Sunday, November 2, 2014

Happy Belated Halloween!

Ever timely, that's me!  This time, though, I was trying to be not-anxious about planning a Halloween costume to wear at work on Friday, so I didn't let myself get anything ready. Plus, I did an informal poll at work the day before, and it sounded like no one was going to dress up. Of course, Friday morning I freaked out, googled "last-minute costumes", printed something out, and dashed out the door. Anyone want to guess what I was?

I was pumpkin pi! Nerdy, yes, but easy, cheap as chips, and I could still wear my regular work clothes and not worry about getting anything I spent a bunch of money on dusty and dirty. I'm trying to think of a literary character or author I could dress up as next year, but so far I'm coming up empty. Any suggestions?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dewey's Wrap-Up

Wow, that was a great nap! And don't think I'm not heading back to bed today, I need to get a little more sleep to start feeling normal. 

End of Event Meme

1. Which hour was the most daunting for you?
I think it was just after 2 in the morning, and I caved to get some sleep. I've learned the hard way that while forcing myself to stay awake may result in a few more pages read and some unintentionally hilarious posting, it's better if I just sleep and wake up in a couple of hours.

2. Could you list a few high interest books to keep a Reader engaged for next time?
Of the books I read from this time, I'd recommend "The Bone Season" if they want to focus on reading gone big book, and "Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants" for something fun and funny to get you through the early mornings hours or a rougher patch that you're finding difficult to keep your brain on reading.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the readathon?
Not now. The only thing I thought of from last time was to post the introductory meme earlier than the official start time, but you guys did that this time around! That was very helpful, thank you.

4. What do you think worked really well this year?
I liked the variety in the mini-challenges, posting the first meme early, and it seemed to be a little smoother running ship than before. 

5 & 6. How many and what books did you read?
I finished 5
   "The Journey" by Sarah Stewart
   "Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants" by The Oatmeal
   "The Exile" by Diana Gabaldon and Hoang Nguyen
   "Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey" by Nick Bertozzi
   "Jane Goes Batty" by Michael Thomas Ford
And I read from 2 more that I didn't finish
   "The Bone Season" by Samantha Shannon (on audio, but I also own the print version)
   "Ghost Hunting" by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
I think it has to be Jane Goes Batty, but The Bone Season had me really captivated. Sometimes it was hard to listen that closely all the time, though, so Jane wins by ease if nothing else.

8. Least?
The Exile. It's a graphic novel retelling of "Outlander" from Jaime's POV (well, the first third, anyway) and while it really does condense the storyline nicely, and the artwork was very well done, it somehow just didn't seem to fit in, or grab me, or something. I'd still recommend it, but not heartily.

9. If you were a Cheerleader...

10. How likely are you to participate next time? In what role?
I'll be back again as a reader, for sure. Maybe next time I'll try some freelance cheering (thanks for the term, Sherry Ann!) and see how that goes. As it is, I feel like the internet distracts me enough, so we'll see. 

A big thanks to my faithful RAT Buddy, Sherry Ann, for sticking with me once again. I don't know how I'd do this without you! And thanks to the cheerleaders (Yay Deb Nance!), participants, and our overworked and fantastic organizers who do such a bang-up job just for the fun and love of reading. You're all the best!

And now, time for me to do this...

Hours 18 - 24

Man, Kelly Kapowski and I are pooped!

Hour 18

Still awake, and I've started reading "Ghost Hunting" by the guys from the show Ghost Hunters. Since they're fairly short chapters, I'm hoping that whenever I fall asleep I won't have much to catch up on after the book falls out of my hands. It's just after midnight here, and I'm usually asleep on the couch by now, or I'm in bed with my Kindle, so who knows what will happen? Hint: it won't be a dance party.

Hour 19:30 - 23:30

I slept. It was lovely, and I want to do more of it!

But before I fell asleep, I did read, and I somehow managed to write it all down before slipping into oblivion.

Pages read 125
Time reading 1 hr 8 min

Pages read - 774
Books finished - 4
Time reading - 10 hrs 49 min (audiobook- 5 hrs 21 min)
Challenges completed - 7 (Hours 1, 3, 5, 11, 12, 15, and 16)

Thoughts: That was a wonderful nap, if longer than I expected. But that's okay! I'm going to try and read a graphic novel and then get back to the book I was reading before I fell asleep. Is anyone else awake? 

