Saturday, October 27, 2012

What I Am Reading

In my car: Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

In my kitchen: U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton.

On my Kindle: Doomsday Book by Connie Willis.

With the Book Buddies: Christianity for the Rest of Us by Diana Butler Bass.

For my young adult literature class: Return to Exile by E.J. Patten.

Via DailyLit: The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence by Tom Peters.

With my scripture study: 21 Days Closer to Christ by Emily Freeman, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver, and Whom the Lord Loveth: The Journey of Discipleship by Neal A. Maxwell.

In conjunction with my happiness project: Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin.

Yes, I am reading ten books all at the same time!

What are you reading?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou

Published in 2008 by Random House, Inc.
Audiobook read by the author.

I listened to Letter to My Daughter on CD. It is a short book - just two discs - but it's read by Maya Angelou herself and just hearing her voice brought a smile to my face. My daughter and I heard her speak at a conference several years ago, and we adore her!

As is usually (maybe always) the case with a collection of short stories or essays, some are better than others. I most enjoyed the essays here in which Angelou related an experience from her life and what she learned from it.

I also liked the commencement address she wrote. There Angelou advises that courage is the virtue that makes all other virtues possible. I love that idea!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Schwa Was Here
by Neal Shusterman

Originally published in 2004.
Audiobook read by the author.

How can something that makes me laugh out loud one minute make me cry the next?!

The Schwa Was Here is a terrific story - one to which anyone who has ever felt ignored or invisible will relate. The tale is told from the viewpoint of Antsy Bonano, whose "voice" is wonderful - and I loved hearing Antsy's words from Neal Shusterman himself.

This is the third of Shusterman's books I've read - and all three are very different reading experiences. I've definitely become a fan!

Shusterman's website is here.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Read-a-Thon End-of-Event Survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Hour 21, when I decided to call it quits, was the hardest hour for me. I just wanted to lay on the sofa and "pretend" to read!

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

Young adult novels are great read-a-thon picks. Memoirs are also a good choice.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

This was my tenth time participating in the Read-a-thon, and I thought things went well.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

I enjoyed the visits from the Cheerleaders.

5. How many books did you read?

I finished two books - and I also read parts of three others.

6. What were the names of the books you read?

The Year My Son and I Were Born by Kathryn Lynard Soper and Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead.

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

Both books were great!

8. Which did you enjoy least?

Not applicable.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

Not applicable.

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! This is one of the few things I do that is just for me. I'd like to be a reader again - but I'm also thinking that it might be fun to try cheerleading.

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge

"Book Sentences"
Hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl

I have used four books from
my to-read pile to create a sentence.

Every day, the outsiders simplify life [of pi].

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Elapsed Time 16:30

Progress Report

Time Read: 10:15 (This includes about three hours of "reading" via CD. I'm currently listening to two audiobooks - U is for Undertow and Between the Lines. The former has keep me company for a couple weeks while I've done kitchen chores, and the latter has been my commute companion this week. Today I've listened to a bit of both books.)

Locations I've Read: 3. (In addition to reading at home, I spent a little time at the library this afternoon and then read while I ate a sandwich and some soup at Café Zupas. Oh, I guess listening to a book on CD while driving between locations means I actually "read" in four places!)

Pages Read: 516.

Books Finished: 2. (The Year My Son and I Were Born by Kathryn Lynard Soper and Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead.)

Time Blogged and/or Tweeted: 6:15 (One of the things I did was work on some long-overdue reviews that I hope to post this coming week.)

Frame of Mind: It was great getting out of the house for a while. I'm now in my PJs, and my contacts are starting to make my eyes feel "buggy." I'm not sure how much longer I can leave them in - but once I take them out, I think my body will expect that it's time for sleep.

Cans of Diet Coke with Lime Consumed: 3.

Food Consumed:
A mug of hot chocolate. A bowl of microwave popcorn. A small cup of clam chowder from Thursday's dinner. A bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit, a hashbrown, and a small orange juice - brought to me by my husband and daughter from the McDonald's drive-thru. Some chocolate Twizzlers. A Rice Krispy treat. A dinner of soup and sandwich (Yucatan Chicken Tortilla and Ultimate Grilled Cheese, respectively) - plus a piece of bread and a chocolate-covered strawberry. Some Hershey's Nuggets (with almonds and toffee).

