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.

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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: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dDJQZVNhZWlZd25uTlVXWHJlTVVCc0E6MQ&ifq

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 Tor.com’s website. Poets.org 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.

Read-a-thon: Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now? Hamlet by Shakespeare.

2. How many books have you read so far? 4

3. What book are you most looking forward to reading for the second half of the read-a-thon? It’s a tie between Notes from No Man’s Land by Eula Biss and Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins.

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Nope. My family knows the deal when it comes to the read-a-thon. Besides my birthday, this is the only day I ever ask for myself.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How have you dealt with them? I’ve had plenty of interruptions with kids. I just handle them and keep going.

6. What surprises you most about the read-a-thon so far? That I’m not sick of reading yet. I usually need to rest my eyes around this time.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the read-a-thon next year? Nope. It’s perfect as usual.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Not one thing.

9. Are you getting tired yet? Yep! I’m pretty tired now but it’s nothing that a cup of hot strong coffee can’t handle!

10.  Do you have any tips for Readers or Cheerleaders? If you’re a Reader and on Twitter, jump in on read-a-thon conversations, cheer on complete strangers who are also participating, and have fun. You’ll be sure to make new friends.

It Begins!

I’m up! I’m up! It’s 5:27 am right now and the read-a-thon started more than twenty minutes ago. It’s dark and cold outside while inside, I’m the only person awake. (Thank you God.) My first book is

And The Pursuit of Happiness

by Maira Kalman

First Hour Meme:

Where are you reading from? My computer desk in Southern California.

3 Facts about me: Mother to three beautiful kids, lover of coffee, and bubblegum ice cream

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? 30?

Goals for the read-a-thon: Have fun and to read about six books

As a veteran, any advice: Have fun!

Update 1: Hour 6

So I finished two books: And The Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman along with Amulet Book 1: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi.

Next up: Amulet Book 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse

I already had four cups of coffee (and I’m feeling it). Next meal is hash browns with eggs.

How are you doing?

Hour 10 Update

Now I’m on book 5. I just finished Amulet 3: The Cloud Searchers. Before book 3, I read book 2 of the same series. I’m changing gears and I think I’ll read Hamlet next since I’ve been ignoring it for the past two weeks.

I’m no longer hyper over the coffee, laid down for a few minutes, and now I feel refresh. I’ve been eating a ton of rice krispies treats. Now I’m munching on cucumbers with salt. Yum! Okay so how are you holding up?

 

Weekly Geeks: Readathon! Readathon! Readathon!

I’m going to apologize in advance for this long post. There’s something about the read-a-thon that helps make fall one of my favorite seasons. To set aside 24 consecutive hours to do one of the things I love most in the world: read. And to do it with a ton of people who love reading as much as I do is the icing on the cake. Some people hear about the read-a-thon and think it’s a race but it’s not.

My strategy for the read-a-thon is to spend today preparing for by cleaning up the house, going grocery shopping, and doing all of my homework to get it out the way. I don’t plan on cooking tomorrow so it’s sandwiches, cold cereal, pizza, and lots of snacks for my family. The great thing is that they understand and a few of the kids plan on participating with me during the event.

I don’t plan on reading as many books as possible (though I do love the pressure). I just want to spend as much time as I can reading. I’m not going to set a specific amount of time. I started checking out books from the library last week, so my reading pile is a combination of TBR books, rereads, and also library books. No ARCS allowed!

Dewey, the wonderful caring blogger who created the read-a-thon, was such a great person. She was so generous and loved sharing books. Participating in the read-a-thon is a great way to keep her memory alive but I also wanted to do something special. So for each book I finish this weekend, I’m giving $10 to a non-profit organization.

Here’s my stack:

The Purloined Boy by Mortimus Clay
A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliot
Amulet 3: The Cloud Searchers by Kazu Kibuishi

Spilling Ink by Ellen Potter and Anne Mazer
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins

Keeper by Kathi Appelt
Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett

The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters by Lorraine Lopez
The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork
And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman

Vice: New and Selected Poems by Ai
Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays by Eula Biss
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere: Stories by ZZ Packer

Not pictured:

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks
The Haiku Anthology edited by Cor Van Den Heuvel
Nat Turner by Kyle Baker
Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Master
The Baby-Sitters Club: The Summer Before by Ann M. Martin
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz
The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera

So that’s my list. Are you participating in the read-a-thon? If not, what are your plans for the weekend?

