Time Read: 13:00
Pages Read: 764. (That's an average of 59 per hour.)
Books Finished: Hot Lunch, I, Coriander, and Pigboy. I also read part of Alice Sebold's Lucky and started Rapunzel's Revenge.
Time Blogged: 8:00
Prizes Won: Three books from Hour 19 "Readers of the Hour" Visits. Also a book from the "Join BookCrossing" mini-challenge. (Woohoo!)
Frame of Mind: Having fallen asleep at about 22:30, I was feeling completely blissful by 24:00. :)
Cans of Diet Coke with Lime Consumed: 7.
Food Consumed: Breakfast - Bagel with Bacon and Provolone Cheese and Two Hard-Boiled Eggs. Handful of Cadbury Mini-Eggs. One Sundae Cone. Lunch - Tomato Sandwich and Crab Cakes. Piece of Fudge (which my daughter brought back from her recent trip to Disneyland). Some Potato Chips. Handful of Gummi Bears. Some Cheetos. Dinner - Steak Quesadillas and Chips with Queso Dip. Several Peppermints. Handful of Microwave Popcorn. More Peppermints.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
It's taken me several days to get back here. Here is my end-of-event survey:
1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
About midnight my time (elapsed time 18:00), I was really struggling. I didn't feel particularly well, and I wondered if I was going to be able to go on. But I pushed through - and I made it until about 4:30 a.m. my time (elapsed time 22:30). At that point, I just couldn't stay awake any longer, and that was the end of my participation.
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I focused on YA novels this year, and I think that that is a good approach.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
This was my fourth time to participate in Read-a-thon, and I just love it! One thing I wonder is how the experience would be for me if the time frame was shifted so that I started to read in the evening rather than early in the morning.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
The Twitter feed was a fun addition this year.
5. How many books did you read?
Three completed and parts of two more.
6. What were the names of the books you read?
The three I completed are Hot Lunch (a YA novel), I, Coriander (a children's novel), and Pigboy (a YA novel). I also read quite a bit of Lucky (a memoir by Alice Sebold), and I started Rapunzel's Revenge (a YA graphic novel). (By the way, since Sunday morning I've finished both Rapunzel's Revenge and Lucky.)
7. Which book did you enjoy most?
I enjoyed them all. The biggest surprise, perhaps, was Hot Lunch, which I liked more than I had even expected.
8. Which did you enjoy least?
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
If at all possible, I will participate in the next read-a-thon! I'd like to be a reader again - but if my schedule is too busy, then I'll be a cheerleader (or some other type of helper).
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I'm scheduling this post for 6:00 - the end of the 24-hour read-a-thon. I'm not sure if I'll still be awake when it's time to post it. Regardless, the message I'm leaving will be the same:
I can't keep my eyes open another minute. I'll be back sometime tomorrow - I mean, later today - with my final report. Good night!
Time Read: 12:00
Pages Read: 752. (That's an average of 62 per hour.)
Books Finished: Hot Lunch, I, Coriander, and Pigboy.
Time Blogged: 8:00
Prizes Won: Three books from Hour 19 "Readers of the Hour" Visits. (Woohoo!)
Frame of Mind: Three hours ago, I didn't think I was going to make it. I started walking all over the house and even went out on the porch to breathe the night air. I also opened up iTunes in an attempt to stimulate my sleepy brain. I've definitely now got a bit of a second wind. Whether it'll carry me another three hours, I'm not sure, but for now, life is good.
Cans of Diet Coke with Lime Consumed: 7.
Food Consumed: Breakfast - Bagel with Bacon and Provolone Cheese and Two Hard-Boiled Eggs. Handful of Cadbury Mini-Eggs. One Sundae Cone. Lunch - Tomato Sandwich and Crab Cakes. Piece of Fudge (which my daughter brought back from her recent trip to Disneyland). Some Potato Chips. Handful of Gummi Bears. Some Cheetos. Dinner - Steak Quesadillas and Chips with Queso Dip. Several Peppermints.
Hosted by Eva at A Striped Armchair.
I have lots of good memories of Dewey from the short time I knew her. One of my favorites relates to the YA graphic novel The Plain Janes. First she posted a great review, and then she gave her copy of the book to me and my daughters. This desire to share in the joy of a good book was typical of Dewey. I'm blessed to have crossed paths with her!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Hosted by Jessica at The Bluestocking Society.
