Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hello again, people

Well, I've slept for a whopping 4 hours, I'm still deeply tired and feel some residual "crazy" lurking around here, but hey - I'm awake and it's extremely sunshine-y outside. Ignoring my vampiric tendencies today, I'm going to try and stay up for at least a couple of hours before crashing again. Yeah, that may not happen.

Final numbers

Pages read: 432 (yay for pictures!)

Total: 1,664

Time reading: 1 hr 38 min

Total: 14 hrs 8 min (3 hr 40 min audiobooks)

Books completed: 7

Blogs visited: 0

Total: 4

Mini-challenges completed: 2 (“Collaborative Fiction” and “In Other Words”)

Final Meme

1) Which hour was most daunting for you?

They were both near the end, but between 3 and 4 am was pretty bad (and unintentionally funny), and the last hour between 6 and 7 am. Focusing was something I had to really concentrate one.

2) Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

The Hex Hall series by Rachel Dawkins really worked for me this time around. Previously though, I've had a lot of luck with books by Rhys Bowen, Shirley Jackson, and the Womens Murder Club series by James Patterson.

3) Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

The only thing that I enjoyed the previous time was having a list of all of the mini-challenges posted at the beginning. That way I could plan on having some breaks ahead of time.

4) What do you think worked really well in this year's Read-a-thon?

Everything else! I eagerly wait for this event every 6 months - any way to make October happen any sooner?

5) How many books did you read?

I finished 7 and read from 3 more.

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

I read from and didn't finish "Eat, Pray, Love", "Matched" by Ally Condie, and "The Royals" by Kitty Kelley.

I finished "The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries" by Emily Brightwell

"Feng Sh*t" by Anna Crosbie

"Henrietta Sees It Through" by Joyce Dennys

"Daddy Long-Legs" by Jean Webster

"Demonglass" by Rachel Hawkins

"Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights" by Sophie Dahl

"Amphigorey Also" by Edward Gorey

7) Which book did you enjoy most?

Demonglass, for sure. The wait for book number 3 is already driving me crazy, and this one was just published!

8) Which did you enjoy least?

Of the ones I finished, "Feng Sh*t". The ones I didn't finish, "The Royals". It was just too much of the same thing after 2 hours to keep hacking away at.

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?

A Reader, for sure. I'd think about being a Cheerleader, but I so enjoy that long (usually) uninterrupted stretch of reading time that right now it's hard to think about breaking it up at all.

Alright, I think it's time to make some breakfast (at 12:30 in the afternoon), watch some mindless TV and take another nap or two. See you all later!


Well, I made it 'til the end, but I'm so exhausted that I'm heading straight to bed. I'll be back here later on for a final update and things.

Thanks to everyone for hanging in there with me!

Hour 22

Pages read: 329

Total: 1,232

Time reading: 2 hrs 9 min

Total: 12 hrs 30 min (3 hr 40 min audiobooks)

Books completed: 5

Blogs visited: 0

Total: 4

Mini-challenges completed: 2 (“Collaborative Fiction” and “In Other Words”)

Holy crap, I am sooo tired. It's 4:30 in the morning, and I think it's officially time to switch to Books With Pictures. I was getting hungry earlier so I made a snack of some leftover chicken and coleslaw. While reading, I was rocking myself, eating coleslaw, and singing "Soft Kitty" out loud. Yeah. I think I lost it there for a little bit.

Not a high point in my life, to be sure, but I'm going to keep at it. If only I wasn't getting so comfortable with these snuggly warm cats, it's getting hard to keep my head upright!

Hour 20

At least, I think it's hour 20...

Pages read: 234

Total: 903

Time reading: 1 hr 9 min

Total: 10 hrs 21 min (3 hr 40 min audiobooks)

Books completed: 4

Blogs visited: 0

Total: 4

Mini-challenges completed: 2 (“Collaborative Fiction” and “In Other Words”)

Notes: You know when you start to get really tired and you get cold and tingley and achey all at the same time. That's exactly where I am. No upright position feels comfortable, and I know if I lay down I will be asleep within 10 minutes, so I have to sit up somehow. I'm halfway through yet another book and it's good, but it's not really doing it for me totally. Oh well. Maybe if I try sitting in the recliner I'd be comfortable but won't fall asleep. Only one way to find out...

start of Hour 19

Pages read: 103

Total: 669

Time reading: 1 hr 3 min

Total: 9 hrs 12 min (3 hr 40 min audiobooks)