Hour 22 Challenge is the Best Of challenge, hosted by Lisa's World of Books.

Best Author of your reading year: Louise Penny. She's so good!
Best Book of your reading year: This was incredibly difficult, but I'm going with "Just One Damned Thing After Another" by Jodi Taylor. This start to a series has it all, and it's essentially story crack. 
Best Series of your reading year: I'm going to have to go with the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. I'll have read the whole thing in a few months once I wrap up the last book, and it was such a wonderful trip. 

That's all, folks!

Pages read in the last hour: 193
Time reading: 50 min

Final totals
Pages read - 967
Books finished - 5
Time reading - 11 hrs 39 min (audiobook - 5 hrs 21 min)
Challenges completed - 9 (Hours 1, 3, 5, 11, 12, 15, 16, 22, and 24)

Thoughts: Well, I made myself a cup of decaf coffee to help perk me up a bit to get through the last hour, and it really helped!  And now, I'm off to sleep for a few more hours. I'll be back later to do my wrap-up post. *yawn* 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hours 13 - 17

These next couple of posts may be a little light on info, methinks. Starting to get sleeeeeepy. 

Hour 13 and the start of 14

Pages read: 352
Time reading: 1 hr 5 min

Pages 649
Books Finished 3
Time Reading 7 hrs 30 min (audiobook - 3 hrs 10 min)
Challenges 5 (Hours 1, 3, 5, 11, and 12)

Well, that was a productive hour spent reading two graphic novels. I'm starting to feel better about having gotten more than one title finished, though. Trying to decide whether to push myself to read a book that I've already started and isn't grabbing me, or to start a new one that I saved for this readathon? Hmmm. Maybe if I find something to snack on, I'll be able to pick something. 

Hour 15

Listening to more of "The Bone Season" while I'm online. Also, I did this hours' mini-challenge, Book Spine Poetry, hosted by Ticket to Anywhere.

The Lost Faces of the Living Dead,
Riders Through the Woods;
The Abomination, An Area of Darkness

Hour 16

Still more "Bone Season", and the challenge of the hour. It's Pet Parade, hosted by Estella's Revenge. You're supposed to take a picture of your pets as they are right now. Since my cats are currently chasing each other around the house, I'll post two pictures from earlier in the day. The first is the two of them sleeping together, Sweetpea (sister) is on the top, and Chico (brother) is on the bottom. The second one is of Chico sleeping on me while I was reading my graphic novels earlier. 

Too bad they have such a rough life, hey?!?

Thoughts: Once again, I'm so glad that I've got an audiobook to get me through this thon. I can wash my face, put things away, check email, all while still reading. I went to check on my neighbor's cat for about 15 minutes, and now I'm making a pizza for "dinner" even though it's nearly 11 PM my time. I've woken up a bit for now, but all bets are off once dinner starts to hit my stomach. 

Hour 17
Some more audiobook time, and I finally turned my TV on to watch an episode of "Modern Family" while I had some pizza. Just put on my pajamas and am going to curl up on the couch with a book for awhile. I expect to fall asleep at some point, and that's okay. I just hope I wake up in time to finish this thing, and not an hour or two afterwards, which is my usual. 

Pages 649
Books finished 3
Time reading 9 hrs 41 min (audiobook - 5 hrs 21 min)
Challenges completed 7 (Hours 1, 3, 5, 11, 12, 15, and 16)

Hours 9 - 12

How's everyone doing so far? Still up and at 'em? So far it's been pretty good for me, but it's just 3:00 in the afternoon, prime nap time, so I'm not sure how much longer my alertness will hang in there. 

Hour 9
Just starting the hour, it's all good!  Right now I'm about a third of the way into "Jane Goes Batty" by Michael Thomas Ford. It's the second in a series (or maybe it's just a trilogy?), and it's a light and fun read.

Hours 10 and 11
Wahoo, my first book is finally finished!

Pages read: 201
Time reading: 2 hrs 15 min

Pages read: 297
Time reading: 6 hrs 25 min (audiobook - 3 hrs 10 min)
Challenges: 4 (Hours 1, 3, 5, and 11)

Thoughts: Well, that was an epic sit-a-thon. My butt is numb! All I did was pet a cat on my lap, take a sip or two of water, and read read read! I think it's time for a little graphic novel or two before the next mini challenge comes along. Speaking of, I should go and check out what's popped up in my absence. 

eta: I just participated in the Hour 11 mini-challenge, hosted by Stacy's Books, called Book Covers and Leaves. You had to list all the titles (covered up with fall leaves) of the children's books in her picture. I think I got them all right! Sometimes, working at a library is a good thing. ;)

Hour 12
It's the halfway point - that means it's time for the mid-event meme!