48-Hour TBR Read-a-thon

Wallace over at The Unputdownables is hosting a 48-Hour TBR read-a-thon that starts right now and lasts until Sunday evening. Of course I have to join! School ended yesterday for me so I have the next two weeks off to read as much as I want until the next semester starts.  I finished reading The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee and The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman earlier today and now I’m digging into the graphic novel anthology Flight Vol. 6 edited by Kazu Kibuishi. I’m hoping to finish at least three more books this weekend but we’ll see. If you don’t hear from me for the next week or so, I’m parked on my couch reading.

What are you reading?

Read-a-thon Mid-Event Challenge

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now? Tofu Quilt by Ching Yeung Russell
2. How many books have you read so far? I’ve read 4-ish books so far:
The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
Black is for Beginnings by Laure Faria Stolarz
The Good Neighbors book 1: Kin by Holly Black
The Good Neighbors book 2: Kith by Holly Black
still reading The Housekeeper and The Professor by Yoko Ogawa
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I don’t know. I have a lot of great books in my read-a-thon pile. Maybe The Absolutely True Story of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie or Falling In by Frances O’Roark Dowell.

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? No, just included the kids in my read-a-thon plans.
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Having kids there are bound to be interruptions. I just dealt with them and went back to reading. I think the trick is not to put too much pressure on myself.
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? Nothing so far. I know with every read-a-thon I’m going to meet and make new blogging friends.
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope. It’s pretty perfect.
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I was both  a reader and a cheerleader, and there’s nothing I would do differently.
9. Are you getting tired yet? I did get tired the last hour, so I stopped reading to cheer people on and also clean up around the house.
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? One of the tips I can’t give to people enough is to relax, have fun, and remember to read short books.

Read-a-thon update: Hour 8

I can’t believe it’s the 8th hour of the read-a-thon. Time is going by so fast. If this keeps up the read-a-thon will be over in no time. I’m having fun reading and cheering others on on Twitter and through blogs. Right now I’m reading my third book: The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa. It’s going slower than I expected but I am starting to enjoy it. The kids were reading with me, but they’ve all given up. I’m just glad that they woke up to join me.  I think during the next hour I’ll change books and start on some of the picture books that I have laying around that I need to read. Happy reading!

On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!

Good morning, Read-a-thoners! It’s official! Dewey’s 24 hour read-a-thon has started! Now I’m off to read Angela Johnson’s The First Part Last. In a little while I’ll wake up my daughter and sisters so they can participate too. Happy reading!

Hour 1 Mini-Challenge

  1. Where are you reading from today? Right now I’m reading from my computer desk, but I also plan on reading from my bed, the kitchen table, the couch, and outside in my courtyard.
  2. How many books do you have in your TBR pile today? About 40. It’s a mixture of library books, review copies, and books from my own TBR pile.
  3. 3 facts about me: This is my fourth read-a-thon. I’m a single mother. I’m also a college student and future librarian.
  4. Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon? My goal is to read at least six books.If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time? To relax and don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Have fun and meet new friends.

Hour 2 Mini Challenge

My kick off strategy was to get up right before 5 am, write my first post, have my first book waiting by my computer, and have my coffee brewing before the read-a-thon started. Surprisingly everything went as planned. Right now I’m at my computer, surrounded by my coffee cup, reading journal, my first read, and my little sister and daughter who are both participating in the read-a-thon with me. I’m prepared to change reading spaces when I get sick of sitting at my desk. Up next will probably be my cozy bed once my boys wake up.

Sunday Salon: Read-a-thon Recommendations

I asked Doret from The Nappy Happy Bookseller to recommend a few great titles in time for the upcoming 24-Hour Read-a-thon. Instead Doret did more than that, she sent me a huge list of books that sounds really good and perfect for the event. I know I’m adding a few books to my TBR pile for the read-a-thon!

When Vasilly asked me to do a guest post of titles featuring kids of color for the upcoming read-a-thon. I was like of course. Since this is for a read-a-thon, I’ve broken this up into two parts. Great books less than 210 pages and books over 210 pages that are hard to put down. Hopefully you will find a few titles of interest.

Great Books less than 210 pages


The Way a Door Closes. 52 pages. Or Keeping the Night Watch. 80 pages. by Hope Anita Smith. Both novels are written in verse. Perfect for April. In the first on CJ must deal with his father leaving. In the follow up, CJ’s father returns. Smith writing is beautiful and its easy to lose yourself in her words.

After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson. 176 pages. There are many Woodson novel I could’ve suggested but I went this Newbery Honor title. One summer three girls are connected through Tupac lyrics. Woodson is very skilled at creating characters and moments readers will remember.

