Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's Over

I only got a few pages in before falling asleep. When I woke up at 4:30, I thought about forging ahead and reading again, but decided to just go to bed and call it a night. 

Total books read from: 8
Total books finished: 4
Total pages read: 1,390
Total time reading: 13 hrs 15 min (2 hrs 15 min audiobooks)

End of Event Meme:

Which hour was most daunting for you?
Just after hour 18. I was a little thrown off by having a friend over for most of the day, and since I've done 4 or 5 read-a-thons this year, I just decided to sleep and not worry about it too much. But it still bums me out a little that I couldn't stay up for the whole thing.

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the RAT?
Nope! Great as usual.

What were the names of the books you read?
The ones I read from but didn't finish -
"The Professor's Daughter" by Sfar & Gulburt
"The Dark Crystal" by A.C.H. Smith
"Gate 7" by CLAMP
"Very Valentine" by Adriana Trigiani

The ones I finished - 
"Insurgent" by Veronica Roth
"Thames: The Biography" by Peter Ackroyd
"Franny & Zooey" by J.D. Salinger
"Mercury" by Hope Larson

Which book did you enjoy most? Least?
Most was the book about the Thames. Least was Franny & Zooey - definitely.

How likely are you to participate in the RAT again? What role?
I'm in again for sure, as a reader. Next time I'll probably try some free-hand cheering though.

Big thanks to my real-life friend Jenna for coming over for most of the day, and to my faithful RAT Buddy Sherry Ann for joining me once again. 

See you all in April!

Hour 18

Holy crap. I'm tired. 

Books finished: 1
Pages read/listening time: 295
Total Books read from: 7
Total books finished: 4
Total pages read: 1,379
Total time reading: 13 hrs (2 hrs 15 min audiobooks)

Instead of fighting it, I'm going to lay down and read now. This way, if I fall asleep it'll only be for a couple of hours and I can tackle the rest at least partially invigorated. I'm afraid that if I ignore it for too long I'll completely crash and then sleep straight through til it's over. That wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, I realize, but I'd like to try and finish at the correct time this go-round. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hour 14

Another break, this time for some tea and a little movement.

Books finished: 0
Pages read/listening time: 225
Total Books read from: 7
Total books finished: 3
Total pages read: 1,084
Total time reading: 11 hrs (2 hrs 15 min audiobooks)

Almost halfway...

It's a rainy day here, and the fire is going, a cat on my lap, and pizza in my belly. I fear an accidental nap may occur. 

Books finished: 1
Pages read/listening time: 284
Books read from: 7
Total books finished: 3

Total pages read: 859
Total time reading: 9 hrs 17 min (2 hrs 15 min audiobooks)

Evening is starting to sink in here too, which will make the next 12 hours that much harder to stay awake. 

Hour 7ish update

After a slowish start to the day, I've managed to finish 2 books (1 of them I was already 50 pages into), and gotten a good chunk read out of one of my bigger non-fiction titles. My friend came over around 10:30, and we just had a break for a super-healthy lunch of grilled cheese. :) Before I get back to it, I thought an update was in order.

Books finished: 2
Pages read/listening time: 575 / 2 hrs 15 min
Books read from: 6
Total time reading: 6 hrs 30 min

It's getting close to 2 p.m. here, and before the lunch break I was starting to go a little fuzzy-eyed. Not a good sign for the evening, seeing as I have quite a few hours to go. 

I gave up on 2 different books after reading a few pages. One was "The Dark Crystal", which I thought the 80's movie was based on. Turns out, it was the other way around, and if I'm going to re-visit the exact same story, I'd rather watch the movie in this case. The other was "Gate 7", by CLAMP. I normally like this collective author groups' manga, but I couldn't handle the dramatics of it all, so after 48 pages, I gave it a miss. 

Back to it!

It's that time of year again - the Dewey's Read-a-Thon is here!

Prepare yourselves for yet another 24 hour thrill ride of watching me simultaneously read more pages and lose my mind due to lack of sleep. All of my prep time yesterday completely vanished due to 5 hours of phone calls, but I've got most things in place to catch up this first hour. And of course, I have an audiobook on to accompany me so I'm not out any reading time!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
 My cozy home just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
"The Professor's Daughter" by Joann Sfarr and Emmanuel Gulbert. It's a slim graphic novel, but it looks amazing!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Oy, I don't know. It's sadly probably the chicken that I shredded yesterday with the plan of throwing some of it in with a bowl of rice and veggies. Bo-ring! But, I do have apple pie that looks mighty tasty!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I don't know what to say here any more. I'm a single gal, massage therapist, parent to two furballs, sarcastic, Anglophile lifelong reader!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? 
Actually read this time!  For some reason the April RAT is always more difficult for me to just stay reading all day, and this past one was no exception. However, I have the 9 books I'm currently reading, the 11 on my TBR Next pile, and about a dozen others checked out from the library for this very event. Believe it or not, this may be the fewest number of books I've set aside for one of these!

