Sunday, October 10, 2010

Final Read-a-thon Totals

Sorry for yet another post today. Here are my final totals from the read-a-thon!

Pages read: 1,339

Time reading: 11 hrs 48 min

Books completed: 8

Blogs visited: 7

Mini-challenges completed: 7

Overall, not too bad. I did make my goal of reading 8 books (even if it did take me slightly past my 7a.m. stopping time this morning), and I completed more mini-challenges than last time. I'm thinking of doing my own 24 Hour Read-a-thon sometime before the year is out, just to get through a few more books. I seem to really get quite a bit crossed off of the list when I read this way, and that faster reading speed (or whatever) tends to stick around for a few more weeks, so it's a good thing for me in the end. Alright, back to the movie (watching "Last Chance Harvey" with Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman, it's good so far - cute, even) and a book.

Challenges Completed (and not)

Aside from trying to read 100 books this year, and the semi-annual read-a-thon that finished up this morning, I'm crazy enough to have joined several other challenges.

The challenge that I Did Not Finish was the All About the Brontes Challenge, hosted by Laura at Laura's Reviews. You could choose the number of books, movies, etc that you wanted to have read. The challenge was just for 6 months, and I didn't really pay attention to that as the spring and summer were worked away. I only watched 1 movie, which is really fine, but I was hoping for 3 books/movies total. Oh well.

The challenge that I Did Finish is the Support Your Local Library Challenge hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog. Originally I signed up to read 25 books, but seeing as I passed that marker back in March I went up to the next step of 50 books. As of this morning, I have read 50 library books!

So, that's the good and the bad. I'm just relieved to have a couple challenges off of my plate so I can focus on the others for the next 11 or so weeks. Here's to lots more reading time!

End of Event Meme

I made it! After taking a nap (longer than I planned on), I felt much better and read a couple more books.

1.Which hour was most daunting for you?
Hours 20 and 21. It's when I first started to get really sleepy, and when I started to catch myself dropping my book over and over again.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I always enjoy Shirley Jackson so keep my blood and adrenaline pumping. Otherwise if you have a book or two from a series you know you already enjoy, that's always something to look forward to. I've read books by Rhys Bowen the last 2 times, and they've been a treat.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Nope! Really, I'd just like to have them more often (though some people probably think twice a year is enough), thought I know it takes oodles and oodles of work behind the scenes.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year's Read-a-thon?
I liked that the mini-challenges were posted early on so I could plan on little breaks every few hours or so.

5. How many books did you read?
I finished 7 1/2 by the end of the time, but I'm going to say 8 for simplicity's sake since I kept on reading to finish it up. So 8.

6. What were the names of the books you read?
"Maus" by Art Spiegelman
"Troublemaker" by Janet and Alex Evanovich
"Hood" by Stephen Lawhead
"Wishful Drinking" by Carrie Fisher (audio)
"Royal Blood" by Rhys Bowen
"Enthusiasm" by Polly Shulman
"Finn Family Moomintroll" by Tove Jansson
"The Expedition of Humphry Clinker" by Tobias Smollet

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
Finn Family Moomintroll. I started it at just the right time (late in the challenge when my brain was just starting to go mushy) so its magical, child-like wonderfullness would wash over me and sweep me away. It was great.

8. Which did you enjoy least?
I didn't really have any duds, but "Humphry Clinker" would be the one I enjoyed the least. It was charming and funny, but after a while I just wanted it to be over.

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?
EXTREMELY! I was even thinking of doing my down version in a month or two since I enjoy it so much and I get a lot of good reading in.

Everyone setting this up and executing it was absolutely wonderful, and I'm really thankful. I don't know how you guys do it!

Now I'm looking forward to visiting the threads of all the cheerleaders who posted here and just be nosy. Sleep well tonight!

Hour 24

I did fall asleep, but I'm going to keep on reading until the clock strikes 7:00 exactly, so I'm keeping this short.

Since the last update I finished 2 more books (1 an audio book) and am reading one more still... will I finish it in time to count?

I'll save the wrap-up post until tomorrow and I've slept for a while....

Hour 20

Getting tired now for sure. Usually if I'm up at 2 a.m. I'm either trying desperately to finish a book or I can't sleep for love nor money. Now I'm voluntarily up this late/early to keep on reading! Perhaps a little juice will keep me going. I fear, however, that I'll have to lay down on the couch fairly soon, and then it could mean a nap for me. I'll try to persist and keep on truckin.

Pages read: 236
Total: 934

Time reading: 160 min
Total: 9 hrs 51 min

Books completed: 4
Blogs visited: 0
Total: 5
Mini-challenges completed: 5

I think that after I finish my current YA book, it's going to be graphic novel time for me.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hour 17

At last - a return to reading! That was really much too long of a break. At least some more progress has been made...

