intimidated by Possession for years but recently bought a copy so I’m in. The read-along Twitter’s hashtag: #readByatt

Heather and Andi, the lovely ladies behind Estella’s Society are hosting a bookish photo-a-day challenge. The challenge will be going on on Instagram though several bloggers, including myself, will be posting on our blogs and other platforms. Hashtag #estellagram

palmaLooking for a chunkster to pick up? Then you’re in luck. The Chunkster Challenge’s Chunky Book Club is hosting its first group read of the year with The Map of Time by Felix Palma. Discussions on the book will start on March 15th and continue through the rest of the month. Remember: you don’t have to be a challenge participant and you can read the chunkster in any format you want.


My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayer is a book that I’ve been reading nothing but positive things about so I was happy to see that it’s this month’s book pick for the Mocha Girls Read Book Club.

Is your TBR stack getting out of control? (Of course it is.) Kimba over at Caffeinated Book Reviewer is hosting a month-long TBR Read-a-thon. If reading strictly from your tbr pile for a whole month is too much, Kimba is also hosting a TBR Pile Read-a-thon from March 15th – 18th. #takecontrol

jones howlSince it’s March that means Kristen’s back with Diana Wynne Jones Month, a celebration of the late author and her influential work. There will be giveaways, guest posts, and read-alongs of Howl’s Moving Castle and A Tale of Time City.  I’m giving away a DWJ book this month so stay tuned. #dwjmarch

Last but not least, Rebecca (Lost in Books) is celebrating Women’s History Month with guest posts and book reviews.

Whew! That was a lot! Are you joining any read-alongs or bookish events this month?

My edition from Penguin Threads
My edition from Penguin Threads

Edit: I can’t believe I forgot about this read-along even though I signed up for it! Jill (FizzyThoughts) is hosting a read-along of Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women. #Marchon

NYE Read-a-thon

nye readathonJenn over at Picky Girl is once again hosting her New Year’s Eve Read-a-thon. As much as I like the idea of going out to celebrate New Year’s Eve, I really like the idea of being home tonight, wrapped in a cover, and getting 2013 off to a great start with a few books I want to read.

The only rule of the read-a-thon is to let others know you’re participating.

On Twitter, the read-a-thon’s hashtag is #nyereadathon

What are you doing tonight? Any special plans?

1st Update: I’m continuing The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg for tomorrow’s group read discussion. The book is so interesting, I think I’ll just finish it today.

Jenn’s Q & A for participants:

1. What are you reading today? The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, some children’s books, and hopefully I’ll start reading Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon.

2. Are you a comfy reader, or do you get dressed, wear shoes and socks, and sit in a straight back chair? Both. I started reading around 6 this morning while in my pjs. Now I’m dressed and will probably curl up on the couch with my reads.

3. Food. What will you be eating/imbibing today? This morning I had a slice of leftover pizza and coffee. Lunch will be anyone’s guess followed by tortilla soup for dinner.

4. Have you finished a book yet? Not yet but I am about 100 pages from the end of The Power of Habit.

5. What book do you want to be reading to close out 2012? That’s a good question. I don’t know. Whatever it is, I want it to be a good read.

2nd Update

I’ve finished two books since my last update: The Power of Habit and Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson. Both are really good books and brought my yearly book total to 250. Finally. Now I’m wondering if I should make another “books read” goal next year. And if so, what number?

pullmanNext up is Philip Pullman’s latest book, Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm. I’m homeschooling my youngest son and I want to re-read various fairy tales before I share them with him. I don’t plan on reading the whole book today since a few tales.

Jenn’s mini-questionnaire

1.  Have you napped yet? Or are you still going strong? I’m still going strong though I do take several breaks. I’m feeling a little sleepy right now so I’ll probably make me another pot of coffee.

2. Do you have a favorite book of 2012? If so, what is it? It’s hard to figure out a favorite book of the year. I don’t think I can pick just one.

3. Any reading goals for 2013?
I’ve been thinking about this question all day. I think instead of calling them reading goals, I’ll just call them “literary resolutions”. On the list: read from a bigger range of genres, read more from my tbr shelves, and read more books that are by LGBTQ writers or books that are LGBTQ related.

4. Is anyone listening to any audiobooks? Nope. If I listened to an audiobook right now, I would most likely fall asleep.

5. What book are you most excited about in 2013? That’s a great question. But seriously? I don’t know. There are so many great-looking books that I want to get to and many of them were published this year!

Sunday Salon: A Day of Reading

Good morning. The read-a-thon ended just a little over an hour ago. As usual, I feel asleep hours before it ended. I had been up for about twenty hours straight since I had insomnia the night before. My youngest, Avram, ended up with a fever during the event. It’s okay since the kids and I had a great time.

When the read-a-thon started at 5 a.m., my kids actually woke me up. They were so excited to start reading. Everyone had made their piles the night before. All that was needed was our warm bodies and we were off.

Event of the Event Meme

1. Which hour was the most daunting? It was probably hour 6 or so. All I wanted to do was sit down and read but iCarly was playing in the background and kicking were bickering and the dishes. . .

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Any book that’s fast-paced: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, and pretty much any graphic novel like the Fables series by Bill Willingham.

3.  Do you have any suggestions on how to improve the read-a-thon next year? I wish there were more prizes aimed toward kids. I’ll probably volunteer for the prize committee of the spring read-a-thon. Or I might just have my own prizes for the kids. We’ll see.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s read-a-thon? I love how there were so many co-hosts this year.

