Monday, October 24, 2016

Dewey's Day - Update 2, a day late

Soooooooo yeah. I so didn't make it 24 hours. I ended up doing most of my updates on Litsy, and filling in on instagram when I thought of it. But I did keep on reading, more than usual. I ended up napping for 3 hours at 9PM my time, and then finally collapsed around 3 in the morning and slept through the end. I was really thinking I could've last longer than I did, but since I'm not pushing myself now... it was what it was.

End of Event Survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
3 AM / hour 18 (I think). That's when I finally petered out and had to go to bed.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next time?
I really enjoyed "The Woman in Black" by Susan Hill (under 200 pages and creepy) and the "Calvin and Hobbes" collection I read (lots to choose from, easy to squeeze in a few pages). 

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the RAT for next session?

4. What do you think worked really well this RAT?
Cheering! I like that you made it more "unofficial" this time, giving everyone a chance to cheer if they felt like it the day of. 

5. How many books did you read?
8, plus 2 magazines.

6. What were the names of the books you read?
"Calvin and Hobbes" by Bill Waterson
"The Woman in Black" by Susan Hill
"Double Sin" by Agatha Christie (on audio)
"Freaky Friday" by Mary Rodgers
"Camera" by Jean-Philippe Toussaint
"Sad Cypress" by Agatha Christie
"A Ghostly Road Tour" by Jan Langley
"William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope" by Ian Doescher

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
It's a toss-up between Calvin (always great) and Woman in Black.

8. Which book did you enjoy least?
"Freaky Friday". Ugh.

9. How likely are you to participate again, and in what role?
I will 100% participate again, as a reader. If you guys keep the cheering more open (i.e. you don't get scheduled a group of readers ahead of time) I'd like to do that more as well.

Thank you SOOOO MUCH to my RAT buddy, Sherry Ann of Sherry Ann's Book Blog! I couldn't do this without you, you are such a great friend and support. :) 

See you all in April!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Dewey's Day - Update 1

Good Morning, Read-a-Thon-ers!

I don't know about you, but right about now, I'm very thankful that coffee exists. It's pretty much the only way I'm upright and semi-functioning. 

Like last time, I'll have only a couple of posts for the day, and will break down individual updates into chunks. You can find me here, on Litsy (@LauraBrook), and on instagram (@laurareadsandreads). 

Here are my two piles for the Thon. The top photo has my current library checkouts. If I get through one or two, that would be fine, but I'm not excited or worried about getting through them today. 

And underneath, this small stack has the few books off of my own shelves that sounded good to me earlier this week. They're all relatively short reads (or short stories), and I'm looking forward to getting through most, if not all, of these. Call me crazy, but it seems do-able from where I'm at now. (Note: This will seem very not-do-able in just a few hours.) 

Opening Meme:

1. What part of the world are you reading from today?
My mostly-books house outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

2. What book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Hmmm. Probably the "Calvin & Hobbes" collection and "Remember Me" by Christopher Pike. But if neither get read today, that's okay.

3. What snack are you most looking forward to?
My Krispy Kremes! And also greek yogurt. 

4. Tell us a little something about yourself!
I love to read, which is probably not surprising, and my two cats are very happy to rub against (and then knock over) the stacks around my house. I'm having to find a new profession/job due to some health issues, but I'm currently a massage therapist of nearly 10 years. Still getting used to the glasses that were new the last Dewey's. And I'm semi-obsessed with the Litsy app. It's one of only two internet-y places that are filled with kind, bookish people, and nary a bad vibe exists. 

5. If you participated last time (you know I did!) what's one thing different you'll do today?
Once again, sleeping is for sure on the table, as much and as often as I need it. I've been on a good reading streak the last couple of weeks, so it should be easy to slide back into the reading "zone" when I'm done with breaks. 

Hour 7 Update

I slept horribly last night (cruisers were loud on the main street a block from me, which woke me up and then I was so ticked off I couldn't calm down), and yet somehow I've managed to get a surprising amount of reading in! 