Pages read: 219
Total: 698

Time reading: 115 min
Total: 7 hrs 11 min

Books completed: 3
Blogs visited: 0
Total: 5
Mini-challenges completed: 5

Now I don't know what to read - I may just stick my hand out and read whatever I grab.

Hour 14

I have read ZERO pages since my last check-in. I took a break to eat dinner, and then I got a phone call from a friend that lasted almost 45 minutes, so I figured "what the hell" and talked to my parents for the rest of the hour. Since I'm still not back into reading, I wanted to do the fun Hour 13 Mini-Challenge

Title Word Scramble
Unscramble all titles to win a book grab bag prize! All titles are modern fiction, classic fiction, or children's titles.

1. yfferil enal
Firefly Lane

2. aste fo eend
East of Eden

3. retwa orf pntsheea
Water For Elephants

4. ot lkli a ckomgnrbdii
To Kill a Mockingbird

5. het gtaer ysbtag
The Great Gatsby

6. yrhra tetrpo dna eth lyhdtea wollsah
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

7. hte rat fo nrgcai ni eht nair
The Art of Racing in the Rain

8. eth mite reslveart efwi
The Time Travelers Wife

9. eht rlig ithw eht gnodar ooattt
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

10. ydira fo a mypiw idk
Diary of a Wimpy Kid

11. a kwrlnei ni emit
A Wrinkle in Time

12. het rpoal sxprese
The Polar Express

13. vole dewlak ni
Love Walked In

14. reehw eth dwli hingts rea
Where the Wild Things Are

15. eht ginnhsi
The Shining

16. dnohogigt oonm
Goodnight Moon

17. vwtienrie hwti a pvmarie
Interview With a Vampire

18. eht cretse file fo eesb
The Secret Life of Bees

19. eht raesch
The Search

20. het pelh
The Help

This challenge is hosted by Sheery at Sheery's Place.

Hour 12

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?
I'm listening to "Wishful Drinking" and reading "Royal Blood".

2. How many books have you read so far?
I've finished 2.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
"Finn Family Moomintroll" by Tove Jansson

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
Just take today and tomorrow off of work - not a big deal, since I make my own schedule.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Just a few phone calls, but I answered them. For me, it beats having to call a list of people back. I already have to do that with my work phone (it's my cell phone) and I'm dreading Monday morning when I turn it on again.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon so far?
At how well I'm doing, reading-wise. I was still hoping to be a little further along, but I'm not doing too badly.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
More often! Kidding! Everything runs so smoothly - major props to all of the cheerleaders, organizers, and challenge hosts!

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
I'd cook all of my food the day before, so I wouldn't be faced with the prospect of having to do so the day of. I thought it would be a nice break, something to do with my hands, etc, but it's really not my thing. So I got carry-out for dinner instead.

9. Are you getting tired yet?
Yeah, a little. But that's probably because I made the not-so-wise decision to have breadsticks with dinner, and I also have lasagna to eat later. I'm going to carb-crash for sure. But so far, so good!

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?
Honestly, having 1 place to go during the challenge really helps me out. That way, if I'm getting super drowsy or am sick of sitting all day long, I can hop in the car and walk around Target or the grocery store for a little bit. (Plus, I always listen to an audiobook while I'm driving, and listen to my iPod while I'm in the store, so I'm not missing out on any reading time.) Having something to do to shake it up a little bit gives me something to look forward to, and if I don't feel like leaving the house? I don't have to!

Back at it, Hour 13 just started!

Hour 10

Making good progress in "Royal Blood" so far. I really love this series and once this book is done I will be sad to have to wait another year for the next installment.

Pages read: 86
Total: 479
Time reading: 60 min
Total: 5 hrs 56 min
Books completed: 2
Blogs visited: 1
Total: 5
Mini-challenges completed: 3

I'll be listening to an audiobook soon, while I get ready and head to the grocery store, and then I'll be back on my behind with a book in hand.

Hour 8

So far, so good. I'm still awake, which I'm surprised at, and am looking forward to lots more reading time. Finally finished "The Expedition of Humphry Clinker". It was cute, sometimes funny, and loooooong. That is, unless you enjoy reading picaresque novels of the late 1700's!

Pages read: 149
Total: 393
Time reading: 130 min
Total: 4 hrs 56 min
Books completed: 2
Blogs visited: 0
Total: 4
Mini-challenges completed: 3

Looking forward to reading something slightly less crazed than "Humphry", and trying to plan when I'll run to the grocery store and work in the yard. I don't want to wait until I'm too tired and then I won't go at all. Big decision! Alright, back to reading!

How are you guys doing?

Hour 6

Well, we're one quarter done with the day - let's check up on the progress, shall we?