5. How many books did you read? Altogether, the family read 34 books. Chuck Close Face book by Chuck Close was probably the one book read by all of us yesterday.

6. What were the names of the books you’ve read? Seriously? Okay. Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up by Mo Willems, The Lotus Seed by Sherry Garland, Flat Stanley and the Haunted House by Jeff Brown, Toy Story: Toy to Toy by Tennant Redbank, Johnny Appleseed by David L. Harrison, Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can you? by Dr. Seuss, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems, Where are you?by Francesca Simon, I Can Read with My Eyes Shut by Dr. Seuss, Spongebob: Halloween Scare by Steven Banks, Shadow by Suzy Lee, Chuck Close Face Book by Chuck Close, Lunch Lady and the Picture Day Peril by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, The Best Worst Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson Arthur’s Halloween by Marc Brown, Spongebob: The Halloween Scare by Steven Banks,Bake Sale by Sara Varon, Scaredy-Cat, Splat! by Rob Scotton, Shark King by R. Kikuo Johnson, Bake and Make Amazing Cookies by Elizabeth Macleod, Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol, Arthur’s Halloween by Marc Brown, It’s a Book by Lane Smith, Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora, Let’s Do Nothing by Tony Facile, Dog Loves, Books by Louise Yates, Chuck Close Face book by Chuck Close, Only a Witch Can Fly by Alison McGhee, In the Haunted House by Eve Bunting, and How Children Succeed by Paul Tough.

7. Which book did you enjoy most? The Chuck Close Face Book

8. Which book did you enjoy the least? None

9. If you were a cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s cheerleaders? Nope.

10. How likely are you to participate in the read-a-thon again? What role would you likely be able to take next time? Of course, I’m in for next year! Depending on what day the read-a-thon is on, I’m hoping to do more than just read like being on a committee, cheerleading, and maybe even being a co-host.

I still have a few hours of homework ahead of me today. I also want to do a bit more reading! For now I’m going to lie down. I think I’m catching whatever it is that my son has.

Thank you Andi, Shesten, Heather, and all the co-hosts, cheerleaders, and fellow readers for making this another great event.

How was your read-a-thon experience? If you didn’t participate, how was your weekend? And of course, what are you reading today?

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon

It’s here folks! Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon! When Dewey started this event, who knew that this event would still be going on strong years later? I hope Dewey is someplace reading with us. I know she would be cheering on all the participants who’ve decided to read some Neil Gaiman, one of her favorite authors. Dewey, you are truly missed.

If you don’t know, the read-a-thon is a day dedicated to reading. It’s not a contest of some sort. We’re all busy and are juggling many roles in our lives. The read-a-thon is a way for readers around the world to relax, sit back, and do something they love: read.

Books from my first stack:

  • The Madonnas of Echo Park – Brando Skyhorse
  • Molokai – Alan Brennert
  • The Distance Between Us – Reyna Grande
  • The Lost City of Z – David Grann
  • The Buddha in the Attic – Julie Otsuka (re-read)
  • Spilling Ink – Anne Mazer
  • Touch – Alexi Zeutner
  • Stardust – Neil Gaiman (re-read)
  • Ghetto Cowboy – G. Neri
  • The Prisoner of Heaven – Carlos Ruiz Zafron
  • The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern (re-read)
  • Urban Farms – Sarah Rich

2nd stack reads:

  • Black Jack – Charles R. Smith Jr.
  • Drawing from Memory – Allen Say (re-read)
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes – Ray Bradbury
  • The Fortune Cookie Chronicles – Jennifer 8. Lee
  • Best American Essays 2011 ed. Edwidge Danticat
  • Anna In-Between – Elizabeth Nunez
  • Wonder – R.J. Palacio
  • Half-World – Hiromi Goto
  • Amulet #5 – Kazu Kibuishi (re-read)
  • I Kill Giants – Joe Kelly (re-read)
  • Lucille – Ludovic Debeurme
  • Big Questions – Anders Miller

Not pictured: a ton of other books

I am not trying to read all of these books in 24 hours; I just like having a huge selection to choose from.

The read-a-thon is always a family event but this time, most of the members of my family are joining in including my kids and my sister. I’ve just finished cleaning my house and now there are read-a-thon stacks everywhere! I don’t mind though.

Hour 1 Update:

We’re up! The kids have already started reading and even my mom is joining us by reading to my youngest. Granola bars have been eaten and coffee is perking now.

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Southern California, USA

2) Which book is your stack are you most looking forward to? That’s a really hard question. Maybe The Night Circus or Stardust.

3) What snack are you most looking forward to? That’s easy Shrimp Fried Rice this afternoon!

4) Tell us a little about yourself.  I keep changing my major. I’m currently an anthropology/psychology major but right now I’m acting like psychology doesn’t exist. If I could choose one superpower to have, I would probably cheat and choose three: super strength, the ability to fly, and I wouldn’t mind the power of persuasion. Plus, I’m a mother of three.

5) If you participated in the read-a-thon last time, what would you do differently now? Nothing!

I will be updating this post throughout the day with everyone’s progress.

Are you read-a-thoning this weekend?

Hour 7 Update

We’re seven hours in and I’ve only finished one book: Only a Witch Can Fly by Alison McGhee with my youngest. It’s a good thing everyone else in the house can’t say the same. They’ve been reading up a storm while also eating a ton of food. I would have taken pictures of everything we had but didn’t think about it until after our plates were empty!