I've managed to finish two books start-to-finish, and I'm about halfway through an audiobook. My Mom stopped by quickly to drop off a surprise brunch (tacos!), and I talked to one of my best friends for awhile. Took a shower, decluttered some paperwork, and am getting ready to run outside to take out some garbage. If it's warm enough I might even read out there for a bit. 

Books finished: 2 (William Shakespeare's Star Wars by Ian Doescher, The Woman in Black by Susan Hill)
Time reading: 6 hours

Hour 12 Update

Where has the day gone? I'm surprised by how fast the daylight goes in the fall - it's dark by 6 PM now, and pretty soon it'll be dark at 4 PM. I like it, though, because I feel less bad for sitting and reading in pajamas as soon as I get home every day. 

Books finished: 2 (Camera by Jean-Philippe Toussaint, Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers)
Time reading: 3 hours 30 min

I'm just putting some lasagna into the oven, and I'm almost done with my audiobook. I think I'll take a break after dinner and maybe nap. This afternoon I took a big stack of books I'm hoping to read today/this weekend outside and managed to photograph them without looking like too much of a kook for my neighbors. Afterwards, it was such a nice fall day, breezy and sunny and cool, that I read outside for a couple of hours. I'll miss the warm fresh air in the early hours of the morning when I'm fighting to stay awake!

Mid-Event Meme

1. What are you reading right now?
I'm almost done listening to "Double Sin" by Agatha Christie.

2. How many books have you read so far?
I've finished 4, soon to be 5.

3. What book are you most looking forward to in the second half of the 'thon?
Nothing is jumping out at me, I'll just take it as it comes.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with these?
Just a few, and mostly self-inflicted. I just roll with it. This past spring I hardly read at all, I couldn't concentrate, and ended up watching TV mostly instead. Today, though, I've really liked reading so much, and I'm not berating myself for taking a break when I want to. 

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-Thon so far?
How much I'm reading! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dewey's is upon us once again

This time around I keep vacillating between being excited about it and feeling blasé about it. It helps that the weather has finally turned more autumnal (though it's still in the 70's far too often for this time of year in Wisconsin for my taste), and the leaves are suddenly turning colors. This is the first year that I haven't been a member of bookclubs since college, and it's been nice reading whatever I feel like and noticing the strange patterns I get myself into. (Example: whenever I see something on social media about a book I own and haven't read, it makes me pull it off of the shelf to be read "next" - and then it sits around in random piles for months on end, never quite getting into my hands to be read.) That being said, I did just pull a very small stack of books that would be nice to read for this 'thon. And if I don't get to them? No pressure, they can go right back where they came from. 

I'll post a picture once a little more time has passed, and I've figured out a few more to add to the stack. And at this point, I plan on not checking out anything from the library that wasn't already either checked out or on hold. Believe me, there are plenty of options here that I've already spent $$$ on that need reading. (I said this last time, though, and while I ended up panicking and anxiously checked out a dozen or so things the day before, it was still MUCH better than in years past.) 

While not setting a strict rule for myself this time around, I'd like to read things that are more seasonal and spooky, like short ghost stories, darker literary fiction, paranormal themes, etc. It's something I attempted 4 or 5 years ago but didn't have much luck with. But between everything I see on Instagram and LITSY, I'm getting more excited to actually give it some effort this time around. It helps that I lean toward these kinds of things already, so there's a nice stockpile at my house. 

