Saturday, April 25, 2015

The third and fourth quarters

Hour 24 - it's over :(

from this is one of the many reasons I love "Black Books"!

After my last post (just before Hour 15), I laid down on the couch to read some more. Usually, I can stay awake like that for hours, reading and shifting positions as needed. Last night, though? Nope. I got an hour in before I dropped my kindle on my face for the third time and gave it up for a nap. That nap turned into waking up an hour later and thinking that I'd read in bed for awhile. Once again, nope! The last few months I've been waking up (wiiiiiiide awake) between 3 and 4 in the morning, falling asleep anywhere between a half hour and 4 hours later. So, banking on my new "sleep" schedule, I thought it would be safe. Of course, last night was the first night I've slept straight through since probably the beginning of February! Dang it! But I did get another 22% read in my book in that last hour I was awake, so I suppose that's something. 

Final totals
Pages read: 228
Percentages for e-books: 60%
Audiobook time: 3 hrs 55 min
Total time reading: 8 hrs 16 min
Books finished: 3 ("The Martian" by Andy Weir, and "The Spiderwick Chronicles" books 1 and 2 by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black)
Challenges Completed: 8 (Intro, Hours 3- Four Seasons, 5- Casting Couch, 8- Book Spine Poetry, 12- Mid-Event Survey,14- Bookish Brews, and 24- End of Event)

I'll have to go back and count, but this is the latest in a long stretch of Dewey's, and this may be the least amount of time that I've spent reading yet. And while I only finished 3 books (of which 2 were short and the other was almost finished when I started listening), I did make some very good progress in other books that I was already reading. I just didn't stay awake long enough to finish them. But today is always a day of catching up on sleep and powering through books that I either didn't get to or didn't get to finish. 

End of Event Meme
1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour 15. Seriously, I don't know why last night was the one night my body decided to sleep like a normal person! And I wouldn't say that that time was particularly daunting, just that I'd gotten used to this new sleep schedule and was counting on it to do what it does. And it didn't. :(
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged  for next year? I think the St. Mary's series by Jodi Taylor is just about the perfect thing. There are currently 5 books and 3 between-the-numbers novellas, and with all of the history and literature and fun and pulse-pounding moments in them, there's got to be something for nearly everyone. They read quickly and really hold your attention. And, they're in print and on kindle/e-readers, so you have your choice of format!
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the read-a-thon next year? No, you guys work your butts off, and it gets smoother and more fun every time. You're all Amazing!
4. What do you think worked really well this read-a-thon? Not that this ever works poorly, but I liked the variety and new people that did the mini-challenges this time. (And I'm so glad that book spine poetry was still around!)
5. How many books did you read? I finished 3 of them, and read big chunks out of two more.
6. What were the names of books read? I finished "The Martian" by Andy Weir, and the first two books in the "Spiderwick Chronicles" series by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. I read chunks in "Naked in Death" by J.D. Robb and "A Second Chance" by Jodi Taylor.
7. Which book did you enjoy most? It's a tie between "The Martian" and "A Second Chance".
8. Which did you enjoy least? Oddly enough, the first "Spiderwick" book. I'd tried reading it before and it didn't grab me, so in the name of reading and getting rid of books I own, I plowed through - and it turned out to be good. And the second book was even better, so I'm glad I finally read it!
9. If you were a Cheerleader... N/A
10. How likely are you to participate again, and in what role? Hell yes I'm doing this again, for sure as a Reader, and maybe I'll cheer a bit next time too. After this one and how little I read, maybe purposely taking time out to cheer would keep me more focused on reading when I had the time. 

Thank you to every who sets up and runs this event behind the scenes in any way, and to all of my fellow Readers and Cheerleaders out there, thanks for making this the great event that it is! I'll see you in October!

Hour 14

Really? We're already this far into the day? Doesn't seem possible. I've gotten some decent reading in in the last couple of hours, and I finally had to stop to turn on lights since it was nearly pitch black in here.

Hour 14 Challenge
Hosted by Amanda at Fig and Thistle (one of my favorite blogs, by the way), this is a Bookish Brew challenge. Take a photo of your current drink and your current read.

Here's my vanilla frappuccino, my worry stone (shit just got real in this book!), and my current read, "A Second Chance" by Jodi Taylor. Do yourself a favor and start this series with book #1, "Just One Damned Thing After Another". It's so good! 