I Wanna Be Your Shoebox by Cristina Gracia. 208 pages. I love this novel so much. Yumi Ruiz Hirsch is Cuban, Jewish and Japanese. She’s also surfer/skaterboarder, classical clarinetist, who loves good rock (Ramones), and she plays a decent bass guitar. Garcia refused to limit who Yumi was and who she could become. The summer is over, Yumi is returning from Surfer’s camp, she’ll be entering the 8th grade. Yumi’s lives with her mother. Her parents have been divorced since she was one. Yumi is very close to Saul her Jewish grandfather. Saul is 92 and dying of cancer. Yumi ask Saul to tell his story and he does.

Bobby vs Girls (Accidentally) by Lisa Yee. 160 pages. Bobby Ellis Chan is looking forward to starting fourth grade. His best friend is Holly Harper. Though they’re at that awkward age when boys and girls don’t mix so its a secret. I loved Bobby and his family. I really appreciated the author going against gender norms. Bobby’s dad is a former professional football player, turned stay at home dad. He’s trying to defeat static cling but has taken to the new job. Bobby’s older sister is the QB on her high school football team. After Bobby’s pet fish dies, he cries. It very rear to see a boy cry in the open. I thought Yee did a wonderful job with this scene and the set up for it. Bobby starts telling his secrets to Rover. A child who has lost a pet will understand Bobby’s tears and won’t think he shouldn’t be crying because he’s a boy.

Bird by Zetta Elliott. 58 pages. Mehkai goes by the name Bird, this is his journal. Each entry is a poem. A lot is going on in Bird’s life. His grandfather recently passed. His older brother Marcus has become addicted to drugs. Birds writings and drawings give him the opportunity to heal. Bird remembers the good times he shared with his grandfather. He writes about his brother’s artistic talent. Through Bird’s words you can feel how much he loves his family and looked up to his older brother. Its not all happy, there is some anger and sadness. I loved Elliott’s writing, the simplicity made it that much better. As I continued to read Bird and his family became more real. Marcus is not painted as a villain. He’s lost but still loves his younger brother. Strickland’s illustrations enhance the story. The illustrations allow the reader to enjoy Bird’s words that much more. Many families are affected by addiction. Elliott has written a book that will enable the youngest family members to talk about their feelings. Young readers will easily relate to Bird’s words.

Chess Rumble by G. Neri. 64 pages. There was much to love about Chess Rumble. This is Marcus’s story told in verse. Marcus is filled with anger, after his sister’s death and his dad leaving the family. He wants to fight everyone from his little brothers to his classmates. Latrell used to be Marcus’s best friend, now they hate each other. Marcus is a big kid, so to get under his skin Latrell calls him names like Fat Albert. Marcus gets into a lot of trouble at school and his teacher, Ms. Tate is frustrated. Finally instead of the regular punishment, Ms Tate tries something new, introducing Marcus to CM. CM teaches young men to play chess, so they can fight it out on the board. This wasn’t a quick fix, it still took time for Marcus to come around. It’s one of the things I loved about Chess Rumble, its seems more realistic that Marcus would be hesitant to trying chess. Neri has created a very believable character in Marcus. Young readers will be able to relate to Marcus, everyone understands anger. Neri’s writing is great, he does not waste a word.

Alvin Ho Allegric To School, Girls And Other Scary Things by Lenore Look. 176pgs. Alvin is going into the second grade, and is afraid of pretty much everything. Alvin does a lot of talking at home but at school he can’t say a word. I loved this book, from the opening page Alvin Ho is a character you’ll want to know. The story begins with Alvin listing six things we should know about him. He also introduces his older brother, Calvin and younger sister Anibelly. Alvin’s voice is real, fun and thoughtful, young readers will love it. He’s shares his anxiety about school and making friends. I know I am making this book sound serious, and it is partly but the authors does it with a fun light touch.

The White Bread Competition by Jo Ann Yolanda Hernandez. 208 pages.  It’s the 90’s in San Antonio, Texas and Luz will be the first Latina to represent her state in the national spelling bee. White Bread Competition is made up of 10 interlinked stories that lead up to the big event. One of my favorite stories was Mixing the Ingredients. Luz’s grandmother Aura, tells her something bad will happen if she enters the spelling bee. Rosaura confronts her mother for telling Luz such hurtful things. This story reads like a song, the movement is beautiful. Hernandez brings the reader closer to mother and daughter. The author does an excellent job of drawing all the characters, making the reader care.