Something else that's newer for me this time around is the pressure I put on myself to stay up and participate in everything. Or rather, that I'm letting that pressure go. I used to be able to easily make myself stay awake for the whole 24 hours (or very nearly) when I first started doing Dewey's. Within a day I was back on my regular schedule, and it was a fairly smooth transition. Now? Very different story. My health has slowly but steadily gotten worse over time and I live in a constant state of exhaustion. The idea of trying to read for a full day is still thrilling for me (why yes, I am a nerd), but the actuality of it is not only nearly impossible but also pretty bad for my health. My already mostly non-functioning adrenal glands can't take it. I get shaky and feel like I'm losing my mind. And it takes me 3 or 4 days to recover. (I'm noticing similarities to alcohol hangovers - though it's been years since that's happened to me.) The most recent Dewey's this past spring, I planned on sleeping whenever I felt like it, and it went okay. This time, I'm going to try and read for two hours and then rest. If I sleep, that's fine, I'll wake up when I wake up. If I don't sleep, I'll give my brain and eyes a break. Important, since this is a marathon and not a sprint. Plus, there are hundreds (thousands?) more participants since I started this RAT, which is a wonderful thing, and I've noticed that more younger people are doing all of the mini-challenges. Which is excellent, great, wonderful, etc, but I'm finding that they don't catch my interest like they used to. So I look forward to the few that I'll do, but don't feel bad about skipping the rest. More reading time! 

Has anyone else noticed the shift in mini-challenges? Anyone else "too old" to stay awake for a full day? Let me know in the comments, and I'll see you all again soon!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Bout of Book #17

Hello everyone! I'm back again for Bout of Books, and I'm excited to have an excuse to read a little more than normal. I've got two books that are due for review (oh, and a few ebooks too, crap), plus 23 books checked out from the library. Between those and the ones I'm currently reading, I for sure won't have a problem finding something to read! Choosing, however, is always a fun problem to have. 

No massive goals for the week. I'd like to read 5 books, and 5 graphic novels, for a total of 10. It's a busy week at work, which is good in theory, but not for my energy or physical self, so I'm hoping that I can find enough time to both recover and read a whole bunch. 

Wondering what Bout of Books is all about?
 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 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
Like last time, I'll use this one post as my update spot for the week. I'll also be on Litsy (a lot - I'm LauraBrook) and on Instagram (laurareadsandreads) too. Can't wait to see what you all read!

Days 1, 2, 3

I managed to finish my first two books, which is saying something with how busy I've been. 

Books finished: "Sex With Shakespeare" by Jillian Keenan (review copy) and "Murder in the Mews" by Agatha Christie. Both were 3-ish stars out of five. 

I saw the challenge for the day (#3) and wish I could have photographed every place I keep books, but that would be practically my entire house - not kidding! It was a lot of fun to see everyone else's shelves, though, I love a good shelfie.

Reading now: "Eating for England" by Nigel Slater. Was totally inspired to pick this up based on Ellie's re-read of it for Bout of Books! And seeing as it's little essay-lettes on different kinds of food and food traditions in Britain, it's perfect for a read-a-thon. Don't know why I didn't open it up and look inside sooner!

Day 4

I have the day off today and it's like my Saturday. That means a lot of laundry and house cleaning needs to get done (or as much as possible until my energy runs out - based on how I'm feeling now, it won't be that much). Reading-wise I'm hoping to finished Eating for England, and maybe another library book or two. And I'm trying to resist the urge to buy a coloring book from Barnes & Noble. They're on sale and I'm a sucker for a beautiful coloring book. Will check in later!

Days 5, 6

Lots of time spent working on Friday, only managed to get a handful of pages read before I fell asleep. And Saturday I hung out with a good friend, watching the last few episodes of Outlander and eating pizza and talking. Was fun, but I still wish I could've gotten my concentration in order and read for awhile.

Day 7

So far, I'm actually getting some pages in! Yesterday I managed to read "You Only Had One Job" by Beverly L. Jenkins. That makes book #3 out of 5, so I still have to read 2 more books today, and 5 GNs/comics. If I can stop watching reruns of "30 Rock", I think I can manage it! 

8:00PM - I finished two more books, completing half of my goal! "Curious Minds" by Janet Evanovich, which was a lot of fun, and "Eating for England" by Nigel Slater, which made my mouth water. "30 Rock" is still on (I can't help myself) but I'm going to get started on the graphic novels right now!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Review: A Practical Guide to Addison's & Adrenal Fatigue by Regan J. Heineke


Title:"A Practical Guide to Addison's and Adrenal Fatigue: Advice for dealing with Addison's/adrenal fatigue from a female over-achiever diagnosed at 31"
Author: Ms. Regan J. Heineken
Pages: 68
Format: Paperback

I'll start off by first recommending that you purchase a print copy of the book. To save myself over $10 on an unknown reference book, I bought the kindle version - unless you have a color e-reader, a good portion of the text will be unreadable as it appears in a light grey color - and when what I could see to read was helpful and straightforward, I purchased a print copy anyways. Plus, for a reference book like this, it's much easier to flip the the right page than tap the screen 15 times to get to the right place.

