My Read-a-Thon Stack

Remember, Read-a-Thon isn’t about finishing all the books in your stack (though some people do aspire to such heights), but about enjoying the time you can devote to reading. And a massive stack is about having lots of options for any mood that may strike. In my stack this go-round…

(RR) indicates a re-read

Country Matters by Michael Korda — Been on my “to read” shelf for a long time and I want to get to it.
Minotaur by Benjamin Tammuz (RR) — This book is one of my most treasured possessions. When I was in 10th grade I saw the film on TV and the story stuck with me. I had to seek out the novel by Israeli author Benjamin Tammuz. This story means more that I can possibly tell. Putting it in the stack so I can travel back to the point in my life when I first read it, if just for a moment.
Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary (RR) — One of my favorite reads from childhood. It’s there for when I get tuckered out.
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (RR) — A verse novel set in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl. It’s a quick and easy read, but poignant.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer — Started, but never finished. Hoping to make it all the way through this one.
(not pictured) Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer — Started this already and loving it. I’ll be surprised if I don’t finish this one on Saturday.
(not pictured) Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay — The next book I have to read in the Dexter series. This will be a quick read.
Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan — There’s a lot of controversy surrounding this as apparently the author stated it was inspired by actual events that happened to her, but when confronted by the Aboriginal people that she wrote about she admitted that the entire thing was made up. Interested to see what it’s all about.
Salt by Isabel Zuber — Been on the TR shelf for over a year now and I’m anxious to get to this story.
Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson (RR) — Long-time favorite of mine. It’s been years since I’ve read this story and if time permits I would like to go through it again.
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater — Clearly, I’m starting with this one. I can’t wait to see what happens next in the series. Hopefully I will make it to Forever before the next Read-a-Thon.
Only Revolutions by Mark Z. Danielewski — When everyone else in my English classes wanted to marry Chuck Klosterman because of Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs, I was way out in left field pining after this guy. I can’t explain it. It’s weird.
The Complete Poems of E. E. Cummings — My all-time favorite poet. This is a very special book to me, given by a friend. Can’t wait to dive in again.

And if that’s not enough, I may, at some point, pick up Sarum. Again. That behemoth.

I have a handful of books on my Kindle that I have already been reading and will probably finish on Saturday. They include:

The Heart of Memory by Alison Strobel
The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards

I’m ready for Saturday!

Read-A-Thon!

It’s time for Dewey’s Read-A-Thon! I’ll be keeping track of my progress here and posting on Twitter whenever there is an update.

Pages read: 835
Titles finished during Read-A-Thon: Anne of Avonlea, The Walking Dead Compendium #1
(Not keeping track of time this go-round)
Scroll down for mini-challenges!

Reading:
Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery (started before Read-A-Thon)
The Walking Dead Compendium by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn (graphic novel; started before Read-A-Thon)
Quiet Reflections of Hope
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery
Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Updates:
8:27am – Finished Anne of Avonlea with a slow start to the morning. I’ve had my coffee and…umm…some beef jerky for breakfast (see my last blog post). Moving on to The Walking Dead to boost my page count a little 😉

9:47am – Making some progress with The Walking Dead — but man, I’m not sure if I can handle this much apocalypse so early in the morning. It’s a page-turner though. Really good for Read-A-Thon.

10:00 – Might need to eat something else. (Excedrin Migraine + 1 cup of very strong coffee + 1 Diet Dr. Pepper) ÷ 3 hour time span = WOOOO! Eye twitch!

11:14 – Prepped some snacks, made it much further into The Walking Dead Compendium. Going to catch up on some mini-challenges!

2:03pm – Have my nose firmly in the middle of Anne of the Island (my favorite of the series!) and I’m feeling so good about this Read-A-Thon — I think it’s been the best yet for me. I might even be around for the whole thing. Crazy thought! Since it’s after 2pm, my husband is about to make a run to mail something and stop off at Sonic for a little happy hour sweetness — he’s bringing me back a cherry slush! That’ll help me through the next few hours for sure.

Oh, don’t worry. I haven’t had any caffeine since this morning. Reserving that for later. Back to herbal tea and mint/lemon balm infused water for me.

3:13 – Cherry slush in hand, I’m diving in for some Dexter.

5:20 – Pretty engrossed in the second book in the Dexter series. He’s so much darker in the books than in the TV series and the books are a lot different as well. Main characters that are still alive and well on TV have been dead a long time in the books — and vice versa.

I’m saving the rest of The Walking Dead for when my brain inevitably starts shorting out later.

7:12 – Added Mid-Event Meme (below)

8:31 – Realized I should probably read anything mildly scary that I have in my stack before my husband goes to bed. Otherwise my imagination will run wild and I’ll be paralyzed in my living room unable to walk from my chair to the bed later tonight without a light on. That means I’m returning to The Walking Dead and then probably finishing up Dexter.