The only big difference this time compared to the others is that for at least the daylight hours, I'll have a friend joining me to read along!  I just hope that I'm able to not talk to her and get distracted by having someone else here. Most of my time is spent alone, so I hope I can wrangle the urge to chat just because there's another adult in the room. 

Okay, off for my first cup of coffee and to prep the fireplace before switching to a real book.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Jasper Fforde!!!

I don't think there are adequate words to describe how unbelievably excited I was when I heard Jasper Fforde was coming to Milwaukee. Actually, I stayed that excited for the entire time coming up to the date, and it even increased when I was at Boswell Books last night. SQUEE!!! 

Because I'm a Nervous Nellie, I called Boswell earlier in the afternoon and played dumb.

"Hi, is the Jasper Fforde signing tonight?"
"Yes it is!"
"I know you're not psychic or anything, but are you expecting a big crowd?"
"Yeah, we are, we might hit capacity."
"Oh, so I should maybe leave work early? (I wasn't working yesterday.) I was thinking I'd get there around 6." (It started at 7.)
"Oh, yeah, definitely, leave work early for sure. I'd get there as soon as you can to make sure you get a good seat." 
"Okay, I'll get there ASAP!"

See? Nervous Nellie.

So I left home a little after 5, and walked in the door at 5:45. They were just starting to set up the seats. *sigh* I didn't want to look overly excited or nervous or anything, so I casually bought the 2 newly published books and went for a coffee next door. By the time I got back,  they had set up 2 rows of chairs. There were maybe ten people kind of milling around, trying to look like casual browsers instead of waiting for the appropriately early time to nab a seat - I was one of the 10. :) After the majority of the chairs were put up, most people ran to sit down in the armchairs and sofas that made up some of the rows. Why were they sitting so far away? I raced up to the first couple of rows - now, I didn't want to sit in the front row (too close and maybe too adoring?) and there was already a lady sitting there (the row composed of a whopping 2 chairs). I took the second row (3 chairs) and sat on the inside so I could have a more direct line of sight with Mr. Fforde when he appeared. Here's the view from my seat:

Close enough? 

I asked the nice lady if she could watch my chair and books while I went to the restroom, and we both made the same joke about throwing elbows! By the time I got back she had moved to the middle front row, right next to me, so we were the first people that he would see. Nerds! We started chatting to pass the time, and she was so unbelievably nice and funny, we had a lot in common, and the hour flew by. It was great! Then, we started hearing rumors that Jasper was at the front of the store casually signing books and chatting with people, with a backpack over his shoulder. No way!  My new friend and I were like a couple of teenagers, giggling and swooning about how awesome he is. By this point her husband had joined her and seemed half amused and half embarrassed by how she and I were quietly freaking out about this dude who writes. 

The time finally arrived, and Mr. Fforde was nattering on (his words) about all sorts of things;  how he writes, strange loopholes in classic novels, his love of "Alice in Wonderland". He spent a half hour just talking, and that didn't leave time for a reading of the new Thursday Next book, so he started answering questions. My cheeks were hurting from laughing and smiling so much! 

After the excellent talk, it was time to get the books signed! Because my friend and I were there so stinking early, we were some of the first in line. Neither of us knew what to say that wouldn't seem overly gushing or creepy (or creepily gushy) - they talked about getting a hold of UK titles for a reasonable price, and then Jasper noticed that she brought in her first US edition of "The Eyre Affair", which got this reaction:

Too cool!  They had a lovely, normally appreciative chat. Then, I walked up and was so dumbstruck (as usual) that I didn't know what to say. So, I asked him if he spoke Welsh. (He lives there, by the way.) He said he doesn't, but his children do and his wife is Welsh, so he'd better start learning soon so he can understand what they're talking about behind his back. And then I didn't know what else to say, so I mumbled something about how I have such a hard time understanding it, unless the word is basically in English like "sausage", couldn't they have more vowels and less consonants, blah blah blah. He gave me a lovely grin, said thank you, and it was all over!  

If I'm honest, I'm still a bit overly excited about the whole thing. Part of that is my new friend (Hi Erica!), but it's mostly because I finally got to see one of my favorite authors live and in person. The whole experience was only topped by another of my favorite authors, Bill Bryson, but it's quite a narrow margin between the two. Thanks to Mr. Fforde for his appearance, and for Boswell Books for hosting yet another amazing author event!