And I'm glad I did purchase a print copy. As someone who is waiting for a diagnosis of some kind of adrenal malfunction (be it Addison's, secondary, or primary adrenal failure), I found this book very helpful and informative. Since Ms. Heineke is a regular person, she can break down functions, symptoms, hormones, etc, all into non-medical language that anyone can understand. Her personal experiences and experiments with medication doses (printed in that grey color) come at just the right time. Whether it's after a wordy few pages of hormone speak or when she introduces a new topic, reading what she went through and figured out for herself was very helpful.

Addison's and adrenal fatigue are autoimmune disorders that do not have a cure. There is only treatment with pills and lifestyle changes, and as she says so accurately in the text, figuring this out is an art, not a science. Having this as a reference is already incredibly helpful in bringing my anxiety down a few notches, and it will be coming with me to my first Endocrinologist appointment next week. 

Thank you so much, Regan, for writing this book!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Bout of Books #16

It's time for Bout of Books 16! Having recently finished Dewey's readathon, I'm glad I can still use the momentum to roll into this week-long challenge and do some more catching up! This will be my post for the week, keeping it all together. If you don't know about Bout of Books, you can check out the site here, and read this blurb! 
 The Bout of Books read-a-thon is hosted by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It's a week-long read-a-thon that begins at 12:01 AM on Monday May 9th and ends and runs through Sunday May 15th for whatever time zone you're in. Bout of Books is low pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all information and updates, please check out the Bout of Books blog!
I'm setting my goal for the week at reading 7 books. That's two more than last time, and since I've got more time off than before, I think it's do-able. Hopefully I can shoot past that goal, but no pressure. Whether it's something I'm just starting or something that I'm already reading, fingers crossed that I finish 7 books. (I'd say "and get rid of them too" but that's a difficult thing for me - maybe I can get rid of one?) 

Day 1, Monday

Challenge: Happily forever crushed by TBR pile. #insixwords introduce yourself.

Pages read: 50 (at 9:30 AM), plus about 50 pages in a bunch of random books throughout the day, and 4 hours of an audiobook.

Books finished: The audio of "Murder on the Orient Express" by Agatha Christie, narrated by Dan Stevens, and "Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake" by Sarah MacLean. This year I'm trying romance novels, and so far I'm liking what MacLean is doing!

Notes: It's now about 9:30 AM and I'm just setting this post up (not being able to keep track of dates clearly). This morning I finished my first book, so I'm totally counting it, even if I wasn't officially signed up yet. I've got the morning free, and have to work late this afternoon for a few hours, so there should be more books listed here, and soon!

Day 2, Tuesday 

Challenge: To take some shelfies and post them. I'll have to wait to do that during the day tomorrow, though, and I'll post them on my instagram. 

Pages read: 60, plus 10% in an ebook.

Books finished: "The Pharos Gate" by Nick Bantock. This was wonderful! I didn't realize how much I'd missed both this story and Bantock's work until I opened this up and got lost in the first two pages. Brilliant!

Notes: Kind of a crappy day in general, for no real reason, and after work I was so achey and tired that nothing got read at night. But since I have the next few days off, I should have plenty of time to get some more pages in!

Day 3, Wednesday

Challenge: 5 favorites of anything bookish we like! I'll pick my 5 favorite classic novels. In no particular order, they are:
1. "The Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton
2. "The Portrait of a Lady" by Henry James
3. "Evelina" by Frances Burney
4. "Jude the Obscure" by Thomas Hardy
5. "Sense & Sensibility" by Jane Austen

I've always loved reading classics, however loosely defined, and between being an English major and a member of a classics bookclub for almost 15 years, this list could have easily been much, much longer. And, I now realize that it's been awhile since I've read a traditional classic (i.e. British and from the 1800's), so I'll have to remedy that soon!