1. What are you reading right now?
I'm between books, but am just about to pick up "Shackleton" by Nick Bertozzi.

2. How many books have you read so far?
I've finished one and gotten part way through another.

3. What book are you most looking forward to in the second half of the Read-a-Thon?
I think right now it's "Ghost Hunting" by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson. Either that, or "The Woman in Black" by Susan Hill.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with them?
I just rolled with it and got back to reading as soon as I could. No biggie.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-Thon so far?
As usual, it's how little I'm actually reading. It's crazy. I mean, I'm just starting hour 12 and I've only got 1 book finished. One!  

I know! While yes, that's more than I'd have started and finished in a normal day, by this time I'm usually down at least 3 books. Time to pick up the pace!

Hours 5 - 8

Hours 5 and 6

Pages read: 0
Time reading: 0

Pages read: 0
Time reading: 3 hrs 10 minutes

Hour 5 Mini-Challenge: Book Staging by On the Wings of Books

Thoughts: Well, I've gotten zero reading done in the last couple of hours. I spent about a half an hour on a break, putting on sweats, having breakfast (veggie omelet and a bagel), puttering around the house. My Mom came over and we chatted for an hour and a half or so. She's just left, so I'm getting ready to get tucked into a book for awhile.

Hours 7 and 8

Finally - some book time! After reading for an hour I took a break for lunch (ham and cheese sandwich, chips, and a lemon lime fizzy water) and to catch up on the internets. So far, I'm not tired at all, but I know that will be short-lived. 

Pages read: 96
Time reading: 4 hrs 10 min ( audiobook - 3 hrs 10 min)

Hour 4

The time seems to go so quickly at the beginning, and at the end.... slow as molasses. 

Hour 3 Challenge - Shelfie

This is what I spend most of my time looking at, as it's the wall with the TV in my living room. The small shelf on the left is poetry, and the rest of the shelves starting at the upper left and wrapping down towards my DVD/CD shelves are some of my TBRs in reverse alpha order. Stacked on top of the DVD shelves are my RAT books, and you can just see the corner of my fireplace mantel (with my essential oil diffuser) and the top part of my red chofa (chair/sofa) with a very unattractive 80's pillowcase on top to help keep some cat hair off. It's a losing battle, as that's one of their favorite places to lay, but it does help a little. Believe me, there are PLENTY more shelves I could've chosen, but this is the one I see all the time, so I figured it was the best choice. 

Hour 4 Challenge - Quotable Quotes
This is right from the beginning of "The Bone Season".

I like to imagine there were more of us in the beginning. Not many, I supposed. But more than there are now.
We are the minority the world does not accept. Not outside of fantasy, and even that's blacklisted. We look like everyone else. Sometimes we act like everyone else. In many ways, we are like everyone else. We are everywhere, on every street. We live in a way you might consider normal, provided you don't look too hard.
Not all of us know what we are. Some of us die without ever knowing. Some of us know, and we never get caught. But we're out there. 
Trust me. 

What I'm reading: "The Bone Season" by Samantha Shannon
Time reading/listening: 3 hours

Here's hoping I can get a little actual book time soon!

Hour 1

Good morning, everyone! I don't know about you, but I slept through my alarm and am getting up exactly when this starts. Oh well! Plans for this hour are to make a cup of coffee and start reading something easy while my brain wakes up.

image from

Opening Meme
1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
My house just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I really don't know this time! Maybe the next one in the Jane Austen Vampire series by Michael Thomas Ford, "Jane Goes Batty", or the "Shackleton" graphic novel I won the last RAT.

3. Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Honestly? I'm planning on roasting a giant pile of veggies later, and that will be soooo good!

4. Tell us a little something about yourself!
Mid-30's rumored crazy cat lady, overworked, underpaid, and most of my free time is spent reading books. Also, I'm considering going to get my MLIS degree, and pro/con list is about even, so I'm not sure what will tip it either way. 