Pages read: 228
Percentages for e-books: 38%
Audiobook time: 3 hrs 55 min
Total time reading: 7 hrs 16 min
Books finished: 3 ("The Martian" by Andy Weir, and "The Spiderwick Chronicles" books 1 and 2 by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black)
Challenges Completed: 7 (Intro, Hours 3 Four Seasons, 5 Casting Couch, 8 Book Spine Poetry, 12 Mid-Event Survey, and 14 Bookish Brews)

The next 6 hours

Hours 10, 11, and just starting 12

Still no reading. But it's not my fault, honestly. I had a long-distance phone call about a very ill relative, which took a long time, and then I had to call my Mom and fill her in on the conversation, and then what books we were both reading, blah blah. After that I took another wee break to play some games on my phone. But really, seriously, as soon as I check out hour 12's challenge, I am sitting down with a book in my hands!!!!

Hour 12 Challenge

Oh yeah, the mid-event meme.

1. What are you reading right now? I'm in between things and can't decide what I should sink my teeth into next.
2. How many books have you read so far? Three, but two were short, and the other was an almost-finished audiobook.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the RAT? Hmmmm. I'll say "The Second Chance" by Jodi Taylor. This is one of the best series I've ever read, and it's easy to get pulled in to the story. And it's fun, and funny, and smart, and nerdy, and romantic (sometimes), and thrilling......
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Hah! Yeah a lot, though half were self-inflicted. I just dealt with them and tried to move on. It was just unsuccessful. So unless my Mom calls or there's another family-member update, I am ignoring all calls/emails until tomorrow afternoon.
5. What surprises you most about the RAT so far? How little time I've spent reading/doing RAT things online. I'm shocked. 

Hours 7-9

In which I accidentally took a long break. I ordered and ate lunch, watched TV, and stared out the window for awhile. Not productive for reading! But still a nice break.

Hour 8 Challenge

My favorite challenge every year, this time it's hosted by Ticket to Anywhere

Lillian & Dash,
Coasting to the lighthouse,
Committed a murder for her majesty.

The first 6 hours

Hour 6

I've spent most of the last two hours trying to figure out how/why a photo I took wasn't appearing in this post, adding new books to LibraryThing, and putting things away. Thankfully, I had the audio of "The Ruby in the Smoke" to accompany me!

Pages read: 228
Audiobook time: 3 hrs 55 min
Total time reading: 5 hrs 36 min
Books finished: 3 ("The Martian" by Andy Weird, and "The Spiderwick Chronicles" books 1 and 2 by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black)
Challenges Completed: 4 (Intro Meme, and Hour 3 Four Seasons Challenge, Hour 5 Casting Couch)

It's lunch time here, so I'll go rustle something up. It's time I stepped away from the computer for a bit, too, and picked up a physical book for a change. 

Hour 5 Challenge

Casting Couch, hosted by My Little Pocketbooks. Take the book you're currently reading and cast the main character only. 
Book: "Naked in Death" by J.D. Robb
Character: Eve Dallas (a NY cop in her 30's)
Actor: I picture her as across between Tamsin Greig (with an American accent, of course), and Stana Katic.
Why: Both of these ladies are smart and no-nonsense. Stan's character on "Castle" is smart, focused, has a good sense of humor, and is a NY copy. Tamsin Greig looks a bit more like Eve Dallas does, I think, with her short hair, non-traditionally beautiful face, and thin frame.

Hour 4

Feeling good, reading a lot, and decluttering a little bit as I go. It's a nice morning so far!
Snacks: Scrambled eggs with cheese and salsa, bagel, lots of coffee.

Time reading: 2 hours
Books reading: listening to "The Ruby in the Smoke" by Philip Pullman

Pages read: 228
Audiobook time: 1 hr 55 min
Total time reading: 3 hrs 36 min
Books finished: 3 ("The Martian" by Andy Weird, and "The Spiderwick Chronicles" books 1 and 2 by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black)
Challenges Completed: 2 (Intro Meme, and Hour 3 Four Seasons Challenge)

Hour 3 Challenge: 4 Covers, 4 Seasons
Spring- The Enchanted April (because April always means Spring, right?)
Summer- That Summer In Sicily
Autumn- Autumn
Winter- Doctor Who : Dead of Winter

The Start

The first hour is already done and over with! I decided to start by finishing the last bit of my current audiobook, "The Martian" by Andy Weir. Wow! That certainly has me wide awake now! While I was listening, I caught up on the photos and stacks that I'd planned on doing before the start, and got more coffee. 

Pages read: 0
Audiobook time: 41 minutes
Total time reading: 41 minutes
Books finished: 1 ("The Martian" by Andy Weir)
Challenges Completed: 1 (Opening Meme)

And now, here are my stacks of books for the day!