Books completed: 3

Blogs visited: 1

Total: 4

Mini-challenges completed: 2 (“Collaborative Fiction” and “In Other Words”)

I've finished book #3, so I've hit my goal! And it's a good thing too, because I am getting quite sleepy, and there are 6 full hours ahead of me. Now I'm wondering about what to read next. Do I start on something with pictures? Try and make a little progress in The Royals? Pick a new book entirely? Try and finish something else I'm currently reading? Maybe I should just shut my eyes, grab a book and take it from there. I ate a greek yogurt with blueberries thinking it would help me stay awake, but it hasn't been so helpful. Maybe something resembling more of a meal would do it.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hour 16

Pages read: 292

Total: 566

Time reading: 3 hr 36 min (1 hr 20 min audio)

Total: 8 hrs 9 min (3 hr 40 min audiobooks)

Books completed: 2

Blogs visited: 0

Total: 3

Mini-challenges completed: 2 (“Collaborative Fiction” and “In Other Words”)

Notes: Wahoo, I finished another book! This time it was the excellent "Demonglass" - I was reading so fast to find out what happens, and now it's all over and I have to wait FOR MONTHS before the next book is published! I hate that and I love it a little at the same time. It's been awhile since I've been so enthralled with a series. Hm, now that that's over with I'm not sure what to read. There are still 8ish hours left in this thing, so I don't want to break out my "books with pictures" just yet, I only have so many of those on hand. Maybe I'll try to slog through another 80 or so pages of "The Royals". Originally I was hoping to finish it this time around, but it gets a little same-y the more I read it so I think I'm dropping that hope. Unfortunately, my eyes are starting to hurt a little, so I'm going to start on the eye drops and hope that helps. See you all again soon!

Hour 12

Mid-event Meme

1. What are you reading right now?

"The Royals" by Kitty Kelly

2. How many books have you read so far?

I've only finished one, but including Royals I've read from two others.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

I think "Demonglass" by Rachel Hawkins. I zoomed through the first book in the series quite quickly, and this one is just as good (though I'm only 60ish pages into it).

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?

Not really. I just made sure to not schedule any appointments Fri-Sun, and cancelled the weekly "Girls Night" I have with two of my best friends. We've done GN after the last couple of Thons, and it was really not a good idea.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

Um, yes, definitely. Called the plumber, he was here within 15 minutes and then he didn't leave for a few hours. Other than that one massive and unexpected interruption, just the usual stuff - scratch the cats, grab something to eat, finish up a load of laundry.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon so far?

Honestly? At how fast time is going - I feel like I blink and 2 hours have passed!

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the read-a-thon next year?

Not so far.

8. What would you differently, as a Reader or Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?

Nothing really - you can't plan for sewage back-ups, can you? ;)

9. Are you getting tired yet?

Shockingly, no. Though I'm afraid I might have jinxed myself just now!

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?

I'm a big advocate for audiobooks. When it's very late and holding up a book is too tiring, being able to just sit and listen is a great thing.

Hour 12 Update

Pages read: 88

Total: 274

Time reading: 1 hr 35 min

Total: 4 hrs 33 min

Books completed: 1

Blogs visited: 0

Total: 3

Mini-challenges completed: 2

Actual reading has happened - it's a miracle! I'm enjoying the book - "The Royals" by Kitty Kelley - but I think I'll have to switch books for a little while. I'm hoping that I can finish this one up before the Thon is over, but I've got 350 pages to go, and I've got a few others that I've been saving for this event so we'll have to wait and see. I've had two cups of English Breakfast tea, but some real food will have to be eaten soon - reading apparently make you very hungry!

Hour 10

Pages read: 42

Total: 186

Time reading: 42 min

Total: 2 hrs 58 min

Books completed: 1

Blogs visited: 3

Total: 3

Mini-challenges completed: 2 ( "Collaborative Fiction" and BrownGirl Bookspeak's "In Other Words")

Since my last check-in, I have had some major plumbing issues. I went down to the basement to throw in a load of laundry, and sewage was coming out of the floor drain - lovely. So, I called my parents and the plumber, and it's as fixed as it's going to get for now. At least I can use my own bathroom (instead of my neighbors) and won't have to worry about it happening again, at least until this read-a-thon is over! ARGH! I've lost too many hours to this going on, which I'm hoping I can make up for later on. Shit.