5. If you participated in the last RAT, what's one thing you'll do differently today?
I did, and I think I'm going to be a little kinder to myself today and not be such a reading Nazi. I haven't gone obsessively mental about what books to read, snacks to eat, etc. I've had my book stacks for about a week and haven't touched them, and I didn't do a separate  shopping list for food, so I'm just going to try to relax and enjoy myself this time around. I'm planning on doing a little yard work, and I have to take care of my neighbors' cat for awhile, but other than that I should be here. One thing that is different though, is that I'm taking a CPR renewal class tomorrow afternoon, so I am going to have to get some sleep today/tonight at some point so I don't look like I'm hungover in class tomorrow.

Okay, off to start this Thon off right!  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

R.A.T. TBR pile

I'm really trying not to be an over-planning, over-library-checker-outer of books this time around, despite the fact that 9 graphic novels came home with me on Friday, and I have another 7 regular books sitting here. Just ignore those piles, and check out what I pulled off of my shelves for Dewey's this time!

These three are oversized/easy/quick reads that I can use to either boost numbers or keep me going when my brain is tired.

This stack is full of scary, creepy, Halloween-y things like ghosts, vampires, and aliens. A couple of them I've been saving for the October Dewey's, and they've been sitting on my shelves, unread, for years. I'm hoping to get at least a couple of these bad boys finished.

This last one has short, picture-filled, or comfort reading. I'm currently reading all of the Poirot books in order, so #4, "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd", will be next for me. And most of the others in the stack I've wanted to read earlier, and put them back in anticipation for the RAT. "Shackleton" was a win from the last RAT (and my first RAT win ever!!!), so I figured it'd be appropriate to save it for this next one. And I'd read bits and pieces out of the "Twitterature" book, but now I'll actually go and read it straight through. 

I'm not going to picture my library book stacks now, since I'll either read them before Saturday, or I'll save them to read on Saturday and would like a spur of the moment thing to happen. Plus, you guys don't want to see and hear about the same books all the time, do you? Didn't think so. 

Normally, I like to save the night before the 'thon to grocery shop, prep food, clean up the house, start my meme's, etc. This time around, I work until 3, have a 5:00 massage client, and have a writing group meeting after that, so I'll have to plan everything out this Thursday instead. Here's hoping I don't forget anything or think that I'll have time the next night, when actually, I'm just hoping to be in bed and sleeping by 11!  

See you all at 7 AM on Saturday, if not before!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Dewey's R.A.T. is almost here!

image from

Are you guys ready for another round of Dewey's? I know I am!  I've been waiting a long time for this one, since I didn't do that great for the Spring one. My big plan is to read some "spooky" books during the 'thon, and I'm going to try (for real this time, dudes) to not go cray-cray checking out books from work. Seriously. Maybe just a couple of graphic novels, but that's it. *fingers crossed* At any rate, I was going to really go for it this time and try to make it for the full 24 hours, but now I have to take a CPR recertification class the next afternoon, so who knows how my willpower will hold out. (Plus, I don't want to look like a hungover chick during class.) 

Getting excited? Picking out your books? Already making up a menu of snacks? Don't forget to ask off of work - who wants to be working when you could be reading?!?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bout of Books Updates

Hello everyone!  I kept thinking this RAT was next week, and suddenly - BOOM - it's already started and I'm a day behind. But no matter - what counts here is reading and having fun, right? 

I'll be updating this one post (don't know why I haven't done that before, sorry) throughout the week unless it gets to be too unwieldy. 

My goals for this week are to:
-read the rest of the Sookie Stackhouse series (currently on book #11)
-get started on at least one book from either of my book club selections
-read at least another 20% in "Outlander"
-read for at least an hour a day
-have a good time!

Update #1 - Tuesday afternoon

So far this week I've read 3 books, but that was just on Sunday, so it doesn't really count for this 'thon. After I worked this morning I had lunch with my Mom, came home to make a few phone calls (ugh, insurance!), and am getting ready to settle in to reading for a while while I pop up every hour or so to switch loads of laundry. I'm hoping to be able to finish "Dead Reckoning" by Charlaine Harris today. Only 300 pages left, it should be doable. 