Our stats:

  • Number of books Vasilly read: 1 – Only a Witch Can Fly by Alison McGhee
  • Books I’m in the middle of: Stardust by Neil Gaiman and How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
  • Snacks, meals, and drinks so far: 3 pots of coffee (for me and Mom), shrimp fried rice, Lorna Doone cookies, chocolate chip muffins, blueberry muffins, oranges, granola bars, and plenty of water
  • Cheering comments left on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and Goodreads: 33
  • Number of books Oliver read: 13 - Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up by Mo Willems, The Lotus Seed by Sherry Garland, Flat Stanley and the Haunted House by Jeff Brown, Toy Story: Toy to Toy by Tennant Redbank, Johnny Appleseed by David L. Harrison, Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can you? by Dr. Seuss, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems, Where are you? by Francesca Simon, I Can Read with My Eyes Shut by Dr. Seuss, Spongebob: Halloween Scare by Steven Banks, Shadow by Suzy Lee, and Chuck Close Face Book by Chuck Close
  • Number of books that Valarie read: 2 -The Best Worst Halloween Ever by Barbara Robinson and Arthur’s Halloween by Marc Brown
  • Number of books that Piper read: 6 - Spongebob: The Halloween Scare by Steven Banks, Bake Sale by Sara Varon, Scaredy-Cat, Splat! by Rob Scotton, Shark King by R. Kikuo Johnson, Bake and Make Amazing Cookies by Elizabeth Macleod, and Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
  • Number of books that Avram read: 8 -Arthur’s Halloween by Marc Brown, It’s a Book by Lane Smith, Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora, Let’s Do Nothing by Tony Facile, Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates, and Chuck Close Face book by Chuck Close
  • Interruptions: Cooking, breaking up arguments, showering, and a iCarly marathon

Mid-Event Survey

1. How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired? A little. I’ve been up since 2 this morning because of insomnia.

2. What have you finished reading? How Children Succeed by Paul Tough. It was a really good book. I need to reread it before I review it. Do you see all the post-its?

3. What was your favorite read so far? See answer #2. :-)

4. What about your favorite snacks? Can I count coffee? I took a mini-break and picked up some cupcakes for later.

5. Have you found any new blogs through the read-a-thon? I’ve found a lot of great blogs. Probably every blog I’ve visited so far today (40+), I want to visit again.

The kids are watching Hocus Pocus, a great Halloween movie. So now is a good time to read something spooky and fit in some picture books.

How’s your read-a-thon going?

Tips to having a great read-a-thon

With Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon coming up this Saturday, I thought it might be helpful to write yet another read-a-thon tips post. Some of these tips are the same while others are things I’ve learned since April’s read-a-thon.

Plan Ahead

  1. Figure out what you want your read-a-thon experience to be like. Some people join the read-a-thon strictly for the reading part. Others join to read and the social aspects such as the conversations on Twitter and Facebook. Figure out what you want to do during the event so when Sunday morning rolls around, you’re not disappointed and wishing you did things differently. At first, I thought about joining the event just to read but decided that I wanted to be more involved in the event, so I plan to read, cheer, and maybe even host a mini-challenge. The Twitter conversations are great opportunities to “meet” other readers.
  2. Go grocery shopping before the event. There’s nothing worse than looking up from your current read, starving, and realizing that there’s nothing in the house to eat.
  3. Let your friends and family know in advance that you’re participating. Even if they don’t understand why anyone would spend a Saturday reading, they’ll know not to call you. If they do call, don’t pick up the phone. My family knows that read-a-thon Saturday is my day. It’s Christmas, Easter, my birthday, and the last day of school rolled up into 24 hours. If my family bothers me for more than the occasional question, they’re sure to pay for it later on.

The Stack

  1. Start putting a stack of books together days before the event. For me, there’s no better feeling than having my stack ready. That doesn’t mean I won’t change my mind throughout the day, but it’s nice to not have go to the library or bookstore for a new read.
  2. Keep your books short and no fuss. It’s crazy to try and read The Brothers Karamazov or Midnight’s Children from start to finish during the 24 hours you have. Unless you like that kind of stuff. Some people do devote the read-a-thon to reading a chunkster. I don’t think that’s bad but you might get tired of what you’re reading. This brings me to my next tip.
  3. Variety is your friend. Make sure the books in your read-a-thon stack are a variety of genres, formats, and sizes. In my stack you can usually find a collection of short stories and essays, a volume of poetry, a few novellas and graphic novels, picture books, and a novel or two or three. Some of my books will be review copies while others will be library books and some I’ve own for a while now. I don’t expect to read a whole collection of essays or volume of poetry in a day but when I need a break from whatever book I’m in, reading something really different helps.  I also have several interesting books on my Nook, just in case I want to stretch my legs and read at the park or at Starbucks or some other outside place.
  4. Make sure you have a few books in your stack that are fast-pace. The read-a-thon is not the time to start reading something like Marianne Robinson’s Housekeeping. Not that it’s a bad book but time is going to crawl by in a way that you don’t want it to, making you feel like you’re been reading the same page for a few hours.

The Food

  1. The only thing as important as your reading stack is what you’re eating! It doesn’t matter if you’re joining the read-a-thon for two hours or all twenty-four, you’re not going to be able to enjoy yourself if all you’re doing is eating junk food. I learned this the hard way. It’s good to have some cut up fruits and vegetables at your disposal. My house will be stocked with sliced fruits and vegetables along with any other healthy foods that I can think of.