Pages read: So far, none, and it's 9PM. But I'll be fixing that soon, hopefully. 

Books finished: Again, zero so far.

Notes:  I worked a half day and the headache I was trying to work with turned into a sinus migraine. I took some medication and a two-hour nap, and after making soup for dinner and doing two loads of laundry, suddenly the day is over with. 
Update, I read nothing yesterday. At all.

Day 4, Thursday

Challenge: If you like this, try this - recommendations. If you like time travel, historical fiction, romance, adventure, mystery, and suspense in your reading, try the "St. Mary's Chronicles" series by Jodi Taylor. They're some of my all-time favorite books, well-written, engrossing, funny, interesting, and heart-poundingly exciting. I can't imagine a person who wouldn't like something in these books, if not love them. They're ebooks first and the print editions come later, so you can go and download the first one right now! (It's "Just One Damned Thing After Another", FYI.)

Pages read: 180

Books finished: "A Practical Guide to Addison's and Adrenal Fatigue" by Regan J. Heineke.

Notes: Last night I had one of my too-real-to-not-be-true dreams (they're happening about once every other month now) and when I woke up I had to write it all down immediately. Two hours and twelve pages later, I got the bulk of it down. Phew! Now I can officially start my day and get to taking some shelfies, doing laundry, and actually reading something!
I only really started reading after 8 last night, and made some decent progress on one book and read 15% of an ebook in bed.

Day 5, Friday

Challenge: Post a scary picture of you or your books in a scary setting for Friday the 13th. Hm, not sure if I'll get to do this one or not.

Pages read: None, but I listened to an hour of an audiobook.

Books finished: None

Notes: The day is off to another strange start - maybe I should consider that my new normal?!? - and I'm off to have breakfast with a friend, drop off clean laundry at work, get some groceries, and come home to putz around the house for the rest of the day.
All of that putzing around the house equaled no pages read. I did get some audiobook time in, though, so it was something. 

Day 6, Saturday

Challenge: Write your favorite BoB moment, from this or any other. Since this is the first one I've come close to completing, if I do manage to finish this that will be my favorite part!

Pages read: 10% in an ebook

Books finished: None

Notes: I'm spending the majority of the day catching up on season 5 of Game of Thrones, quite happily, but I'm hopeful that the rest of the night can be spent deep in the pages of a book or two. 
Yeah, that didn't happen. I did some laundry and screwed around online for too long, and then just watched Gilmore Girls and Bob's Burgers. Story of my life. ;)

Day 7, Sunday

Challenge: None, it's a no-challenge day! 

Pages read: 240 pages, 65 pages of an Entertainment Weekly, an US Weekly and a People magazine, and 5 hours of audiobook.
Books finished: Le Road Trip by Vivian Swift and The Faust Act, Volume 1 of The Wicked + The Damned by Kieron Gillen

Notes: I'm determined to get some damn reading done today! Not only do I have a few library books that are due this week (all unstarted, some with next books that are due w/o renewal), but I'd like to finish up a few of the books that I've been reading for months. And some comics too. I'm just getting into comics and have created a fantasy Pull List (fantasy in that it's more money than I have to spend on a Pull List right now). I add all of my books into LibraryThing, and I'm not sure how to add individual issues - or rather, what the best way to add them would be. So hopefully I can get through the bulk of my current audiobook ("Old Filth" by Jane Gardam) while I screw around online. And try to avoid calling my local comics shop and creating that Pull List! 
Just before midnight I managed to finish two more books! It's so much easier to read when the TV is turned off, and once I made sure I had enough recording space to accommodate last night's shows, that's what I did. I was hoping to finish up another ebook in bed, but I feel asleep shortly after I crawled in.   


Pages read: 580 pages (not including three magazines), 10 hours of audiobooks, and 20% of an ebook.