Update #2 - Friday afternoon

I have NO IDEA what my problem is, but I've hardly read a thing all week. Partly it's probably because I've been working/running around a little more, and it's partly because I've been catching up on recorded TV more than usual. I've only managed to get another maybe 50 pages read in "Dead Reckoning", and a little further into both "Outlander" and "Pirate Vishnu" on my Kindle. The goal to read an hour a day has been essentially ignored. Today is a day off for me and I've been spending it cleaning up and sorting out some paperwork. (It seems I do this a lot and there are always piles still sitting around. WTF?!?) At any rate, I'll be having a break for lunch soon, and perhaps after that I can at least put on an audiobook so I get reading done somehow. 

Also, I've just realized that one of my book clubs is meeting Monday night and I have yet to start the nearly 500 pager. Oops? 

Bout of Books Totals

Books completed:
Pages read: ~50
Time reading(ish): 

Final Update
Well, kids, I Super Failed at this. My brain just wouldn't function every time I sat down to read, and it kept staring out the window or who knows what. So I stunk it up. But this was just my first BOB RAT and I did virtually zero planning for it. Next time, I'll be more prepared and will hopefully be able to have off one whole day to sit and read. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

My first Bout of Books read-a-thon

Hello everyone!  Sorry for the radio silence on my end. 

My Mom is just about halfway through with her radiation treatment, which means it's nearly the end of the road for her breast cancer journey. Neither of us will miss the constant hospital and doctor visits, and we both look forward to having some time to figure out a new normal. Mom's hair is coming back slowly but surely, and it just starting to get that wacky post-chemo curl. As soon as I let my guard down, I got a doozy of a flu/cold combo and was out for a week, not feeling normal for almost 2 weeks after that. But work (at all jobs) is pretty much back to its regular status, which is seemingly constant, and I'm reading up a storm in my spare time.

My good friend, Jenna (from The Girl With Book Lungs), signed up to do the Bout of Books read-a-thon, and after giving it about a half a seconds worth of thought, decided I'd join in too!  It's very casual, and lasts a week long. Here's the official blurb from the website:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Why don't you come and join in - I know you've got shelves and stacks of books you're meaning to get to! 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

End of Event Meme... a few days late

I completely fell asleep after my last update. No Starbursts in bed, no extra page or two read, nothing, just sleeping. And then I got distracted with Mom stuff, working, and doctor appointments and... you know, suddenly it's Wednesday afternoon. But Mom is home now and I'm catching up with things around the house, getting ready for work tonight, blah blah. SOOOO, without further ado, here's the End of Event Meme!

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
I guess midnight since that's when I went to bed, but 4 PM was also bad, and 9 AM too. Eh, it wasn't my greatest RAT ever.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that could keep a Reader engaged for the next RAT?
I don't think anything I read this time would qualify as high-interest to a general reader. But I always like saving a book from a good series to read during the 'thon. Gives me something to look forward to.

3. Do you have any suggestions to improve the RAT?
No, actually, it seemed to be smoother and better than ever! I didn't think that was possible!

4. What do you think worked really well for this RAT?
The cheering was outstanding this time! I'm not sure what kind of magic was done behind the scenes, but it was amazing!

5. How many books did you read?
I finished 6 and read parts of 2 more ("Ask Graham" by Graham Norton and my audiobook was "The 5th Wave" by Rick Yancey). 

6. What were the names of the books you read?
"Nurse Matilda" by Christianna Brand
"The House in the Night" by Susan Marie Swanson
"The Scraps Book" by Lois Ehlert
"The 13 Clocks" by James Thurber
"Agent Gates and the Secret Adventures of Devonton Abbey" by Camaron Subhiyah
"The Crowded Grave" by Martin Walker

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
The Crowded Grave. It's in one of my favorite series, and it's been a couple of years since I've revisited Bruno and the residents of St Denis, so it was nice to check back in and see what was going on. 

8. Which did you enjoy least?
I think The 13 Clocks. It wasn't bad, or unenjoyable. It just fell flat for me, despite sounding like it's right up my alley. 

9. If you were a Cheerleader...

10. How likely are you to participate next time - and in what role?
I will certainly participate again, it's my 2 favorite weekends of the year. And next time I'd also like to be a Cheerleader and maybe a Prize Angel too!

I'd also like to give a special shout-out to my favorite read-a-thon buddy, Sherry @ Sherry Ann's Book Blog!!!!! I couldn't do this without you - it just wouldn't be the same! 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hour 18? 19? No idea...