Everything else

  1. Never underestimate the power of a nap. I always take a nap during the read-a-thon. When I first participated in the read-a-thon many moons ago, I used to hate that. Now, I’ve come to love and expect to take a nap.
  2. Please turn comment moderation and Captcha off during the event. You can turn it back on after it’s over. When you have comment moderation on, the people who cheer you on have no way of knowing if you’re receiving comments or not. After awhile, cheerleaders will move on to other blogs. Plus, consider updating your read-a-thon post every now and then. If you started the read-a-thon and you haven’t updated the post after ten hours, cheerleaders don’t know if you’re still reading. A quick update saying that’s you’re still in or you’re out, helps us a lot. You don’t have to update every hour or so but once or twice during the event really helps.
  3. Make sure to have fun. That’s what this is event is about; it’s a day to do something that you really enjoy. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to read x amount of books. If you finish two books, that’s great. If you end up talking on Twitter the whole time and making a ton of new friends, that’s great too. Take pictures of the books you’re reading, or your current reading spot. Go cheer other readers on or thank the cheerleaders who’ve been cheering you on. Take a walk. Stretch. Whatever makes this a great experience for you, do it. Dewey, the late blogger who started this event, wanted the read-a-thon to be fun.

Are there any tips that you would add to this list? Are you joining Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon? 

High Summer Read-a-thon Wrap-Up and the rest of the week

The High Summer Read-a-thon hosted by Michelle’s (The True Book Addict) came to an end last night around midnight. The event lasted six days but I think I only read for three thanks to kids and video games distractions. I didn’t finish as much as I wanted to but I finished three books: Nox by Anne Carson, Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meterorite by Barry Deutsch, and The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan. All three books received a 5-star rating. I’ve also read 100 pages of The Iliad, and DNF (did not finish) Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. Plus, I’m in the middle of four books: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (audio), Girls in the Grass by Melanie Rae Thon, Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal, and Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine. Total page count: 1,040 pages. Not bad. Next time I’m going to stick to one book at a time.

I had a great time during the read-a-thon especially with the twitter chats and 30-minute reading sprints, where participants read as much as they can.  Thanks to Michelle for hosting this great event.

Now I’m spending the rest of the week finishing my reads and writing reviews.

If you participated in the read-a-thon, how did you do? For everyone else, what are you reading this week?

Pick Your Thon

Real quick: I’ve just found out that The Book Monsters are hosting a Pick Your Thon that starts today! Participants have a choice: they can either have a read-a-thon, a review-a-thon, or both! This is my last week before the summer semester starts and I want to get a ton of reading done so this is a perfect way of doing that. The hosts, Kate and Kristen, ask participants to answer a few of questions about themselves.

1. Which thon are you choosing? Readathon, Reviewathon or both? And why? I’m doing both. I have a seven books in my pile that I’ve already read and need to review. Plus, I have five books that I would really like to get read before school starts next Monday.
2. Where are you from? You can be vague or specific, up to you.  Southern California
3. Say a little bit about yourself so we can get to know you if we don’t already! Mother, blogger,  and college student. I’m also a lover of cookie dough.
4. What are you currently reading or about to pick up to read? I’m currently reading The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna.
5. What are your goals for this Pick Your Thon? To get at least five of my books reviewed and to read at least five books from my unread stacks.

So I’m off to read and review. Wish me luck!

Sunday Salon: Re-re-readathon!

Good morning! It’s cold and cloudy here in SoCal, perfect weather for curling up with a book (or several in my case). Hopefully the weather changes for the better for everyone who’s planning on barbecuing this Memorial Day weekend.

Today is also my read-a-thon with Christina (Ardent Reader). It’s pretty informal so we start and finish whenever we want. It’s just our way of celebrating the end of the semester. I’m starting right after I finish writing this post. If you’re planning on reading this weekend, why not join us?

Last week I had a great reading week. I read 11 books! I’m pretty sure that I didn’t break any records but it felt good to do so much reading. My favorite books from last week are The Professor and the Housekeeper by Yoko Ogawa, The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine by Alina Bronsky, and The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer. You can expect reviews for all three books in the near future.

Here’s my reading stack for today and the rest of the week:

  • Under the Green Hill by Laura L. Sullivan
  • Me and You by Niccolό Ammaniti, translated from Italian by Kylee Doust
  • Home by Toni Morrison.
  • Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
  • Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel
  • Not pictured: Zahra’s Paradise by Amir & Khalil

I’m already deep into Under the Green Hill. It’s a fantasy middle grade filled with fairies and old magic. I’m really enjoying it.

Now I’m off to read (and eat pancakes). What are you doing this weekend?

*Photo courtesy of Evil Erin Flickr/Creative Commons


1st Update:

Finished Sullivan’s Under the Green Hill. What a fantastic read. The short: 5 out of 5 stars. Now I’m trying to figure out what else to read. I decided to just return Are You My Mother?  and Me and You unread to the library since they’re due back in a few days. I’m also eager to read a few books from my own shelves. Hmmm. . .