Confetti Girl by Diana Lopez. 208 pages. I really enjoyed this story. From the beginning Lina’s voice is strong, honest with a hint of humor. Lina’s best friend Vanessa lives right across the street. The two friends are dealing with parents who are not at their best. Lina’ mother died recently, and her dad doesn’t know how to connect with her. Vanessa’s father left her mother, now she hates men and won’t stop watching Lifetime movies. Lina and Vanessa look out for each other. Their friendship along with Lina herself, are the heart of this story.

Any book from Angela Johnson’s Heaven Trilogy. 131 pages. Heaven, First Part Last or Sweet Hereafter. In First Part Last Bobby’s girlfriend Nia tells him she is pregnant on his 16th birthday. The novel looks at teenage pregnancy from the boy’s point of view. Many things contributed to the beauty of this story, one is Johnson’s less is more approach. Only 131 pages and it hits as hard as a book twice its size, maybe more so – there is a reason and a need for every word. And oh my the ending. I was not prepared. No one told me there would be tears. By I time I figured out was going on it was too late, Johnson had already captured my heart.

Pemba’s Song by Marilyn Nelson and Tonya Hegamin. 107 pages. Song is a slim book and beautifully done. The size of the book doesn’t allow for excess which is a plus for me. I enjoy staccato style , where author must hit each word right and hard. The book opens with 14 yr old Pemba writing in her journal. Pemba and her mother moving from Brookyln, NY to Colchester, CT. Pemba is not happy about the move, but luckliy she has her journal to comfort her. The first person they befriend in Colchester is Abraham, an older gentleman who researches the towns slave history. In the house they move into Phyllys, a dead girl reaches out to Pemba. Pemba and her mother are the first black people to live in the house. Phyllys lived and died as a slave there, and waited a long time to tell her story.

M+O 4Ever by Tonya Hegamin 176pgs. Opal and Marianne were best friends before their first steps. Somewhere along the way Opal fell in love with Marianne. Before Opal could save Marianne, she commits sucide. Opal uses her memories and family to come to terms with her loss. Hegamin doesn’t use the loss of the main character as a crutch. She makes the reader feel not with a loss but rather their words.

The Fold by An Na (192 pgs) I really enjoyed The Fold. Joyce goes back and forth about having the surgery that will make her eyes look bigger and give her a more American look. The Fold will have a reader laughing, while considering what beauty is and what they’re willing to change for it. Joyce is a very likeable and real character. An Na surrounds her with a wonderful caring family and a great best friend in Gina.

Books over 210 pages that are hard to put down.


The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorhees – I loved this book. This is the story of 16 yr old Frankie Thomas. The younger brother who must work at his families restaurant while his older brother, Steve gets a soccer scholarship, the girls and a car. Voorhees created a character in Frankie Thomas that many people can get behind and relate to. He’s in his older siblings shadow, he’s a sophomore trying to psych himself up to ask a girl to homecoming. Frankie must also decide what type of man he wants to be. This is a very well told with a strong beginning that will capture many reluctant readers. Voorhees doesn’t try to do too much with The Brothers Torres, simply tells Frankie’s story- thats one of the things that makes this novel so good. The Torres family lives in New Mexico. Frankie’s tells us a lot about their small town Borges, its history and the people who live there.

A La Carte by Tanita Davis – Many of you might be familiar with Davis most recent novel Mare’s War. So I thought I’d point out her first YA novel. 17 yr old Elaine (Lainey) lives in the Bay Area with her mother who is co owner of La Salle Rouge restaurant. Lainey is pretty good in the kitchen as well and dreams of having her own vegetarian cooking show. A la Carte is about much more then a girl who wants to be a chef. Its also about a teenage girl who falls for the wrong guy. I loved this book because Lainey refused to let a boy use her.

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves – This story is beautifully strange. I loved it. It beings with 16 yr old Hanna arriving in her mom’s home town of Portero, Texas for the first time. The two have never meet. After an incident with her aunt Hanna needs a new place to call home. She has her mind set on Portero. Hanna’s mother, Rosalee does her best to discourage her daughter, it doesn’t work. Hanna quickly learns Portero is a far from normal town. Students are turned into statues, and monsters can take people right off the streets. She fits right in.

Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Saenz.I loved this one hard. Sammy Santos is one of the best three dimensional young adult male protagonist I’ve read in a long time or ever. Sammy’s Hollywood is his barrio in New Mexico, circa 1969. Juliana is his friend, the girl he loves and the girl he wants to save. Though this book is so much more, we meet Sammy and his friends there junior year of high school. This is about their life in Hollywood. Every single character in well thought out and well crafted. The author allows the reader to feel and taste Sammy & Julina’s world. Its always easy to spot an author who is a poet. Sure enough I got that feeling, so I flipped to the front , the author has published poetry as well. Saenz, finds words for moments that I thought had no words. He catches the lines between the lines.