Taking a break to talk with my Mom for awhile and eat a snacky dinner turned into watching the majority of The Heat on TV, and general screwing around on my cell phone for a couple of hours. I've spent the last 2 hours reading, or trying to, and I'm getting more tired than I expected. We're talking 4 AM tired here, not barely-midnight tired. At any rate, I will continue to read, but will do so in bed. I don't expect there to be a lot of pages turned by the time my eyes shut, but I'll keep at it for as long as I can. And, I recently got my very first e-reader, so I'm hoping that that will extend some reading time as long as possible.  

At any rate, I doubt that I will be back to update here until this whole show is over, but it's possible. I will for sure be around tomorrow morning to check in on everyone and visit some other blogs, do the end of event meme, etc. Usually I wake up at 7:15 (the RAT ends at 7:00 AM for me) in a small panic because I've missed the official ending. Who knows what will happen this time? 

Books finished: 6! "The Crowded Grave" by Martin Walker, "The 13 Clocks" by James Thurber", "The Scraps Book" by Lois Ehlert, "Nurse Matilda" by Christianna Brand, "The House in the Night" by Susan Marie Swanson, and "Agent Gates and the Secret Adventures of Devonton Abbey: A Parody of Downton Abbey" by Camaron Subhiyah
Pages Read: 88 (I'm currently reading a book by Graham Norton, and I don't think I'll finish it in time)
Running total of pages read: 815
Time reading: 9 hours 6 min (33 minutes audiobook)
Snacks: handful of cheese and caramel popcorn, bowl of raisin bran with almond milk, water. I'm planning on taking a bag of Starburst to bed with me, so the sugar buzz may keep me going for awhile. 
Mini-challenges Completed: 2; Intro, Hour 3

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Halfway there

Mid-Event Meme

1. What are you reading right now?
I'm currently between books, taking a little break. Not sure what I'll pick up next.

2. How many books have you read so far?
6, but it's not as impressive as it sounds.

3. What book are you most looking forward to in the second half of the read-a-thon?
Either finishing "The Secret History of the Pink Carnation" or "Heirs and Graces".

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
Not really. Just didn't schedule an clients for today and asked off at my other job about a month ago. 

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Yes, lots and lots. I just go and get what was asked for, or answer the question, or the phone, and try to get my head back into whatever I was reading as soon as I can without seeming annoyed or like it's bothering me. Actually, that's kind of business as usual these days for me.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-Thon so far?
That I won a prize! :) That, and I've both read as little and as much as I have.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the RAT next time?
No! This seems to be the smoothest, least stressful one so far!

8. What would you do differently if you were to participate next time?
This may seem snarky, but I'd like to have my house to myself, unplug my phones, and just focus more on reading. Also, I'd really like to be a cheerleader and maybe an Angel too, if I can swing it.

9. Are you getting tired yet?
Is the Pope Catholic?

10. Do you have any tips for Readers or Cheerleaders?
Nope, just keep up the good work!


Hour 12 1/2 (7:30 PM)

Mom took a nap, and I was able to read more pages at a time than before. I still had the usual interruptions of phone calls and daydreaming, but that's it. 

Books finished: 6! "The Crowded Grave" by Martin Walker, "The 13 Clocks" by James Thurber", "The Scraps Book" by Lois Ehlert, "Nurse Matilda" by Christianna Brand, "The House in the Night" by Susan Marie Swanson, and "Agent Gates and the Secret Adventures of Devonton Abbey: A Parody of Downton Abbey" by Camaron Subhiyah
Pages Read: 323 + 124 + 72 = 519
Running total of pages read: 727 (I mis-calculated my earlier total. Geez, I know math isn't my strong suit, but that's ridiculous.)
Time reading: 7 hours 37 min (33 minutes audiobook)
Snacks: slice of thin crust veggie & pepperoni pizza, cherry yogurt, lots and lots of water, a 7Up
Mini-challenges Completed: 2; Intro, Hour 3

Hours 8, 9, 10, 11

Hour 8 (2 PM)

Well, I took a 90 minute break for lunch/talking, and lots of other mini breaks to answer questions, get more water, etc.  I've made some good headway into a book, which I'm hoping to finish before the next time I come back and update this post. And, I'm very excited about this, I WON A PRIZE, YOU GUYS!!!!! That's a first for me, and I'm pumped about it!!!