Read-a-Thon Mid-Event Survey

Now that we're more than halfway through, we have a survey to complete:

1. How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?
I didn't go to bed early enough last night, so I'm definitely starting to feel tired. I left the house for several hours, though - spending some time at the library and then at a favorite restaurant - so I'm hoping that change of scenery will carry me through the next little while now I'm back home.

2. What have you finished reading?
I read The Year My Son and I Were Born by Kathryn Lynard Soper this morning. I haven't finished anything else yet.

3. What is your favorite read so far?
I'm enjoying everything I'm reading - even though I've only finished one book so far.

4. What about your favorite snacks?
I love chocolate Twizzlers!

5. Have you found any new blogs through the readathon?
I've visited a few that I'm going to add a few to my blog list: YA? Why Not?, The Allure of Books, and Mom is Reading.

Another Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge

"Book Puzzle"
Hosted by Melissa at One Librarian's Book Reviews

This is the title of one of the books in my read-a-thon pile. Do you know what it is?

Image by lioness_graphics.

By the way, my entry in this mini-challenge a year ago is here - and it's a book I finally read this morning!

Elapsed Time 6:00

Progress Report

Time Read: 4:00

Pages Read: 243. (I am about three-fourths done with The Year My Son and I Were Born by Kathryn Lynard Soper.)

Books Finished: None yet.

Time Blogged and/or Tweeted: 2:00

Frame of Mind: I've been doing a lot of crying while reading - which is somewhat cathartic. I'm feeling a little sleepy - I didn't get to bed until late last night - so I think I'll need to look for a change of pace shortly.

Cans of Diet Coke with Lime Consumed:
(What?! I guess I better get a can now!)

Food Consumed:
A mug of hot chocolate. A bowl of microwave popcorn. A small cup of clam chowder from Thursday's dinner. A bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit, a hashbrown, and a small orange juice - brought to me by my husband and daughter from the McDonald's drive-thru.

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge

"Oldies But Goodies"
Hosted by Allie at A Literary Odyssey

Allie asked, "What classic book should all high school aged children read and why?"

My first thought was To Kill a Mockingbird. I first read it as a high school senior, and it has affected the way I've viewed the world for the past thirty years. I saw the play version this past summer and was reminded again why I so love this book!

A lot of read-a-thon participants answered Allie's question with TKMB. Some other answers I liked were The Outsiders (which my thirteen-year-old son just finished and I'd like to re-read), Fahrenheit 451 (which I also read in high school), The Color Purple (which I read for a college class I took about twenty years ago), Of Mice and Men (which I read just last year), and Frankenstein (which I also read just last year).

A few of those mentioned that I haven't read that but need (and want) to read are The Little Prince, The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Diary of Anne Frank.

A book I think all teens should read that wasn't mentioned - maybe because it was published in 2000 and so probably doesn't (yet) qualify as a "classic" - is Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl. I first read it when my oldest child had to read it in school - and I found it to be an amazing celebration of nonconformity!

Introductory Questionnaire

What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
The suburbs of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead.

Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Black bean nachos with fresh guacamole.

Tell us a little something about yourself!
I learned to read with Dick and Jane when I was six years old, and I've not stopped since. I work with numbers in my professional life, but I love words!

If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?
I plan to get out of the house for part of the day's reading - maybe the library, maybe a favorite restaurant.

Elapsed Time 0:00

Here We Go!

It is quiet, dark, and cold - and yet I'm out of bed and ready to read. It must be Dewey's Read-a-Thon!

This is the tenth time I've participated - and I'm looking forward to a great day of books, blogging, and snacks. Good luck to the other read-a-thon participants, and a big thanks to the hosts, the cheerleaders, and all the other helpers!

If you're just stopping by and want to know more about what's happening, check out the read-a-thon blog or Twitter or Facebook page.