Skunk Girl by Sheba Karim. 15 year-old Nina Khan is a Pakistani Muslim girl who wants to obey her parents and have a little fun. Some YA second generation Americans books fall into a cliche trap, where the main character must excel in academics and have strict parents they hate plus a one dimensional story line. In this debut novel Karim finds a beautiful balance avoiding the predictable. I also love that the author took the time to fully develop Nina’s best friends Bridget and Helena with distinguishable personalities. Through their friendship we learn more about Nina, who is fun, smart and hairy. When puberty hits Nina goes into over drive.

Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins. Set in India 1970’s. After Asha’s father has lost his job, he heads to NYC in search of new opportunities. Asha, her older sister Reet and mother will go live with their father’s brother and his family in Calcutta. Asha is the athlete, Reet is the beautiful one. Asha is continually being put down for being too dark. The sisters don’t let how others see them effect their relationship. The Calcutta house is filled with family. Asha finds privacy on the the roof to write in her journal. Perkins has written a wonderful novel with three dimensional characters that readers will love.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia. It’s 1968 and three sisters, 11-year-old Delphine, 9-year-old Vonetta and 7-year-old Fern, will be spending the summer with their mother in Oakland, CA. The sisters attend the Black Panther summer program. I smiled my way though this book. It’s filled with an honesty I love to see in middle grade fiction. The sisters are simply beautiful. There isn’t much middle grade historical fiction featuring Black characters that at some parts warm your heart making you laugh out loud, then just as quickly teaches something. I wish this book was around when I was younger, I would’ve swallowed it whole.

Leaving Glorytown by Edurado F. Calcines. Eduardo’s family lived in the city of Cienfuegos, settled in a barrio know as Glorytown. By the time the Calcines family boards the plane for America you feel their loss, hope and excitement. This book fills an important void since there aren’t many books about Castro and Cuba for young readers. Eduardo was only three when Castro came into power in 1959. He lived with his parents and younger sister and surrounded by extended family. Eduardo is very close to his family especially his grandparents. Besides the family relationships, I loved Eduardo’s friendship with his cousin Luis and brothers Rolando and Tito. The fact that the brother’s father was a communist matter not. The four were very close all dreaming of there own kind of freedom. Eduardo talks of the changes that came to Cuba when Castro came into power. The long lines and food rations. People being unjustly arrested. The loudspeakers installed around the city, so The Voice could speak for hours. How families throughout Cuba were torn apart.

Shine Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger.  17 year-old Samar (Sam) lives with her mother in New Jersey. Sam’s mother felt too restricted by her Indian parents, cutting all family ties. Sam knows many things but she is clueless about her Indian heritage. Her mother made it a point to stress their sameness, so the two have fully assimilated into Western culture. Everything changes when Uncle Sandeep knocks on their door, seeking out this lost family branch after the attacks of 9/11. Sam doesn’t know what to make of this turban-wearing man at her door but she quickly deems him a nice guy. With Uncle Sandeep entering Sam’s life again she wants to know more about what it means to be an Indian Sikh. I really enjoyed Shine Coconut Moon. Meminger’s writes with wonderful ease.

Hot Girl by Dream Jordan. This is a must read for fans of Coe Booth. Kate has spent all of her 14 years in the foster care system. She’s book smart, street smart, funny, quick and observant. Her life is finally starting to turn around, she’s left her gang, stopped hanging with the wrong crowd, started controlling her temper and is getting A’s in school. She befriends Naleejah, a hot girl, who makes over her tomboy image. Kate’s quick wit had me laughing out loud. She doesn’t let being in foster care keep her from dreaming and setting goals. I loved watching this character stay true to herself.

Upstate by Kalisha Buckhanon. IMO this is a classic. Buckhanon proved urban fiction for teens can be written with style and beauty and still capture reluctant readers. A young couple must keep in touch via letters, when the boy is sent to prison for killing his father. Though the truth eventually comes out. At the end the author allows the reader to see the young couple as adults, still I wanted more, the writing is just that good.

8th Grade SuperZero by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich. In the author’s bio we learn that Rhuday-Perkovich studied with Paula Danziger and Madeleine L’Engle. I believe this fact shows itself early on in this well layered debut novel.. After an incident on the first day of 8th grade, Reggie is called Pukey. Reggie is doing is best to lay low. His best friends are Ruthie a young revolutionary and Joe C, an artist. There aren’t enough contemporary middle grade novels with a main character of color that’s male. I love Reggie for many reasons. One of the biggest is that he’s Jamaican. The author doesn’t make this an issue of it nor does she ignore it.