Read-a-thon: End of the Event Survey

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?  None. I went to sleep and totally forgot about the read-a-thon.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? A few titles off the top of my head: The Hunger Games, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (chunkster but a page turner), and Boneshaker by Cherie Priest.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? The different hosts who alternated through the event. They kept things fresh.
  5. How many books did you read?  I read five books, dnf one, and started two more.
  6. What were the names of the books you read? The Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett, Gideon by Olivier Dunrea, Gideon and Otto by Olivier Dunrea, Bake Sale by Sara Varon, and Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes by Jarrett Kroscoka. The DNF (did not finish) book was A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg. The two books I started were Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman (for school) and MWF seeking BFF by Rachel Bertische.
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? It’s probably a tie between The Wyrd Sisters and Bake Sale
  8. Which did you enjoy least? A Homemade Life. I was expecting it to be more like Michael Lee West’s foodie memoir Consuming Passions but it’s not as interesting or funny. I should have just re-read Consuming Passions.
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I wasn’t a cheerleader this time around and I have no advice to give.
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Very likely. I’ll probably sign up for a few committees and cheerlead next time.

A read-a-thon in bits and pieces: another update

In previous read-a-thons, I’ve signed up the second reader sign-ups were opened, gathered huge stacks of books to read, and tried to read the whole 24 hours. This season’s read-a-thon is being done pretty differently because I have some homework that I can’t ignore this weekend. Instead of doing the usual, I waited until the last minute to sign-up, gathered the smallest stack ever, and will read an hour here and there.

Here’s my read-a-thon stack:

  • What to Look for in Winter: A Memoir in Blindness by Candia McWilliam
  • MWF seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • Paying for It by Chester Brown
  • Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Millar
  • A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  • Inner Excavation: Explore Your Self Through Photography, Poetry, and Mixed Media by Liz Lamoreux
  • The Wyrd Sistersby Terry Pratchett (on my Nook)

I really plan on spending most of my time reading the first 100 pages of A Game of Thrones with M from Buried in Print for our read-along. I also plan on finishing The Wyrd Sisters too. Now that I’m thinking about it, maybe I’ll read a few more books too?

Introductory Questionaire:

1. What part of the world are you reading from today? Southern California

2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Hmmm. . . maybe Game of Thrones but I am really curious about MWF seeking BFF.

3. Which snack are you most looking forward to? I’m going to say my coffee though I do plan on buying some delicious Florentines later from the bakery.

4. Tell us something about yourself. I’m a college student, a person who loves fall and winter, and making collages in my art journal though I don’t do it often enough.

 5. If you’ve participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you would do differently? I think the main thing is that I didn’t volunteer for anything this time around so I’m only participating as a reader.

My coffee pot’s stopped so I’m off to enjoy a cup of coffee. Are you read-a-thoning today?

Hours 4 and 5 Update

Finished: Wyrd Sisters. It was a nice book. I’m definitely going to read the next book in the series later on.

Up Next: My psych textbook and a few journal articles. I need to write two small papers this weekend. After that, I’m hoping to read Inner Excavation by Liz Lamoreux. It’s a book about art journaling. It’s either that or The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.

Food: 3 cups of coffee and some dirty rice.

Blogs visited/comments left: Anywhere between 20-30.

Where I’m currently reading at: My desk. Later I’ll probably go read in bed. I’m getting a little sleepy. More coffee? :-)

Hour 12 Update

I haven’t finished a book since my last update. I ended up taking a three-hour nap. I just made the kids hamburgers and cleaned up a bit so now I’m back.

Currently reading: Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin and A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenburg

Food: Hamburgers including one with a fried egg and another one with bacon, eggs, and cheese.

Reading spot: I’m still at my desk.

Blogs visited/comments left: 10?

Mid-Event Survey

1. How are you doing? Are you sleepy? Tired? I’m doing pretty good so far. It might be because I’m on my fifth cup of coffee. ;-)

2. What have you finished reading?  To keep myself going, I started reading children’s books about an hour ago. So far I’ve read Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett,  Gideon by Olivier Dunrea, Gideon and Otto by Olivier Dunrea, Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes by Jarrett J. Krosoczka,  and several pages in Games of Thrones. I’m pretty disappointed but I don’t plan to stop reading until tomorrow night at least.

3. What is your favorite read so far? Wyrd Sisters though I though the Gideon books were sweet.

4. What about your favorite snacks? Florentines!

5. How you found any new blogs during the read-a-thon? A few but I haven’t really been visiting new blogs.


Amanda over at Dead White Guys is hosting the Belated Readathon this weekend. The event is from Saturday morning to Sunday morning but I’m starting now and will probably spend all of Sunday reading. I’m hoping to make a dent in some random tbr pile that’s hanging out around my house.  I’ll use this post to make updates.

Right now I’m reading Americus by MK Reed and Jonathan Hill.  It’s the story of a bookworm who lives in a small town. His best friend is forced to go to military school and now some of the local parents are trying to ban his favorite series from the library.  I’m still in the beginning of the book so we’ll see how it goes.

What are you reading this weekend?


1st Update- Saturday morning

Just Finished Americus. It’s a great read for any bookworm who’s ever felt out of place, which is basically everyone. Now I’m reading Fante: A Family’s Legacy of Writing, Drinking, and Surviving by Dan Fante. I haven’t read anything by the author’s famous father, John Fante, yet but this book sounded too good to pass up.