Books finished: 3! "Nurse Matilda" by Christianna Brand, "The House in the Night" by Susan Marie Swanson, and "Agent Gates and the Secret Adventures of Devonton Abbey: A Parody of Downton Abbey" by Camaron Subhiyah
Pages Read: 128 + 124 = 252
Running total of pages read: 420
Time reading: 4 hours 29 min (33 minutes audiobook)
Snacks: giant salad w/vinaigrette, handful of tater tots, slice of thin crust veggie & pepperoni pizza

Mini-challenges Completed: 2; Intro, Hour 3

It's the start...

Gearing up for a fun and long day of reading here at my house. Coffee is percolating, cats are having breakfast, and Mom is still sleeping so it's quiet for awhile. I thought I'd get this thing rolling and get started a few minutes early - who knows when it'll be this peaceful again?!?

Opening Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
My house in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
You know, I don't think I have one! Maybe "Agnes Quill", as it's a graphic novel I've had my eye on for awhile.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
No prepped snacks this time, but I am looking forward to having a salad later. Yum, veggies!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
35 years old, single, mom to two cats. Working 2 jobs and caring for my Mom (breast cancer, boooo) keeps me busy busy busy.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?
Have company! And no prep time for food! But really, the lack of planning on my part (aside from picking out a large number of books - I've been thinking about that for a couple of months now, if I'm honest) is what's different. Can't go back and change anything now, but I'm a planner so I'm trying not to be anxious about not really having things set up and ready to go. 

Okay, off for a little caffeine and a book!

Update #1, 8:30AM

Well, Mom is awake so I have to start making myself pay attention to what I'm reading. Thank God I have an audiobook and some shorter books to get me through.

Books finished: 2! "The House in the Night" by Susan Marie Swanson, and "Agent Gates and the Secret Adventures of Devonton Abbey: A Parody of Downton Abbey" by Camaron Subhiyah
Pages Read: 40 + 128 = 168
Running total of pages read: 168
Time reading: 1 hour
Snacks: 2 cups of coffee

Update #2, 9:20 AM

Lots of talking! Ack! Finished half of an audiobook CD, so that's something.

Number are the same, except for Time Reading, which is now 1 hour 33 min total. I'm listening to "The Fifth Wave" by Rick Yancey. And, I'm going to add a new thing to keep track of, mini-challenges participated in.

Mini Challenges Completed: 2; Intro, Hour 3

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Potential Dewey's Books

Let me start right off by saying that I realize that this is far too many books for any one person to read in a 24-hour period. I'm aware that I have a problem. Though, some of them are regular library check-outs and not ones that I chose specifically for this event. (All books will be listed bottom to top, left to right.)

These are my children's book picks, some are "research" for future presents for my friends' kids, some are just for me. 
"Flotsam" by David Wiesner
"Officer Buckle and Gloria" by Peggy Rathmann
"Mirette On The High Wire" by Emily Arnold McCully
"The House In The Night" by Susan Marie Swanson
"The Scraps Book" by Lois Ehlert
"Daisy Dawson Is On Her Way" by Steve Voake
"Agatha, Girl of Mystery #1: The Curse of the Pharaoh" by Sir Steve Stevenson
"Goddess Girls #1: Athena the Brain" by Joan Holub

Graphic Novels:
"The Graphic Canon, Volume 1" - there is no way I'll finish this whole thing!
"Calamity Jack" by Shannon and Dean Hale
"The Unwritten #1" by Mike Carey and Peter Gross
"Aya" by Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie
"Agent Gates and the Secret Adventures of Devonton Abbey" (a parody) by Camaren Subhiyah
"Agnes Quill: An Anthology of Mystery" by Dave Roman 

Regular library checkouts, plus a few for this event thrown in (with a *):
"The Bone Season" by Samantha Shannon
"Heirs and Graces" by Rhys Bowen
"The Crowded Grave" by Martin Walker
"Trapped" by Michael Northrop*
"The 13 Clocks" by James Thurber*
"Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalaya" by Jamaica Kincaid
"Mr. Fooster Travelling On A Whim" by Tom Corwin*
"Nurse Matilda" by Christianna Brand (this should be in the children's photo, I realize)
"A Rogue By Any Other Name" by Sarah MacLean*
"Strawberry Shortcake Murder" by Joanne Fluke*
"The 5th Wave" by Rick Yancey*