I know even after the read-a-thon, I’m still going to come back to this list for recommendations. So what about you? Are you participating in the upcoming read-a-thon? Are you still getting your pile of books ready?

Mini-Readathon!

Two weeks ago Marie at Boston Bibliophile had a mini-readathon where she read only graphic novels. It sounded like so much fun I asked her did she want to do another mini-readathon with me. She agreed so today she and I are having a mini-readathon. Our goal is to read short novels for 12 hours today to make a dent into our growing book piles. Originally I was supposed to start at 9 a.m. but insomnia hit in the early morning hours, so I’ve already finished one book, the graphic novel  Britten and Brulightly by Hannah Berry which I enjoyed. Currently I’m reading Faith, Hope, and Ivy June by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

This is the rest of the stack for today. (My desk is a little messy!)

readathon pickssIn my stack:

  • Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
  • Awesome by Jack Pendarvis
  • Sprout by Dale Peck
  • The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
  • The Man Who Forgot How to Read by Howard Engel
  • Rex Libris: I, Librarian by James Turner
  • A Child’s Book of True Crime by Chloe Hooper
  • Crossed Wires by Rosy Thornton
  • The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
  • Woman Hollering Creek by Sandra Cisneros
  • Grayson by Lynne Cox
  • Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
  • Everyday Matters by Danny Gregory
  • The Tansfigured Hart by Jane Yolen
  • Maus by Art Spiegelman
  • Looking for Lucy Buick by Rita Murphy
  • The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

I am definitely NOT trying to read all of these books in 12 hours. I’m hoping to read at least five today. I’m be posting probably twice today. Wish me luck!

Read-a-thon Wrap-up Post

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1. Which hour was most daunting for you? About hour16. One of my sons wasn’t feeling well and wanted me to lie down with him. I knew if I did, I would probably go to sleep and I did. Luckily I woke up a few hours later and read some more.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? The Fables series by Bill Willingham (graphic novels), Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry (play), anything by Shaun Tan, Black Swan, White Raven edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling (short stories). There’s a lot of books I can recommend so I’ll write a post before the next read-a-thon.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the read-a-thon next year? None.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s read-a-thon? Twitter. By using Twitter we had so many people sign up and it was also an easier to cheer people on.

5. How many books did you read? 8

6. What were the names of the books you read?

  • Angels in America by Tony Kushner
  • The Professor’s Daughter by Joann Sfar
  • Amulet 1: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kubuishi
  • Amulet 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse by Kazu Kubuishi
  • Imogene’s Antlers by David Small
  • Sleeping Ugly by Jane Yolen
  • Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  • Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and DeanHale

7. Which book did you enjoy most? I loved them all.

8. Which did you enjoy the least? None

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? Don’t feel overwhelm. I learned with this read-a-thon that though it’s possible to reach a lot of blogs, you won’t be able to make it to each one unless you’re only cheering.

10. How likely are you to participate in the read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I’m definitely participating in next year’s read-a-thon. I’ll probably just read next time instead of reading and cheering.

Big thanks to Wordlily, Nymeth, Trish, and Eva for hosting!

Hour 17 Update

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Books read since last update: 4 (Amulet 1: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi, Sleeping Ugly by Jane Yolen, Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and Imogene’s Antlers by David Small)

Total books read: 6

Pages read: Have no idea. I quit counting.

Now reading: Amulet 2: The Stonekeeper’s Curse by Kazu Kuibuishi

Mini-challenges participated in: 4?

Latest meal: Hash browns and sausages

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I just finished the book club meeting with my son. We had a lot of fun reading and discussing Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Imogene’s Antlers by David Small (an old favorite of mine), and Sleeping Ugly by Jane Yolen. Yolen is easily becoming one of my favorite authors.

Surprisingly I’m not tired yet, but I am prepared to read in bed if I have to go lie down with the kids later. I still have a ton of great books I’m looking forward to and I’m officially done cheerleading for the night so I’m not going to bed anytime soon. If you don’t see any more updates, I’m in bed. Hopefully awake.

Happy reading!

Break time or good night?

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Okay, read-a-thoners, it’s been great but I’m going to have to say goodnight. Either that or take a break. My youngest is ready to go to bed and he still wants us to have our nightly book club meeting. I’m still reading Amulet 1: The Stonekeeper’s Curse by Kazu Kuibuishi. I don’t plan on going to bed until the read-a-thon is over so you’ll probably see me later.