Book finished: "A Practical Guide to Addison's and Adrenal Fatigue" by Regan J. Heineke, "Nine Rules to Break When Romancing A Rake" by Sarah MacLean, "Pharos Gate" By Nick Bantock, "Murder on the Orient Express", "Le Road Trip" by Vivian Swift, and "The Faust Act, Volume 1 of The Wicked + The Damned" by Kieron Gillen. I didn't make my goal, but I got close to it, finishing 6 / 7 books

Notes: This was the first time I've finished the BoB challenge, so I'm excited about that! I like how hands-off it is, and how you can really make it your own, whether through goals or challenges or participation. Hopefully next time won't be full of season finales on TV, which was a huge distraction for me. I'll participate again, though maybe not as intensely as this time - reading through a few dozen blogs, it seems like most people either have more of a life than I do (very possible) or just do shorter updates. Something to think about! Thanks for hosting, Amanda and Kelly!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dewey Day, Part 2

We're nearing the halfway point, so I thought it was time for another check-in. After the last time I was here I took a shower and dressed, and then took a walk with my audiobook (Murder on the Orient Express) while the sun was warm enough to counteract the cold breeze. After talking to my Mom and ordering lunch/dinner, I watched a few Parks & Rec episodes, ate, and randomly picked up a book, finishing it cover to cover! It's weird how little I've planned, and how much reading I'm getting done while still goofing off a bit. 

Mid-Event Survey

1.What are you reading right now? I'm getting ready to get back into "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children".
2. How many books have you read so far? I've finished three and am partway through two others.
3. What book are you most looking forward to in the second half? I still haven't picked up any Kaoru Mori, but my big "Shakespeare: His Life and Times" book is starting to call my name.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Well, except for the phone call, the only interruptions have been of my own doing. I'm just rolling with it!
5. What surprises you most about the Readathon so far? How much I'm actually reading!

Midnight - hour 18

I've already had to break out the eyedrops and glasses, and I participated in the Diversity Selfie challenge for hour 17.
"Whitefly" is a Moroccan crime thriller, and "Kaoru Mori: Anything & Something" is a sort of short story manga collection. 

Sleepiness is getting stronger all the time. My new deal with myself is that I can sleep for a few hours when I finish "Miss Peregrine..." and at the rate I'm reading, that should be in a little over an hour. Here's hoping I can make it! Maybe a little snack would help? I'd make some tea, but I'm afraid I'd make too much noise or break something in the process. 


I ended up making it until after 3AM, which was kind of amazing. After I dropped my hardcover book on my face three times, I went to bed and promptly woke up, so I read for a bit before forcing myself to try and sleep. My alarm went off at 5:30, and I ignored it, opting to just stay there, all nice and cozy. 

End of Event Survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Weirdly, it was the afternoon. After lunch, I went for a walk and then got sucked into TV for awhile.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next time? The only one I read this time would be the William Shakespeare biography for kids. It's oversized, and there were a lot of envelopes with letters to open and read, mini books to flip through, a family tree to unfold - it was fun to have things to do!

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the readathon next time? Nope, you guys did a GREAT job this time around, especially seeing how big this has gotten, and how easily it could have been awkward and ungainly. 

4. What do you think worked really well this time? I can't put my finger on it, but things seemed to be very well scheduled and they seemed to run like a well-oiled machine. Maybe that's just a weird perception I have, but you ladies seem to have figured out the best way to run this show. Kudos! 

5. How many books did you read? I finished 7, and listened to part of another one. I read 1,192 pages and listened to 45 minutes in about 9 hours. It seems like there should be more there for both, but that's still not bad!

6. What were the names of the books you read? I listened to "Murder on the Orient Express" by Agatha Christie, and read "Wayward, Volume 1: String Theory" by Jim Zub, "William Shakespeare: His Life and Times" by Kristen McDermitt, "I'm Over All That" by Shirley MacLaine, "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" by Ransom Riggs, "Dirty Rowdy Thing" by Christina Lauren, "Vivian Apple at the End of the World" by Katie Coyle, and "Kaoru Mori: Anything & Something" by Kaoru Mori.

