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.

If you missed it, here’s my stack.

Goals: Spend 3 hours cheering and finish 800 pages

Pages read: 987
Time spent reading: 7 hours 30 mins
Time spent cheering:
2 hours 15 mins
Titles finished during Read-A-Thon:
Two — Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, Crank by Ellen Hopkins
Scroll down for mini-challenges!

Reading:
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse – FINISHED
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Crank by Ellen Hopkins – FINISHED
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

Updates:
7:00 – And go! Starting with Out of the Dust because it encourages me when I can get my page count up in the beginning.

8:00 – About halfway through Out of the Dust and having a great time.

9:15 – Done a little cheering and finished my first book. Thank you, YA fiction for making me feel like I’ve accomplished something this morning!

11:00 – Took a few breaks. One for breakfast and one to discuss purchasing a new computer with my husband. I’m a few chapters into Linger and enjoying it. Might take a break from it in a little while and start on some non-fiction. Having a lot of fun cheering here and there. Haven’t kept up with many of the mini-challenges though.

12:30 – Linger is great. Making myself get to page 100 before I switch to Crank by Ellen Hopkins. I knew I left one of my intended reads out of the stack. Now I’m going to go tackle a few mini-challenges before I get back to reading.

2:00 – Got caught up in Linger so I’m just now about to stark Crank. Temperature is changing here in OK. Think I may open a window and let in some of the fresh air.

3:51 – Three-hundred pages into Crank. This was one I picked up because all the kids in the age group that I work with are reading it. It’s rough content. It’s in verse and there’s so much more you can get away with when writing in verse. Flashes of images, insinuation…without spelling out the whole thing on paper. I had such a sheltered childhood and adolescence that it’s hard for me to imagine a 15-year-old girl living like this — even though I know it’s true because I grew up with girls just like this.

5:04 – Into Under the Banner of Heaven now. Fundamentalist crazies at their finest. I highly recommend this one. It’s full of well-researched information from the get-go. Maybe going back to Crank right now just so I can finish it. It’s depressing :/

7:13 – I should finish Crank soon and move onto something else. I distracted myself for about an hour watching the storms roll in.

Congrats to everyone who has made it halfway! Now, a totally random song for you to enjoy. Only maybe not so random because it’s some of my favorite reading music.

9:00 – I’ve been letting myself get too distracted so I’m not making the progress I’d like in this book, but I’m back in Under the Banner of Heaven. Good stuff.

10:30 – Under the Banner of Heaven is FASCINATING. Glad I’m finally reading it. As for how I’m fairing — not tired at all and enjoying my books, so I may be at it for a while tonight!

12:10 – Took a bath to try to soothe my poor shoulder (I must have done something in that shopping extravaganza yesterday), now I’m all relaxed and probably won’t make it much longer. If I don’t get anymore read tonight, I’m okay with it. I exceeded my goal by a bit. I’ll post again before I turn in for the night.

12:35 – Calling it a night. My sinuses are bothering me and I’m starting to fade. Knowing how early I tend to wake up I may be joining you all for the last couple of hours, but I’m not making any promises. It’s been fun and I consider this one another success!

Hour 1
1)Where are you reading from today? – Norman, Oklahoma
2)Three random facts about me… – I’m an oldest child, Mary Boleyn was my 15-great-grandmother, and I have a pair of hitch-hiker thumbs 🙂
3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? – Fifteen or somewhere thereabouts.
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 800 pages
5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time? – Take it slow and just have fun!

Hour 13
Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?
Crank
2. How many books have you read so far?
I’ve finished one, been reading 3 others.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
Minotaur (see stack for more info)
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
My husband understands (this is the 5th?? Read-a-Thon I’ve done since we’ve been married) and my family knows not to call 🙂
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
None other than myself!
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
How fast it has gone by this year.
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
None that I can think of at this point.
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
I think next time I’m going to work out a better schedule for myself instead of just willy-nilly doing whatever I want.
9. Are you getting tired yet?
Not at all. I thought I was going to take a nap earlier, but I ended up reading my way through mid-afternoon slump.
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?
Pace yourself with the caffeine!

Hour 16 Mini-Challenge: Rereading

Minotaur by Benjamin Tammuz has been one of my favorites since the first time I read it. It’s the beautiful and tragic tale of a Mossad agent who falls in love with a girl. There’s much more to it than that, but it is the most painful love story I have ever read. I chose to add it to my list this time around because it’s been so long since I last read it and I want to remind myself of some of my favorite things about the novel. The prose is breathtaking. Here’s a snippet:

He read through her letter again and again and for the first time considered the possibility that they might meet, and thus the last card would be laid on the table, and with the final victory, as far as was possible to tell, would also come the final blow. There was no doubt in his heart that Thea was ready to fall into his arms, but he also knew that he would have nothing to offer her apart from the initial giddiness. In the dance–which he was ready to join–he would be tottering to his end.

I only wish that I could read Hebrew, because I know I’m losing a lot in translation.

 

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?

Getting ready for Read-A-Thon

The books are stacked. The cabinet is full of snacks. I’ve got things ready for my mini-challenge (one of the first ones, so drop by early in the morning on Saturday to join in). And for the first time, I’m going to attempt a full 24 hours. In the past I think I’ve aimed for maybe 12 and usually end up around that much or a little over. The thing is, I have church the next morning so I end up going to bed instead of staying up overnight.

So I’m doing things a little differently. I will be starting sometime on Friday evening (hour TBD), reading through the night and into the morning, possibly grabbing a nap around 10am CST, and continuing on with the Read-A-Thon into the evening. Then, of course, I’ll be tuning in on Sunday morning to cheer on the people who have been awake for more than 24 hours at this point.

Since I’ve never done the full amount of time before, I really have no idea what those last few hours are going to be like. Possibly like the time my dad decided we were going to drive straight through from Oklahoma to Las Vegas in one day and I was so afraid that I was going to die in a fiery crash in the middle of the Nevada desert that I wouldn’t go to sleep. This fear did have some basis — I was the last person in the vehicle who was awake other than the driver and it was 2am. There’s usually some reason behind my seemingly insane decisions.

Anyway, here are my books!

my Read-A-Thon stack

I’ll go into more detail about why I chose them and explain why there are so many of them later!