Readathon: A Musicial Mini-Challenge

Jill at Fizzy Thoughts wrote:

I know a lot of readers are also fans of music. So for this mini-challenge we’re going to give our eyes a break and focus on our ears. I’d like you to post a song that reminds you of the read-a-thon, or that you love to read to, or that makes you think of a particular book. You can either embed a video of the song, or post the lyrics. And don’t forget to include a sentence or two as to why you’re sharing that particular song! Easy-peasie, right? Originally, I was thinking of making you run a marathon, but I thought this might go over a bit better.

I needed a boast during the last hour. So when Miley Cyrus’s new single “Party in the U.S.A.” came on, it was just what I needed for energy. The kids and I got up and just danced. After the song ended I had more energy to keep going. I’m not a Miley Cyrus fan but the kids are and they love this song. So here it is, “Party in the U.S.A.” :

Hour 13

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now? The Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi.

kubuishi 1

2. How many books have you read so far?2.  Angels in America by Tony Kushner and The Professor’s Daughter by Joann Sfar. Both great reads.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? All of them. They’re all great reads. Can’t pick just one.

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Nope. I just kept the kids preoccupied by making them tents in the living room, feeding them, and letting them watch cartoons all day. I’ll make it up to them tomorrow after I wake up.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? A ton. The kids interrupted plus I felt like I was getting sick earlier.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How many people signed up this time. It’s amazing. Dewey would be so happy.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? None. It’s perfect!

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Wake up on time instead of oversleeping.

9. Are you getting tired yet? Not really though I know I will need a nap sooner or later.

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. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else participating. That’s not the point of this event.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!

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It’s official. Dewey’s 24-hour read-a-thon has started!I’m just waking up but that’s not’s going to stop me. My first book is:

kushnerAngels in America by Tony Kushner

Intro Post

Where are you reading from today? Long Beach, California. I’ll probably either be reading from my computer desk or at my kitchen table.

3 facts about me: I’m a single mother of three beautiful kids, a college student, and a future librarian.

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? 62 but I’m definitely not going to read that many.

Goals for the read-a-thon: To read 13 books

As a veteran read-a-thoner, my advice: Have fun!

Sunday Salon: Thoughts

24readathonRight now it’s early morning here in Southern California and the sun is not up yet. Sitting on my desk is a hot cup of coffee and today’s read, August: Osage County by Tracy Letts. I received it through PaperbackSwap for the read-a-thon but I’ve decided to read it now. Today will be spent visiting family, reading, and getting the kids ready for school tomorrow.

Last night on Twitter, Kailana stated that she’s only read 16 books so far this month. That made me check my calendar reading log to see how many books I’ve read this month. 3. That’s how many books I’ve read so far this month. Compare that to the 38 read in August or the 18 read in September, it makes October the worst reading month I’ve had in a long time. I’m hoping to get back into the reading groove by reading my butt off this week and during the read-a-thon.

If you’re on the fence about signing up for Dewey’s read-a-thon, you still have time. Even if you can’t participate for that many hours, it’s still a fun event to join. There’s games and prizes plus you find new blogging buddies too.

I have my strategy down for the big event. I have tons of short books and fast reads, waiting to be read. I’m planning a mini read-a-thon for my kids on Saturday to keep them busy. I also plan on snacking on fruits and quick foods so not to get bogged down cooking. At all. Pizza will probably be lunch and dinner on Saturday.

My goals:

To finish at least six books.
To cheer on each of the 200+ participants at least once.

To read the majority of the books in my pile even if it takes months

I don’t know which goal is going to be harder. I’ve already starting visiting participant’s read-a-thon pile posts to cheer them on a little. I have so many great books in my pile that I really want to read, so I’m going to try my best to read them before they’re due back at the library.  If you’re participating in the event, do you bother setting goals?

Last week’s reads

Last week I read two of October’s three read books: Sea Change by Aimee Freedman and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Both were engaging books. I reviewed Sea Change but not Catching Fire. There’s no point when all my review is going to say is: Go read it now! Catching Fire was a great book but I love Hunger Games more. Either way I will be buying book three when it’s published next year.

So that’s it for this post. Are you participating in next week’s read-a-thon? If so, what book are you really looking forward to reading?

Read-a-thon Pile

dreamstime_readathong

Okay so we all know that I have a tendency to go overboard when it comes to books. Whether it’s my library loot, buying binges, or signing up for reading challenges, it always seems to be all or nothing. My current reading pool for the read-a-thon encompasses almost every genre and ranges from a mere 32 pages for many of my picture books to almost 500 pages for Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels. Maybe instead of thinking of this stack as just my read-a-thon picks, we should also think of it as my October/November even possibly December reads.