Believing, as I do, that there are "so many books [but] so little time," I almost never re-read a book. There are a few exceptions, however. Here are six books that I found meaningful enough to read more than once:
Time Read: 10:30
Pages Read: 651. (That's an average of 62 per hour.)
Books Finished: Hot Lunch and I, Coriander.
Time Blogged: 5:45
Frame of Mind: I'm starting to fade. My brain is definitely not fully functional. If I took a nap, would I wake up before morning?
Cans of Diet Coke with Lime Consumed: 6.
Food Consumed: Breakfast - Bagel with Bacon and Provolone Cheese and Two Hard-Boiled Eggs. Handful of Cadbury Mini-Eggs. One Sundae Cone. Lunch - Tomato Sandwich and Crab Cakes. Piece of Fudge (which my daughter brought back from her recent trip to Disneyland). Some Potato Chips. Handful of Gummi Bears. Some Cheetos. Dinner - Steak Quesadillas and Chips with Queso Dip.
Hosted by Tammy at Tammy's Book Nook.
What is your favorite non-fiction book, and why? One of my all-time favorite books is The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Reading this memoir of a Dutch Christian women imprisoned in a concentration camp during World War II was a life-changing event for me!
What genre(s) do you enjoy, and are there particular writers that you would recommend to others? My favorite non-fiction reads are memoirs and biographies. I loved Michael J. Fox's Lucky Man and am looking forward to his new memoir Always Looking Up. Anne Lamott's work is very good too. By the way, I've read some of Alice Sebold's powerful memoir Lucky for the read-a-thon today.
If you don't read non-fiction, why not? I do read non-fiction, but I read a lot more fiction. I think that is because much of the time I like my reading to be a form of "escapism."
Time Read: 9:00
Pages Read: 556.
Books Finished: Hot Lunch. (I've got 94 pages to go in I, Coriander and 44 pages left in Lucky, so I should have another one or two finished fairly soon.)
Time Blogged: 4:15
Frame of Mind: I'm feeling pretty good right now. My husband has brought some Mexican food home from Cafe Rio - so I'm going to eat dinner while I keep on reading!
Cans of Diet Coke with Lime Consumed: 5.
Food Consumed: Breakfast - Bagel with Bacon and Provolone Cheese and Two Hard-Boiled Eggs. Handful of Cadbury Mini-Eggs. One Sundae Cone. Lunch - Tomato Sandwich and Crab Cakes. Piece of Fudge (which my daughter brought back from her recent trip to Disneyland). Some Potato Chips. Handful of Gummi Bears. Some Cheetos. (Yes, I've been snacking to stay awake.)
Now that we're halfway through, we have a survey to complete:
1. What are you reading right now?
I've been working on I, Coriander, a children's book that is this month's pick for my book club.
2. How many books have you read so far?
I have only finished one - the YA novel Hot Lunch by Alex Bradley. I've also read about half of Alice Sebold's memoir, Lucky (which I had started prior to the read-a-thon).
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
A quick and easy read for the second half - as I get more and more sleepy - is the graphic novel Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, and Nathan Hale. I'm also thinking that Laurie Halse Anderson's latest YA novel, Wintergirls will be a compelling read - one that will keep me awake. (My 13yo daughter, who read it today, warns me that it might make me cry a whole bunch, though.)
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
Fortunately, I didn't have any major commitments already on the calendar when I found out about the read-a-thon. I did beg off an assignment at work - but other people can cover that. I also told my son, who turns 10 next week, that we couldn't have his birthday party today, so it'll be next Saturday.
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
My entire family has been in and out of the house all day. But mostly I've just kept muddling through - gently reminding them that today is my read-a-thon.
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
It really has flown by - at least this first half.
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
This is my fourth time participating in the read-a-thon. I thought it was fabulous the first time, and it's just getting better and better.
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
Last time I said that I'd go to bed earlier the night before. I tried to do that last night - but only with limited success.
9. Are you getting tired yet?
I am a bit sleepy. I keep getting up and walking around the house, and then I find another snack to eat.
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?
I decided to focus mostly on children's and YA books this time, and I think that's a good approach.
Time Read: 6:30
Pages Read: 372. (I read from page 72 to page 202 in Lucky by Alice Sebold and then switched to Hot Lunch by Alex Bradley.)
Books Finished: None (yet).