2nd update – Saturday 4:30PM

Dan Fante and I are not getting along right now. I’m enjoying the writing but I’m tired of reading about his father, John Fante. That man was an asshole! I want to read more about the author and less about Old Man Fante. There are some great lines like this one, “Eddie had graduated from this second-rate trade, but once carny gets into your blood it says like a bad case of herpes”.  But that’s not enough so after hours of going back and forth with this book, I’m putting it aside. Now I’m reading Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu. It’s a MG (middle grade) read that’s been picked as a best of 2011 for several lists. So far, so good.

It’s Monday! What are you reading and Bout of Books

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is my favorite meme hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey

Last week went by in such a blur that I can barely remember what I read. Looking at last week’s stack, I see that the only books I read were for the read-a-thon. Here’s what I read:

  • Habibi by Craig Thomspon
  • Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol
  • Love as Strong as Ginger by Lenore Look
This week I’m reading:
  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (already started)
  • You are Not So Smart by David McRaney (for an upcoming TLC book tour)
  • The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  • Interview with the Vampire (already started)
  • Kamchatka by Marcelo Figueras
If I can squeeze anything else in this week, I will.
Amanda at On a Book Bender is hosting a week-long read-a-thon called Bout of Books. It starts today and ends this Sunday. I had to participate though I just failed  finished Dewey’s read-a-thon. I’m surrounded by so many great books, why not spend the next week reading?
What are you reading today?

I’m up! I’m up! 24-Hour Read-a-thon

I woke up late but I’m here! Last night was the wrong night to have insomnia.

1st Hour Meme:

1. Where are you reading from? Southern California

2. Three random facts about me? I’m a huge daydreamer; I own a red and white men’s beach cruiser that I’ve named Dorothy, and I’ve donated more than 100 books to my local thrift store and public library this year.

3. How many books do you have in your tbr pile for the next 24 hours? 17 though that number will probably increase.

4. Any goals for the read-a-thon? Nope!

5. If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice to people doing this for the first time? Have fun and don’t put any pressure on yourself. This is a great event to make new friends at.

My first book of the day:

Can you believe the first hour is almost up? *sigh* Happy reading to all the read-a-thoners!

Update the 2nd:

It’s 4.5 hours into the read-a-thon. I’ve finished Anya’s Ghost, ate breakfast (oatmeal with light brown sugar), and took a shower. I’ve also left a ton of comments on readers’ blog, (who knew there are so many bloggers whose names start with M).  Now I plan on starting Habibi by Craig Thompson.

Thank you to everyone who’s commenting here. I appreciate it!

Update the 3rd:

I’ve just finished Habibi by Craig Thompson. I think I like it more than Goodbye, Chunky Rice and Blankets, two of Thompson’s earlier books. It’s an ambitious book that the author has put a lot into. I knew it was a big book but I didn’t bother to check the number of pages. I’ve also read Lenore Look’s Love as Strong as Ginger, which is about the author’s grandmother and the back-breaking work she used to do in a crab factory in San Francisco, CA.  It’s a lovely book.

The stats:

  • 3 books
  • 928 pages total
  • I left a ton of comments (at least 100)

So now I’m off for coffee and a quick nap. I know that sounds funny but trust me, it works.  If you’re participating in the read-a-thon, how are you doing?

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now? Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. It was an impulse download from the library.

2. How many books have you read so far? 3

3. What book are you most looking forward to reading in the second half of the read-a-thon? Maybe the short stories. I have a ton of them on my Edison (Kobo e-reader).

4. Did you make special arrangements to free up your whole day? Nope. I just told everyone that today is the read-a-thon. They know what that means – don’t mess up with Momma!

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with them? I haven’t had many interruptions. I went to the grocery store. That’s it.

6. What surprises you most about the read-a-thon so far? Nothing! It’s a great event. I think one of the things I love so much about this event is that it’s a great opportunity to make friends with bloggers who probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.

7. Any suggestions on how to improve the read-a-thon next year? Maybe we can be more aggressive in getting publishers to donate prizes?

8. What would you do differently, as a reader or cheerleader, if you were to participate again next year? Nothing.

9. Are you tired yet? I was tired earlier but I’m not anymore.

10. Any tips? Relax, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and short books are always good to have.

Read-a-thon Stack

It’s really sad when your read-a-thon pile is actually three piles of books and can only be read in a month, not a day. Yesterday Raych told me that’s the fun of making a read-a-thon pile and I think she’s right. Here’s my stacks:

Stack 1

Habibi by Craig Thomspon (graphic novel)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (re-read)

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus

Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol (re-read/graphic novel)

Stack 2

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (re-read)

Bless me Ultima by Rudolpho Anaya

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World by John Baxter

Spilling Ink by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter

Soul Kiss by Shay Youngblood

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurtson (re-read)

Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

The Girl who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow

The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine by Aline Bronsky

If Jack’s in Love by Stephen Wetton

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

The Infernals by John Connolly

Shine by Lauren Myracle

V for Vendetta by Alan Moore

The Watchmen by Alan Moore

Stack 3

Troubling Love by Elena Ferrante

The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (re-read)

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery

That’s a crapload of books but the read-a-thon thrives on variety. Am I going to read for the full 24 hours? No, not at all. I’m cheerleading too so I’m hoping to split my time evenly between the two. I’m pretty excited to read almost everything in these stacks though I’ve just realized I only have two scary reads, both by John Connolly, to keep me up in the wee hours of the night.  Have you read anything in my stacks? Is there something you think I should read first?

Sunday Salon: Reading and reviewing

Good morning! Right now it’s the early hours of Sunday. The sun isn’t up yet but the kids are so I’m up too. I don’t mind so much since I’m already on my second cup.