At any rate, I'm planning on getting right back into reading as soon as I make myself a cup of tea and change loads of laundry.

Hour 4

Pages read: 144

Total: 144

Time reading: 1 hr 15 min

Total: 2 hrs 16 min

Books completed: 1

Blogs visited: 3

Total: 3

Mini-challenges completed: 1

Notes: Ran to the post office, did a little work for Job #2, all while listening to "Eat, Pray, Love". I'm getting ready to turn off the audiobook for awhile and start physically reading again. Oops! - need to let the cats upstairs for a little playtime first. There, all done.

Also had breakfast, my second cup of coffee (I think that's all the caffeine I can handle for awhile), and while I can't say it's exactly sunny outside, it is getting brighter. Kind of like someone is turning up the brightness knob on a television set. (Anyone else out there remember when TV's had knobs instead of buttons?)

Hour 2

A little late, almost hour 3 really, but I didn't want to stop reading.

Pages read: 144

Total: 144

Time reading: 1 hr 1 min

Total: 1 hr 1 min

Books completed: 1

Blogs visited: 0

Total: 0

Mini-challenges completed: 0

I think I'll have to take a break and hop in the shower. I need to mail something out at the post office and find something to eat. Will be back before you know it!

Hour 1

Good morning! I've just my first cup of coffee in hand and am ready to get started! Actually, I'm using exclamation points so much because Dear LORD am I tired! It's a grey and gloomy day so far (only 7 a.m.) and we're supposed to be getting storms today and tomorrow - I think this may be my kryptonite, folks. At any rate, I'm going to be getting on with things in just a few.

1) Where are you reading from today?
My home outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

2) Three random facts about me ...
I own over twenty coats, I love Nathan Fillion, and I'm seriously considering leaving Facebook.

3) How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?
Dozens, really. I'm reading over 10 books right now - I know, it's a sickness.

4) Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon?
I'm going to low-ball myself this time and say that I'd like to read 3 books. I'll probably do more than that, really, but I don't want to guilt myself into a larger number just because. My focus is going to be on books that I'm already reading, but I'd like to randomly pick a book or two from my shelves, something I haven't really done before in a Thon.

5) If you're a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?
Yes! Take breaks, please! Don't over-caffeinate yourself either, and if you feel yourself starting to wane, hop online or do a mini Dance Party by yourself for a couple of songs to get your blood pumping again. You may look like a spaz, but you'll be awake!

Alright, off to start my first book of the Thon, "Daddy Long-Legs" by Jean Webster. See you all soon!

Friday, April 8, 2011

First Quarter Wrap-Up 2011

My goal for this year is to read 121 books, but other than the slim requirement of reading at least 5 in each category (for my 11 in 11 challenge on LibraryThing) I decided to be kind to myself this year and not sweat anything else. I think I need to start "sweating" about the lack of reading in a few of these categories!

Doorstoppers: 2 / 5 read
Contemplate a Classic: 1 / 5
LT Recommends: 4 / 5
PBS'ers: 2 / 5
Main shelf #1, authors A - G: 4 / 5
#2, G - P: 0 / 5
#3, P - Z: 0 / 5
Work bookcase: 1 / 5
Travel bookcase: 2 / 5
Guest Bedroom bookcase: 1 / 5
Magpie Central: 23 / 5

Favorite book of Q:
The Library by Sarah Stewart
Least favorite book: The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way

Thoughts: I'm very surprised to have already read 40 books this quarter! Yes, some of them were children's books, but they still count! I've read almost all good books, just the one "stinker", so I hope that trend continues throughout the rest of the year. Something that I need to remind myself of in the future is that I don't need to be totally present for each sentence I read in each book. I can just read them and not be continually looking for the book that "changes my life", nor do I need to make every book I read into some version of that. Sometimes I just exhaust myself!

If I can keep this pace up for the next 9 months, it should be my most prolific reading year ever! Tomorrow I'm participating in Deweys' 24-Hour Read-a-thon, and the only goal I have for myself is to finish at least 3 books that I'm currently reading. (The fact that I'm actually reading from 10 books is a sad state of where my head is these days!) Alright, I'm off to pick up the house and prep some food for my big day of reading tomorrow!

I'm not planning on updating every hour like I have in the past, but if I get antsy enough I might be here every hour. Really, I'd just like to read as much as possible. See you soon!