Time Blogged: 2:30
Frame of Mind: I'm a little sleepy but doing alright. I'm nearly done with Hot Lunch, and it'll feel good to have one book finished.
Cans of Diet Coke with Lime Consumed: 3.
Food Consumed: Breakfast - Bagel with Bacon and Provolone Cheese and Two Hard-Boiled Eggs. Handful of Cadbury Mini-Eggs. One Sundae Cone. Lunch - Tomato Sandwich and Crab Cakes. Piece of Fudge (which my daughter brought back from her recent trip to Disneyland).
Hosted by Jessica at The Curious Reader.
- What is the name of your local library? What city is it located in? My local library is the Draper Library, which is a branch of the Salt Lake County Library System. It's located in the city of Draper.
- How often do you go to the library? If you're a regular, do the staff know you? I go to the library nearly every week with my younger kids. Some of the staff know us very well.
- Do you browse while you're there or just pick up items you have placed on reserve? I use the library's "hold" system profusely, but I also like to browse. At least once a month, my kids and I spend several hours at the library, browsing, using the computers, and just "hanging out."
- What is your favorite thing about your local library? The children's staff - Anne, in particular - run some excellent programs that my kids and I have enjoyed over the years. My daughters and I have participated in "Great Reads for Girls," and my son currently attends a monthly "No Girls Allowed!" event.
Time Read: 4:00
Pages Read: 160. (I read from page 72 to page 202 in Lucky by Alice Sebold and then switched to Hot Lunch by Alex Bradley.)
Books Finished: None (yet).
Time Blogged: 1:45
Frame of Mind: I can't believe that the read-a-thon is already one-quarter done! I'm not making as much reading progress as I would like, but I'm having fun.
Cans of Diet Coke with Lime Consumed: 2.
Food Consumed: One Bagel with Bacon and Provolone Cheese; Two Hard-Boiled Eggs. Handful of Cadbury Mini-Eggs. One Sundae Cone.
Time Read: 1:15
Pages Read: Only 28. (I read from page 72 to page 100 in Lucky by Alice Sebold.)
Books Finished: None (yet).
Time Blogged: 1:30
Frame of Mind: I've been distracted a lot so far this morning with getting myself awake and fed, responding to family members as they've gotten up, and watching the Twitter Feed. My somewhat reluctant reader son is currently sitting next to me reading Measle and the Wrathmonk, though, which gives me the warm fuzzies, and we enjoyed creating an entry for the first Mini-Challenge together. I'm going to be more focused on my reading as the day progresses!
Cans of Diet Coke with Lime Consumed: 1. (I just opened my second.)
Food Consumed: One Bagel with Bacon and Provolone Cheese; Two Hard-Boiled Eggs. Handful of Cadbury Mini-Eggs.
My almost-ten-year-old son helped me with this one!
From the back cover:
Clearly, any field trip involving manure is not right for a bunch of fourteen-year-olds. But manure wasn't even the worst part of the stupid field trip. The worst part was that the farmer grows pigs. And pigs are also called hogs. And there's this poor guy in our class called Dan Hogg who everybody hated.
The first activity of the read-a-thon is an Introduction Meme, created by Darcie a few read-a-thons ago. Here goes:
Where are you reading from today?
For the most part, I'll be sitting on the love seat in my family room, with my feet on the ottoman and my laptop computer sitting on a folding chair nearby.
Three facts about me:
- I have been an avid reader since I learned how to read. I won a copy of The Best-Loved Doll for reading the most books in my second grade class.
- I love Diet Coke with Lime, microwave popcorn, and crab cakes - all of which I intend to consume in the course of the read-a-thon.
- I don't do well when I don't get enough sleep. Participating in an event like this one is a bit of an act of faith that the rewards will outweigh the cost.
Officially I have twelve - which, if I actually manage to get through them, equates to one book every two hours. I'm starting with a book not in that pile, though, because I was reading it before bed last night. If necessary, there are dozens more books around the house from which I can choose.
Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (e.g., number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?
I think my only goal is to have some fun. This event is something I do just for me!
Any advice for people doing this for the first time?
This is my fourth read-a-thon, and one of the best parts for me has been visiting and being visited by other readers and cheerleaders. I'd recommend that everyone do that as much as they realistically can!
Here We Go!
It was a struggle to get out of bed this morning. It's still dark outside, although I can hear some birds singing. Everyone else in the house is still asleep. I'm very rarely the first one up on a Saturday morning; sleeping in on weekends is the norm for me, and I didn't get to bed as early as I had hoped last night.