Can you believe that Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-thon is just a week away? I don’t know if I’m going to join this year but if you’re free next weekend and want to catch up on your reading, this is a great way to do it. You don’t have to read the whole 24 hours just as much or as little as you want. It’s never too late to sign up. Maybe you already have plans for next weekend; there are other ways of helping.  You can donate as little as $10 to the prize fund so that international participants can have their prizes sent to them in a timely manner, sign up as a cheerleader and cheer readers on, or sign up for marketing, hosting a mini-challenge, and more. There’s something for everyone.

Right now Alita from Alita Reads is hosting a review-a-thon. It started on Friday and ends tomorrow. It’s a great way to catch up on review writing. Plus it’s not too late to join. Maybe we can convince Alita to host a review-a-thon next week after the read-a-thon when everyone’s sick of reading? I’ve already completed about four mini-reviews plus I have 4 longer reviews to complete. I’m hoping to have everything finished and ready to post by Tuesday.

Now I’m off to write. Do you have any plans for today? Are you joining next week’s read-a-thon?

Edit: Here’s the link for anyone who wants to donate to read-a-thon:

48 Hour Book Challenge

It’s here! MotherReader’s 48 Hour Book Challenge starts today! I’m dedicating my weekend to books, books, and more books! I don’t plan on reading the whole time because I’m volunteering at my kids’ school today but I plan on spending as much time as possible getting my tbr pile down just a little.

The first book up: Toni Morrison’s Beloved. I woke up last night in the mood to re-read a few of my favorites and that’s what I plan on doing. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, along with The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie are also in my pile. You won’t see any more updates about this read-a-thon until Monday morning, once I’m finish. So now I’m off.

For more information about the book challenge, click on the link above.

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now? I’m still reading Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones. It’s such a great book! I’ve been going on an emotional roller-coaster with it. Put it on your TBR lists now!
2. How many books have you read so far? I’m still on book two.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? If I get through this book, I’ll be happy. I decided that since I’m working behind the scenes, I’ll probably take next week off from blogging to read as much as I want to.
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Nope. I just had the kids participate too. They’re enjoying it. Right now they’re watching a movie while I read.
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? My only interruption is my behind-the-scenes work for the read-a-thon.
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? Nothing. I just love how everyone is encouraging each other on Twitter. It’s nice to see new blogging friendships formed.
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope.
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I would probably just be a reader next time!
9. Are you getting tired yet? A little but I have a pot of coffee to keep me company!
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Have fun! Reach out and encourage bloggers you don’t know. We’re all readers who love good books!

It’s Time for the Read-a-thon!

The read-a-thon has just started! My five-year-old is up too so this will be interesting. I have a pot of coffee going and my stack of books are close by. My first read will be:


Shaun Tan’s Lost and Found: Three Books

Hour 1 Meme:

1. Where are you reading from today? I’m reading from Southern California.

2. Three random facts about me: When it comes to the read-a-thon I love cheerleading just as much as I love reading; I’m an English major but if I could, I would probably be an English/psychology/anthropology major, and I love cold stormy weather.

3. How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? About 30 books. I don’t plan on reading them all but it’s nice to have a stack ready.

4. Do you have any goals for today? Just to have fun but it would be nice if I can read 6 books.

5. If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice? Have fun and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Join a few mini-challenges since they are so much fun and prizes are involved.


Happy reading everyone!

Read-a-thon stack and tips


It’s almost here! It’s almost here! We’re just two days away from the beginning of Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon. I’ve participated in this event almost every time that it’s been hosted and I can’t wait to participate again.  I figure today is the perfect day to post my read-a-thon stack and a few tips for those of us participating in the event for the first time. If you haven’t already signed up,  it’s not too late.

Tip #1 - Pick out a few books days in advance so you’re not running around after the start of the event, looking for something to read. I usually pick out the same sort of books every read-a-thon because I know which genres work for me during this time.

Tip #2 – Include short books in your read-a-thon stack. I always tell people that the read-a-thon isn’t a race or contest of any kind, but your competitive side is sure to come out just a little. If you’re on your second book and you see that someone else is on their fifth, you might feel a little bad funny about your reading speed. It’s nice to read your short books at the start of the event so you can feel like you’re off to a great start.

Tip #3 – Be sure to include different genres  in your stack. During every read-a-thon event, I make sure to have a book of poetry, picture books, graphic novels, and a short story collection in my reading pile. Why? Because after reading a book or two of the same genre, I need something different to keep going. I don’t try to read a whole poetry collection in one day but reading a few poems or short stories between books is a great change and it almost always work. For this weekend’s stack, I’ve included the poetry collection Vice by Ai. I’ve also have a ton of great short stories that I’ve found on’s website. is a good place to read poetry online.

Tip #4 – Be sure to include different formats in your stack. This tip is here for the same reasons as tip #3: variety is good. This will be my first read-a-thon using an e-reader. I also have a few audio books ready just in case I go on a walk or need to rest my eyes. Audiobook Jukebox is a website to visit for audio book recommendations.

Tip #5. Have your refrigerator stocked with healthy snacks before the start of the event. During one of the first read-a-thons that I signed up for, I ate massive amounts of junk and paid for it later on when I crashed from my sugar high around hour 12 and didn’t wake up until after the read-a-thon ended. It’s just smart to include healthy and quick snacks that you can eat without much fuss.