7. Which book did you enjoy the most? I liked them all, but I think "Vivian Apple..." was the best. It's such fast reading, and the characters and storyline pulled me in.

8. Which did you enjoy the least? Eh, I'll say the Shirley MacLaine. I still liked it, but it was little essay-lettes, so it was easy to skim the parts I wasn't crazy about.

9. How likely are you to participate again, and in which role? I'll for sure be back, and I'll be a reader again. I keep saying I'll maybe cheer the next time, but I really prefer to focus on books and stopping in occasionally to cheer people. 

I missed my readathon buddy, Sherry Ann, but I know I'll see her in October. And this was the first time I used instagram, and it was a lot of fun! Loved seeing everyone and their updates, I'm excited to use it again. Plus, it was much easier to update on instagram versus coming here every time. I think it helped me to read in a more focused way, though it was easier to get lost looking at #readathon things. 

And now, as per usual, I'll spend the rest of the day taking naps and reading. Yay for busting out of my months-long book funk! See you all in October, if not before! :)

It's Dewey's Readathon Day!

Good afternoon, Readers! It's 2 PM here in my part of the world, and I'm deep into reading for the day. Why not here earlier, you ask? Because my computer decided to be difficult so I shut it down after 2 hours of trying to fix it and just concentrated on books instead. It seems to be working just fine now, though, so...*shrug* who knows?!? 

I'll get started on official stuff right below here, but wanted to say that so far I'm having a good day, and really enjoying all of the #readathon stuff on instagram. I'm looking forward to seeing what I missed at the homepage, but first, a walk is in order while it's still sunny and nice outside!  

What started off as an already late start got even more screwy with computer stuff, but as it is, I'd planned less reading for this go-'round than usual. Recently I moved a bookshelf and rearranged all of my graphic novels/comics/manga/illustrated titles on it, so there's that that I'd like to pull from.  

And then there's my barely touched and nearly complete run of the Art of the Novella series published by Melville House that I'd like to read from.

And, of course, I'd like to finish up more of some of the books that I've been currently reading for months. Because yes, it has been multiple weeks of reading for about a dozen books. #bookfunk But no matter, because I seem to have busted through it, and I'm reading away!

Opening Meme

1. What part of the world are you reading from today?  My book-filled house outside of Milwaukee, WI.
2. What book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Probably one of my Kaoru Mori books. 
3. What snack are you most looking forward to? I planned snacks poorly this time around. But I think I'll order a pizza soon, so that's something! I've got a salad, a beef burrito, scalloped potatoes, and some leftover sausage, broccoli, and pasta thing I made on Thursday. Plus, Girl Scout cookies! :)
4. Tell us a little something about yourself! This is something in the late-teens for me, for Dewey's, so I've done this quite a few times! I'm a massage therapist, have two cats who are my kids, and I've recently gotten glasses! They seem to be needed mostly when my eyes get tired, though, so they'll for sure be used later.
5. If you participated last time (yes) what's one thing different you'll do today? The biggest thing I'm doing differently, aside from not really planning my TBR pile, is that I'm planning on sleeping. A nap or two, for sure, but sleep will be done! It screws me up for the next few days if I don't sleep at all (or enough), and there's no point in fighting it. 