Pages read: 128
Total: 244
Time reading: 90 min
Total: 2 hrs 46 min
Books completed: 1
Blogs visited: 1
Total: 4
Mini-challenges completed: 3 (including Hour 5 below)

Making some decent progress on my book, "The Expedition of Humphry Clinker", and can't wait to have it all wrapped up! I had a few phone calls, changed the music, ran to the bathroom, got something to drink - but not too bad considering! I think I was planning on reading a book an hour (I know), so I feel a little disappointed at my progress so far, but really it's going pretty well. Speaking of, I had better get back to it!

Hour 5 Mini-Challenge

Crystal, at My Reading Room, challenged us to show a picture of our books! Here's a shot of my main TBR shelves, as of just a few minutes ago.

It should probably be noted that this is by no means all of my TBR heap. I also have other shelves in other rooms, and even a dresser drawer or two, all loaded with fresh books for me to read. Problem much?

Hour 3

Pages read: 116
Total: 116
Time reading: 1 hr 16 min
Total: 1 hr 16 min
Books completed: 1
Blogs visited: 2
Total: 3
Mini-challenges completed: 2 (Hour 1, which is below, and Hour 2, completed on

So far so good! I finished my first book (which I was 3/4 through when I picked it up today), made and ate a yummy breakfast, visited a few blogs, had some coffee, and tried to ignore my neighbors screaming child for the last 20 minutes. Seriously, what the hell - who lets their kid scream for that long, outside, on a Saturday morning?

Think I'll close my kitchen windows, grab some water and pick up book #2!

Hour 1

Good Morning Everyone!

I've got my coffee, my windows open (it's 63 degrees at 7 a.m. in Wisconsin - CRAZY!), and my first book ready to go. It looks like we've got lots of great mini-challenges this year, and I've already had one cheerleader stop by. Fantastic! I'll be doing separate posts for each hour/time I blog, so I apologize if your Reader is full of bookish updates from me today. And now, for the Hour 1 Meme!

Where are you reading from today? My couch, my big red chofa and my new recliner. I may even venture outside later on to read on the deck.

3 facts about me I'm an anglophile, I love pottery, and the amount of vitamins I take every day is verging on the ridiculous.

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? This time it's only 24 books. I know, it's still a huge amount, but I may pull things in "off-pile" too. We'll see how the day goes!

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)? Well, if I remember correctly, I've only read 6 books the last 2 times I participated and I had a goal of reading 10, so I'm going to shoot for the middle here and say 8 books. No page goal necessarily. I would like to get 12 hours of reading time in, and visit at least 5 blogs for each time I'm online.

If you're a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time? Don't over-caffeinate, save a few kids books or graphic novels for when your brain turns to mush (trust me, this will happen), and just relax and enjoy yourself. There will always be people who are Serious Read-a-thoners and their stats will blow you away. Don't worry about them. Just enjoy an entire day set aside to read books!

Speaking of, I best get moving here and get some reading done myself. I think I'll try to finish up "Hood" first so I can fell like I've accomplished something early on. See you later!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Read a Thon October 2010

It's that time of year again, my dearies! The 24 Hour Read-a-thon is tomorrow! I'll be up bright and early, ready to hit the books at 7 a.m.!

This is my third time joining in the reading fun, and I'm even more excited than I was the last time. I've got some healthy food all set, coffee is ready to go, and my Saturday is free and clear to read to my hearts content. I do plan on running an errand tomorrow just for a little break, and to rake my side-yard for a while (the acorns this year are Out Of Control), but other than that, I'll be reading and eating. I do plan on taking at least one nap, and if I sleep more than that, that's okay too. Now, for my ridiculously large proposed book pile:

From left to top to bottom to right:

"First to Die", James Patterson
"Enthusiasm", Polly Shulman
"Carrie", Stephen King
"The Vampire Diaries, The Awakening", L.J. Smith
"Suddenly You", Lisa Kleypas
"The Shape of Water", Andrea Camilleri
"The Frozen Deep", Wilkie Collins
"My Trip Down the Pink Carpet", Leslie Jordan
"Finn Family Moomintroll", Tove Jansson
"The Girl Who Could Fly", Victoria Forester
"Hex Hall", Rachel Hawkins
"Still Life", Louise Penney
"Royal Blood", Rhys Bowen
"Whose Body?", Dorothy Sayers
"The Happiness Project", Gretchen Rubin
"The Memoirs of Cleopatra", Margaret George
"Maus" and "Maus II", Art Spiegelman
"Gothic Classics", Ann Radcliffe
"Hood", Stephen Lawhead
"The Expedition of Humphry Clinker", Tobias Smollett

Once again, I have an absolutely enormous stack to pick from, but I have no illusions of getting through all of them. I'd like to at least finish the 2 I've already started (the last 2 on the list), read a small chunk of the Cleopatra book, and maybe read 2 more from front to back. Other than that, I'm just happy to be reading for most of the day. Well, it's early to bed for me so I can face tomorrow with a full nights sleep!

See you all tomorrow morning!