Tip #6 – Naps are great. Seriously.

Tip #7 – Let your family know in advance of your plans. Since I’ve participated in the read-a-thon so many times before, my family knows that it’s my day. If I don’t mess with anyone while Spongebob/football/HGTV is on, my family knows not to bother me during the read-a-thon unless they have to or if I’m taking a break. Moms need me-time too.

Tip #8 – Have fun. Dewey started the read-a-thon to have fun and you should have fun too. If you want to disregard most of my tips, please do but not this one. If you would rather read just YA paranormal fiction the whole time, do it. Want to just read a chunkster? Do it. Don’t put any pressure on yourself.

Last but not least is my reading pool:

Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

The Twin’s Daughter by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

The Book of Lost Things by John O’Connolly (re-read)

Pym by Mat Johnson

Vice by  Ai

BB Wolf and the Three LPs by J.D. Arnold

Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection

Empire State by Jason Shiga

A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliot

Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity by Dave Roman

Page by Paige by Lauren Lee Gulledge

Three Shadows by Cyril Pedrosa (re-read)

Fables Vol. 14: Witches by Bill Willingham (re-read)

The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier (re-read)

Chew Vol. 1: Taster’s Choice by John Layman (re-read)

The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds (re-read)

Are you participating in the read-a-thon this weekend? Any tips you think I should add to the list?

Sunday Salon: Spring is here

Good morning! It’s the first day of spring and right it’s raining in SoCal. I don’t mind. Fall and winter are my favorite seasons while spring and summer are two seasons I don’t get along with. To me there’s nothing better than curling up on a rainy day with a good book and a cup of coffee while wearing a great sweater.  The only good thing about spring is Easter. My family’s pretty secular so Easter is more of a holiday where we give books than anything else.

The tradition started when I was a child and my mother would fill my Easter baskets with mostly Baby-Sitters Club books and very little candy. I didn’t really mind about the candy because I always received just enough to eat while I read the latest adventures of the BSC.  So now I do the same thing for my children.

Blogging News

Did you know that Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon is coming up? April 9th is the date. Usually I would start picking out my stack of books to read but I think I’ll wait until a few days before the event to put a stack together. I’m sure a moody reader that I’m sure whatever I pick now, I’m not going to want to read during the event.

I wrote a post yesterday about how you can help with the read-a-thon.

Indie Lit Awards 2011

I signed up to become a voting member for this year’s Indie Lit Awards. The awards is hosted by Wallace at Unputdownables. Book bloggers from all over the blogisphere nominate, read, and vote for their favorite books in several categories. I’m a member of the Poetry category and I’m can’t wait to see what bloggers nominate in September.

So now I’m off to enjoy this wet weather. I’m currently on a non-fiction reading binge. I’m currently re-reading Daniel Pink’s Drive, The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things off and Start Getting Stuff Done by Piers Steel, Book Lust to Go by Nancy Pearl, and Nerds: How Dorks, Tweebs, Techies, and Trekkies Can Save America by David Anderegg. I just finished reading The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing by Darina Al-Joundi. It’s a memoir about Al-Joundi’s chaotic childhood, adolescence and adulthood in Beirut as the daughter of a poet. It really made me think about the long-term effects of war on a population and its culture.

What are you reading today?


The Read-a-thon Needs Your Help!

As you guys probably already know, Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon is coming up. On April 9, 2011 people all over the world will set aside several hours to do one of their favorite things: reading. The purpose of the event is not to read as much as we can in twenty-hours but just to enjoy ourselves. It’s not every day that people can easily set aside long stretches of time to read. There will be tons of encouragement going on via Twitter, Facebook, and blogs.

One of the great things about the event besides the fun of mini-challenges and all the encouragement is the chance to win prizes. This year I’m on the prize committee for the event and I need your help.  If you have any new or gently used-books and ARCs that you’re willing to donate for the read-a-thon, can you please do so? You can also donate gift cards to online book vendors.  I’m asking for books/gift cards and also for donors to be willing to ship their books domestic or international. It’s up to you. As much we all enjoy this event, prizes  are really the frosting on the cake.

If you can’t donate books you can still help. Spread the word about the upcoming read-a-thon. The earlier that people know about the event, the better they’re able to set aside time during the event to participate. That way more people can join in the fun. Writing a blog post or mentioning the event on Twitter or Facebook will really help. You can also become a prize angel, which are people who are willing to donate money so that international participants can  have their prizes shipped to them.

If you’re willing to donate books/gift cards or become a prize angel, please email me at 1330vblog at gmail. Thank you from all of us on the prize committee.

Readathon: End of the Event Meme

1. Which hour was most daunting to you? Hour 15. It was daunting because I put the kids to bed, thinking I would go back and read. Instead I ended up going to sleep and waking up five minutes before the read-a-thon ended. Second time in a row that happened.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? The Hunger Games trilogy, picture books, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson. . . anything short is always helpful.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Can a link for the cheer-leading blog be included on the read-a-thon main blog?

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Everything!

5. How many books did you read? 4 1/2

6. What were the names of the books you read? And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman, Amulet 1: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi, Amulet 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse by Kazu Kibuishi, Amulet 3: The Cloud Searchers by Kazu Kibuishi.

7. What book did you enjoy most? And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman

8. Which did you enjoy least? None. They were all good reads.

9. If you were a cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s cheerleaders? Have fun!

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Very likely! I plan on being a reader and a cheerleader once again.