Hour 2 Mini-Challenge
Hosted by Allison at Readage: Snapshots from a Reading Life, and she wants us to list our top 5 reading moments from our childhood. While this may not be exactly my top 5, they're ones that stand out in my memory. 
1. The first book I remember reading on my own, where reading "clicked" for me, was in the early days of kindergarten. I can feel myself sitting on that tiny chair, going through the motions, when it dawned on me that I could understand it. In a prescient, and typical me, fashion, I put that unknown book down, and picked up "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle, knowing that that was a book I'd remember forever. And I do!
2. My friend, Jessica, and I passed around V.C. Andrews books like crazy in late grade school and middle school, at first sneakily, and then just out in the open. I remember that she read the "Flowers in the Attic" series and I didn't, but we both read the "Heaven/Casteel" series, "My Sweet Audrina", the "Dawn/Cutler" series, and the "Ruby/Landry" series. I wish I'd saved them all, but I only have a few that I held onto.
3. When I was growing up, Disney didn't really have any animated films out (just the Sword and the Stone, Return to Oz, and this next one). So I spent a good chunk of time with book and record sets, and the one I could never get through more than once, was "The Fox and the Hound". The bear on side two really scared me, and the ending of that story so scarred me that first time, that even just thinking about it now, my eyes are pricking with tears. Still can't watch the movie at all!
4. Amelia Bedelia and her hijinks stand out as special moments for me. I remember laughing in the school library and checking them out over and over again.
5. One of our neighbors was British, and when she'd come home from visiting her parents, she always (very kindly) remembered to bring me a present. So she introduced me to 
"Paddington Bear", the Noddy books, especially "Noddy at the Seaside", the works of Jill Barklem, and one of my all-time favorite books, "Peterkin Pollensnuff" by Jenny Partridge.

Hour 9 Mini-Challenge
This time, Nea at my life is a fairytale that will never end, wants us to share a quote from the book we're currently reading. 
The murderer is with us -- on the train now...
It's from "Murder on the Orient Express" by Agatha Christie.

And now that I've spent a whole bunch of time catching up with Dewey's and taking a walk, I think I'll hit the books again and start a new post next time I'm back. Hope everyone is plowing through their TBRs! 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Bout of Books #15

Bout of Books

Hello, and Happy New Year to you all! I hope your holiday season was merry, bookish, and didn't break the bank! Here's to an excellent 2016 for all of us. 

This is the first time that I've actually remembered that a) Bout of Books has started and b) it's still early enough to sign up to participate! This will be my one place to update for the whole week. And if you'd like to join in the fun, here's the link! And for those who don't know about it, here's a little info:

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, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
I'd like to set my goal for the week at reading 5 books. It doesn't matter if I've already started them or not, but this should be enough of a challenge to keep me motivated throughout the next few days, and hopefully won't lead to me panic-reading over the weekend. Hope you can all join in, and happy reading to you all!

Day 1
No books finished yesterday, but I did make some progress in one of my current reads. 
Pages read: about 60
Titles: Watchful Thinking by H.P. Mallory and something on my Kindle, will update this later
Challenge: Introduction in six words "So many books so little time"

Day 2
Pages read: 75 (will probably read more when I get home tonight)
Books finished: The Bassoon King by Rainn Wilson
Challenge: answer some "would you rather" bookish questions, hosted at Writing My Own Fairy Tale

  • I would rather lend books to someone who dog-ears pages than some who reads with Cheeto fingers.
  • I would rather be able to meet one character of my choice than one author of my choice.
  • I'd rather never be allowed in a bookstore again than never be allowed in a library again! (Think of the money I'd save!)
  • I'd rather have to pick one of my favorite couples to break up in their book than choose one of my favorite characters to die in their book.
  • I'd rather be required to read Twilight once a year for the rest of my life than The Scarlet Letter once a year for the rest of my life. (I mean, neither are great options, but I can barely get through TSL, and I can at least speed read T.)

Days 3, 4, 5
Not much got read, I was too busy working and running errands.

Day 6
Pages read: about 275
Books finished: Is She Available? by Igor Goldkind and Peril At End House by Agatha Christie
Challenge: Take a picture of your favorite cozy reading spot, hosted by Once Upon A Chapter.

I love my couch! I've got pillows propped just right, I can use natural light for most of the day, and I can see the fireplace too. May not be the neatest, most photographable place, but it's the best!

Day 7
This is weird that today's the last day for BoB! I wish real life would have cooperated a little more, but that's okay. The plan for the day is just to catch up on books that I'm already in the middle of, maybe a few shorter library books that are due soon, and I'm going to "let myself" pick one GN off of my shelves that I've wanted to read for a long time. All I have to do is pick up the house a little and do more laundry, so I've got plenty of time to read!