I'm excited about participating in my fourth read-a-thon, though - and a bit melancholy thinking about Dewey. She'd be pleased to see all the participation today!
Bookmarks to help me stay connected and "in the know" all through the event:
Good luck to all the other read-a-thon participants, and a big thank you to Nymeth, Trish, Hannah, the cheerleaders, and all the other helpers!
Friday, April 17, 2009
Published in 2008. 406 pages.
I'm a big fan of the Alex Cross series. For some reason I didn't find this one as quick and compelling a read as usual - but Alex Cross is still my hero:
I needed to do this, to help in some way if I could. I knew this about myself: it was my nature. [page 225]
Monday, April 13, 2009
Published in 2009. 373 pages.
I loved Justina Chen Headley's first young adult novel Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies). For some reason I haven't yet read her second, Girl Overboard, but I was eager to read North of Beautiful anyway.
What North of Beautiful is about: This ambitious novel is partly about map-making and geocaching. It's also about art and China - and about relationships. More than that, it's about what constitutes beauty. Most of all, it's about finding out who you are.
An overview of the plot: High school student Terra Copper was born with a facial port-wine stain. That has affected her relationships with her parents, her interactions with friends of both sexes, her dreams for the future, her entire life. But everything she believes about herself and her place in the world will come into question when she quite literally runs into Chinese-born Goth-guy Jacob Fremont.
First line: Not to brag or anything, but if you saw me from behind, you'd probably think I was perfect.
Last line: "Here I am."
What I thought: I really liked North of Beautiful when I read it. In particular I loved the characters, especially Terra, Jacob, and their mothers. In the month since I read the book - since I'm nearly hopelessly behind on posting reviews - I've come to love it even more, as I've pondered about the symbolism and the interconnectedness of the themes. I highly recommend this book!
Interesting trivia about the cover: As reported by Publishers Weekly, the image on the cover was used on another recent release, Evermore.
For more information about Justina Chen Headley's work: Visit her website and her blog.
Other book bloggers' reviews of North of Beautiful:
If you have read and reviewed this book, I would love to link your review here. Please leave me a comment or email me your link!
- S. Krishna's Books (March 13, 2009)
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I've not felt very well today, but my husband brought me home these three items I had previously put on hold:
Friday, April 03, 2009
to encourage bloggers to share what they’ve checked out from the library.
Buckingham Palace Gardens by Anne Perry
(Most recent of the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series.)
Execution Dock by Anne Perry
(Most recent of the William Monk series.)
The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
(Newbery Medal Winner in 2007.)
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies
by Alexander McCall Smith (Audio Book)
(Sixth of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. I want to continue listening to this series during my commuting time, but up next is the fifth book of the series, The Full Cupboard of Life, which is coming from another branch for me.)
Pigboy by Vicki Grant
(Current Beehive Award Nominee in Young Adults' Books. Also on the Book Challenge List at my daughter's middle school.)
Three Cups of Tea
by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
(This non-fiction book has been highly recommended to me both by my mom and by a friend.)
True Detectives by Jonathan Kellerman
(Most recent of the Alex Delaware series - but I've got to read Bones first.)
Published in 2009. 477 pages.
Just over two years ago, I read my first Jodi Picoult novel, My Sister's Keeper. Since then I've read twelve others - there are just three still on my to-read list - and I was eager to read her latest novel, Handle with Care. Here's the book trailer:
Handle with Care has all the things I love about Picoult's work: thought-provoking, even controversial topics, alternating points of view, and the use of symbolism. (The symbolism in this case primarily comes through the discussion of various aspects of baking - such as folding, tempering, and weeping - as ten recipes are inserted throughout the book.)
Unfortunately, Handle with Care just didn't quite do it for me. I was distracted by the way that each character told his or her story to the daughter Willow. While I understand that the technique is intended to put me, as the reader, in Willow's place (as "you"), I often found it to result in awkward constructions or revelations. This novel also reminded me a lot of My Sister's Keeper, so in some ways I felt like "been there, done that." I am not unhappy that I spent most of my "free time" this week reading Handle with Care, but this one won't be near the top of my Picoult favorites list.
Picoult's website has book club discussion questions (be forewarned, though, because there are lots of spoilers!) as well as information about Osteogenesis Imperfecta.