Plays I started reading plays during last year’s read-a-thon. I found so many wonderful playwrights that I’ve started slowly reading as many as I can especially Pulitzer prize-winning plays. Plays are usually no more than a hundred pages long and contain memorable characters and great settings. For the upcoming read-a-thon, here are a few plays I plan on reading that won the Pulitzer for Drama.

play row

I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright. 2004 Pulitzer.
Wit by Margaret Edson. 1999 Pulitzer.
Angels in America by Tony Kushner. 1993 Pulitzer

not shown: August: Osage County by Tracy Letts.

Short Stories The great thing about reading short stories during the read-a-thon is that you can dip in and out of collections and still feel as though you’re accomplishing something.

row 2 short stories

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie.
Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros. I read this collection years ago and I think it’s really time for a re-read.
Dedicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff.


Graphic Novels

row 3 graphic novels

Britten and Brulightly by Hannah Berry.
Amulet 2: The Stonkeeper’s Curse by Kazu Kabuishi.
Maus by Art Spiegelman

Not shown: The Professor’s Daughter by Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert

Fantasy

row 4

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
Tigerheart by Peter David
The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Other Notables

row 6row 5

Peter and Max: A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham
Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle
A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliot

Books not shown:

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
B.P.R.D. series by Mike Mignola
Sprout by Dale Peck
Uglies by Scott Westerfield
The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Little Brother by Cory Doctrow

You see how crazy I went? This is why I’m calling this pile my October-November-and-possibly-December pile. I have a ton of books on hold at the library that will be coming in sometime next week. I can’t wait for the read-a-thon to start but I’m not going to wait to start reading some of these great books.

Have you read any of these graet books? Which ones do you think I should save for the read-a-thon? Are there any that you think I should move to the top of the pile? Have you thought about what books you’re going to read for the big event?

Sunday Salon: Read-a-thon Wrap-Up Post

sunday-salon1The read-a-thon is over once again until October. Bloggers have happily put down their books and are sleeping right now. Most of us can finally smile and say we read something on our unread shelves and know we have a ton of books to return to our libraries. I want to thank Trish, Nymeth, and Wordlily for taking on the massive task of organizing the read-a-thon in Dewey’s memory.

The Read-a-thon is one of the events I look forward to every year. A bunch of bookworms getting together for the daunting task of reading as much as they can within a 24-hour period while others cheer us on is crazy but lots of fun.

The books I read were:

  1. Without Blood by Alessandro Barrico – adult fiction
  2. Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks – play
  3. Moxy Maxwell does not love Stuart Little – Peggy Gifford -middle school
  4. Houndsley and Catina by James Howe – kids
  5. Queens by  Michael Cunningham – photography
  6. Emily by Michael Bedard – children’s
  7. The Journey by Sarah Stewart – children’s
  8. The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci – graphic novel
  9. The Gardener by Sarah Stewart – children’s
  10. Are you ready to play outside? by Mo Willems – children’s
  11. Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo – children’s
  12. Oscar and the Frog: A book about growing by Geoff Waring – children’s
  13. Pajama Day by Lynn Plourde – children’s
  14. The Money Tree by Sarah Stewart – children’s

What I didn’t finish but will this week:

  1. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  2. The History of Love by  Nicole Krauss

I learned that after reading an intense book like the play Topdog/Underdog, it’s best to have something easy and fun to read like a children’s book. After reading the play, I couldn’t read for an hour or two. I was still so caught up the story.

The books I enjoyed the most were Topdog/Underdog, Without Blood, Queens, and The Plain Janes. All four stayed with me after I finished them and it was kind of hard to separate myself and go to a new read.

My kids were a part of the read-a-thon also. I read children’s books to them between my own reads. One of my little sisters joined the read-a-thon with me and reread Charlotte’s Web. I plan on giving her something for joining me without me having to ask her. I just mentioned the read-a-thon and she was game.

As usual I was a cheerleader and a reader. It was great doing both jobs, reading as much as I could while cheering other readers on. I added a ton of new blogs to my reader.

The integration of Twitter into the read-a-thon was perfect. It helped cheerleaders and readers encourage participants throughout the event. It also made cheerleading easier since cheerleaders didn’t have to just go to individual blogs.

My favorite part of the read-a-thon surprisingly was not the reading but the cheerleading. Cheerleading is an addiction you still find yourself doing the day after the read-a-thon. But it was great to cut into the piles of books I had for the read-a-thon.

Once again I have to thank Nymeth, Wordlily, and Trish for taking the reins and hosting this great event for the blogging community.

Dewey, thanks for being the greatest.