11:44 – Woohoo! Finished The Walking Dead. Note: There is NO way they can make the TV show anything close to this graphic novel. For one thing, it would take like 10 years. Also, it’s usually frowned upon when you decimate nearly the entire cast of a TV show. Whew.

Feels kinda crazy, but I’m not tired!

6:45am – Well, not long after I said that I decided to call it a night. This Read-A-Thon was a success for me. I went over my page goal, finished two books (almost 3) and had a great time. See you all in October!

Hour 1 – Answering I Heart Monsters questions
1)Where are you reading from today? Norman, OK
2)Three random facts about me… I’ll go with the basics — my right foot is one inch longer than my left, my 15-great-grandmother was Mary Boleyn, and the only boy I ever really dated was my husband.
3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? 5ish? I do have my Kindle in front of me so…154 😉
4)Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? I’d like to read 700 pages, at least. Maybe 1000.
5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time? Cut yourself some slack and do what works for you! You don’t have to read a full 24 hours, you can take breaks, you CAN take a nap…just enjoy!

Hour 12
1. What are you reading right now? Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
2. How many books have you read so far? I’ve hopped through 6; finished one.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Finishing The Walking Dead
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Nope, I just let everyone who might care know beforehand that this weekend was off limits 😉
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Remarkably, my phone has only rung once the entire day! Others were self-imposed breaks.
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? This one has been SO MUCH MORE FUN than I expected! More fun than any of the ones I’ve done before.
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? More cheerleaders maybe?
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Nothing, this has been my best Read-A-Thon.
9. Are you getting tired yet? NO!
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? Snacking and staying hydrated (surprise!) keeps you pretty fresh.

Hour 24
1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Probably 17. That’s when I went to sleep.
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? All the ones I read were great.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Not really.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? It seemed to be really well organized.
5. How many books did you read? 2, almost 3
6. What were the names of the books you read? Anne of Avonlea, The Walking Dead Compendium #1
7. Which book did you enjoy most? All of them
8. Which did you enjoy least? I didn’t read any bad ones this time.
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? —
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? 100% — might think about helping to co-host?

Read-A-Thon Picks

Quick notes on why I chose my books.

Homeplace by Beth Massie – I picked this up a while back because it’s listed as new Southern Gothic and I eat that stuff up. The short synopsis makes it sound creepy, so I doubt I’ll be reading any of this in the middle of the night.

Beach Music by Pat Conroy – A speech I was witness to by Pat Conroy was a true awakening for me as a writer. He’s got a touch of magic to him. This has just been on the list for a long time.

Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd – Because it’s time that I finished this behemoth. I trudged through some less interesting bits and finally got back into some action. And the arrival of Christianity on the British Isles. So you know it’s getting interesting.

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech – For the moments when everything else is too heavy. A story in poems.

What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones – Another book of prose poems. YA selection that I’ve read before about a young girl and her life at age 12. There’s some deep stuff in this one.

Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay – The second book in the Dexter series. The first one was decent, but I’m bound and determined to get through this series. I enjoy the TV show and I like to keep up with the differences.

Black Heart, Ivory Bones – An anthology of fairy tales, fictionalized for grown-ups. No idea what I’m getting into here.

Behind You by Jacqueline Woodson – I read the book that came before this when I was in 10th grade, I think. This one has been sitting on my shelf since not long after that.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel – I may be the last human alive who hasn’t ready this. Trying to get into it for a second time.

My Antonia by Willa Cather – Cather is one of my favorite authors. She captures something that I hope my own work will, someday. My Antonia is one of my favorite books to usher in winter.

Salt by Isabel Zuber – The premise sounds very interesting. I’m probably most excited about reading this one. I’ll let you know how it goes.

The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel – A guy I knew in college insisted that I read her work. Never have. Changing that.

Terrains of the Heart and Other Essays on Home by Willie Morris – When I was 7-years-old, I would rent a movie from The Movie House (as our rental place was called back in the day) called “Pirates of the Yazoo.” It was a WonderWorks feature that would sometimes show up on OETA (our PBS affiliate). I loved this movie. Years later I watched My Dog, Skip and noticed a lot of similarities. Because they are the same. It’s the same story, with a few tweaks here and there. Anyway, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Mr. Morris. I think if he were alive I would invite him over for a glass of tea and we would talk about just how much we love our grandmas, and front porches, and the way things used to be. Only he’d remember the way things used to be a lot better than me because by the time I was born Madonna was already on the scene and the world was never the same.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater – Re-reading this so everything will be fresh on my mind when I reward myself with Linger for FINISHING THIS READ-A-THON!

The Vigilante’s Bride by Yvonne Harris – A book I picked up for review because it sounded interesting. Love me a good western.

Birthing from Within – Because I’m a little bit of a hippie and I like to be well-informed before I jump in to something 😉

A few last minute additions will be made this evening.