 Here are my current reads. From bottom to top:
"Garden Spells" by Sarah Addison Allen
"Sweet Filthy Boy" by Christina Lauren
"The Seven Daughters of Eve" by Bryan Sykes
"Naked in Death" by J.D. Robb (this is the first in the series)
and on my Kindle, I'm reading:
"The Sittaford Mystery" by Agatha Christie
"The Real Life Downton Abbey" by Jacky Hyams
"The Second Chance" by Jodi Taylor

 And here are my upcoming books.
Some of them I've started and left sitting part-way through for far too long, some of them I need to start for bookclubs, one is a re-read, and some are just shorties I pulled to read/checked out from the library. From bottom to top:
"Doctor Who: The Forgotten"
"Doctor Who: The Hypothetical Gentleman"
"Mademoiselle Chanel" by C.W. Gortner
"Bunner Sisters" by Edith Wharton
"Austenland" by Shannon Hale
"The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling" by Maryrose Wood
"The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories" by Ernest Hemingway
"The Further Adventures of a London Call Girl" by Belle de Jour
"Cordelia's Honor" by Lois McMaster Bujold (this is a collection of two books - I'm 1/3 of the way into the first, "Shards of Honor"
and the two latest issues of One Story, "Rites" by Matthew Baker, and "The Pole of Cold" by Erika Krouse

I'd take more photos and list more books that I have laying around here that I pulled to read "soon" and it's been longer than I'd like to admit, but that would essentially be photographing every room of my disorganized house. You don't want to see that, and I don't want you to see that, so I'll just let that be my little secret. 

The RAT has officially started!

Good morning, guys and dolls! I had big plans for the hour before this started, and instead of doing those things, I had to update and restart my computer. A "quick" 10 minutes turned into 45 for no real reason I can figure out. *eye roll* So all of that got scrapped.  Instead, I'll work on that stuff this first hour and then see what book falls into my lap first. 

Opening Meme:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
The wet and chilly suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I don't know! My goal for the day is to finish up some of the nearly dozen books I'm currently reading. I'm also hoping to read one complete book, but I don't know if that will happen or not.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Pad Thai with grilled chicken - yum!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Lately I've just realized that I've become the stereotypical spinster - single, has two cats, likes reading and crocheting, and living a quiet life. I'm okay with it, these are all things that I enjoy, it just suddenly hit me as funny the other day. :)

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
I'll have to go back and count, but this is something like my 13th or 15th Dewey's. What'll I do differently this time? Well, not freak out about missing a few minutes of reading every hour, or catching every single hourly challenge, or taking a nap or two throughout the day. What I love about this is that twice a year, myself and now over 1,000 other bookish strangers make a point to carve out time in their day to make reading a priority. Even though I prefer to spend the day by myself without any contact with people in real life, it's nice to know there are others out there doing the same. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dewey's Read-a-thon is coming up!

That's right, it's that time of year again - Dewey's read-a-thon will be this coming Saturday, the 25th! I'm going to do what I did last time and try to condense my updates into a few posts, unless it's been hours and hours, that is. 

Goals: Honestly, I'd just like to finish up some books I've already started. I'm not going to the library to stock up on books "just in case", or anything like that. There are a few comics I've checked out already, and I purchased a few new graphic novels for myself recently, so that should set me up nicely for the early morning "need an eye break" for me. Lately I've purchased a bunch of books from some of my favorite discount online/catalog sources, so on top of my nearly 1,000 physical books I already owned, I've also got some fresh meat to choose from.

Of course I'd like to stay awake and read the whole time, but honestly, I'm getting a little too old to force myself to stay up for 24+ hours and then recover in a day. Not happening. Instead, I'll take a nap when I'm tired, and reserve a couple of hours in the early morning for a longer sleep. Plus, this week I'm (finally!) getting new windows installed in my house, and I don't know if the crew will still be here on Saturday or not. That may very well screw me up in terms of reading all day. But no matter! I'm going to do my best, take a break when I feel like it, and have a good time. 

Later in the week, memory willing, I'll post a picture of the books that I'm currently reading so you guys can get a taste of what I'll be starting with on Saturday.

Snacks & Things: I'll be doing my usual of ordering pizza and a salad to be delivered. Also, if the weather cooperates, I'll be taking a walk with an audiobook. Not sure if I'll run an errand like I usually do or not, that will all depend on the window situation. (It will be SO NICE to be able to actually use the windows in my house in a functional way, as opposed to just looking through them. Seriously, most of these haven't been able to open in decades!) Ideally, I'll have my patio table and chairs set up and it will be a quiet weekend, neighbor-wise, so I can spend some time getting some fresh air and sun, but that seems a little less likely. I'll probably just switch up from chair to chair to couch throughout the day. 

Okay - I need to get to work for the day. I hope to see a lot of you on Saturday, and have some fun with mini-challenges and a little impromptu cheering. Have a great week!