And finally, these are bookclub books (#), ones I'm currently reading (%), and ones that I'm hoping to start soon.
"The Orphanage of Miracles" by Amy Neftzger
"The Golem and the Jinni" by Helene Wecker #
"The Healing Consciousness: A Doctor's Journey to Healing" by Dr. Beth DuPree %
"The Magic Toyshop" by Angela Carter #
"Time and Again" by Nora Roberts %
"Cordelia's Honor" by Lois McMaster Bujold %
"The House on the Strand" by Daphne DuMaurier #
"My Life in Middlemarch" by Rebecca Mead %
"The Secret History of the Pink Carnation" by Lauren Willig %
"The Queen Is Dead" by Kate Locke

You'd think that that's enough, but no, I've got a few more coming in at the library (mostly graphic novels), and there's always the fun possibility that I'll pick something off of my shelves at random. 

I work both jobs on Friday so I won't have much/any time to prepare fun food or snacks. Mom is still feeling pretty awful, so she'll be sleeping through most of Saturday. She did say that if she was feeling a little better that she'd like to participate if she can, so that would be nice. Plus, that would mean that the TV is off, which is a reason to celebrate! ;) I'd hoped this time to be able to be a Prize Angel or a Cheerleader for Dewey's but that just wasn't meant to happen now. Maybe this fall things will be in a new kind of normal, and I'll be able to help out like I want to. 

For this RAT, I'm just hoping to get 10 hours of reading under my belt, and maybe a few books read. Having someone here in the house with me is a distraction for lots of obvious reasons, so I know that even if my Mom weren't sick my numbers would be down from last year. But that doesn't matter. The whole fact that I get to set aside an entire weekend to read is glorious and a luxury and I can hardly wait for 7AM this Saturday!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Yet another Dewey's coming up!

It's that time of year again - in 2 weeks, there will be another 24 hour read-a-thon!  I really have no idea what to expect this time, or how much I can honestly plan for. My Mom will have her final chemotherapy treatment the Monday before that, and she'll be staying with me through the week, if not the week after too. Should be interesting as to what really shakes out. I'd planned on being a prize angel and a cheerleader this time around, and with everything going on there's not way that that will happen. But maybe in October things will be back to normal, and I'll be able to do a bit more. Anyways, I'm just looking forward to my first RAT with an e-reader! 

Hopefully I'll be back here soon with my list of potential reads!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A small update

Since my absence here, there've been a few awful things that have happened. My Dad, after fighting a difficult and simultaneously long and short battle with cancer and a stroke, passed away just before Thanksgiving. He was only 69, and it broke my Mom and I in ways I didn't think were possible. 

One month after his passing, and just before Christmas, just as both Mom and I were starting to feel a little "normal", she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. It's been devastating in all the ways you can imagine plus about a dozen more, and very trying on both of us. We are working with two absolutely wonderful Doctors who are helping us through this, and while Mom is doing seemingly innumerable tests, we are working on staying positive and trying to prepare ourselves for the onslaught of crap that will be coming our way in the next 6-ish months, and also waiting to see what kind of chemo she will have before surgery. (The idea is to shrink the lump and the one involved lymph node pre-surgery so it's not as traumatic an experience.) Both of our lives are up in the air as everything about them is rearranged over and over again, and I'm doing my darndest to keep grounded, calm, and realistically aware of what is going on. Thankfully both of us still have our sense of humor, or we'd be more crazy than we are. 

Some cheap-book shopping is happening, more than I'd like, and TV is my distraction of choice. I couldn't even tell you what I'm watching, it's just there as I stare and try and get out of my head. Researching healthy recipes for Mom to eat has been another distraction, aiming for nutritional content and ease of making/transporting is on the top of the list. I'd planned on treating her to some fresh-baked almond croissants but she said that they didn't sound that great to her, so I was forced to have them by myself for breakfast this morning. 

Oh, what a sacrifice. 

And, after 2 days of below zero temps and way-below zero wind chills, it's finally above zero (it's 19! a virtual heatwave!), and I have to go out and see if my car will start. Tomorrow I'm back to work (jobs #1 and #2) and will be chauffeuring Mom around in the morning too, so I'm going to enjoy the remainder of the day as much as I can, while cleaning and cooking for the rest of the week. 

If anyone knows of a time machine of some kind, please let me know, as I just want to get through this whole breast cancer business and try to figure out what new kind of normal my life will be. Thanks.