Saturday, October 18, 2014

Readathon!!


It's Readathon time!!

Yes, I know, I'm early. But it's my first one, and I'm excited - also, I know that by the time this thing OFFICIALLY starts (at 7:00 am), my kids will be up and demanding, so I'm just giving myself a little bit of time before that to do some reading and let myself feel like I'm actually doing this thing.

Since I don't want to completely freak out those of you who are used to seeing one post every 2 weeks or so (*grin*), I'm just going to update this post all day long. So if you are interested in seeing how my Readathon is going, feel free to follow along. If not, feel free to skip this one, and come back when I resume my regularly non-scheduled sporadic posting. =)

I am starting off the Readathon with


something short - I think it will be a quick read, giving me an immediate sense of accomplishment. Here we go!!!

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Update #1 - Opening Meme


1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I am reading from Des Moines, Iowa, USA. I'm told it's going to be a gorgeous fall day, so I may even get to read outside for a bit!

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I'm excited about The Egypt Game, which I'm starting off reading. I loved this author as a kid, so I'm interested to see if her work still holds up as an adult. I also have a couple of novels by Sharon Shinn, who is an author that always works well for me.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Buffalo cheese dip!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I've been a blogger for several years, but this is actually the first readathon that I will be able to participate as a reader, and I'm very excited! I'm in charge of the kids today, so my participation will be a bit sporadic, but I can't wait. 

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?

First time reader, so everything seems exciting. Mostly I'm just looking forward to the sense of community with so many other readers all reading at once. 

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Update #2 - 12:30 pm

I finished The Egypt Game at around 11:45, just in time for lunch. Now we've all finished eating, the kids are settling in with some coloring books, and I'm going to start my next book. I think I'll try one from A Good Man is Hard to Find, and then settle in with Troubled Waters.

So far, so good!

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Update #3 - 4:45 pm

I spent a bit of time with Ms. Flannery O'Connor (wow. I'm not sure I'm ready for her stories.), read a couple of chapters of Troubled Waters, and then picked up this novel -



This was a great library find - a young man in WWII NYC watches his brother go off to war, and experiences the inevitable struggles a family goes through with a loved one fighting abroad.  In the course of his duties to his family's store, he makes the acquaintance of the artist Piet Mondrian, and the two form a friendship of sorts. Really interesting ideas about the importance of imagination, and the trials of growing up. I'm glad I found this one!

Time to work on supper - then more reading! Hopefully when the kiddos go to bed I'll be able to do a little more with the social aspects of the Readathon.

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Update #4 - 8:40 pm

Mid-Event Survey (just a bit late) -

1. What are you reading right now?

Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn, one of my favorite go-to fantasy authors, and A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor, which is weirding me right out.

2. How many books have you read so far?

I have finished TWO! And started two more. So yay.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the readathon?

I'm really looking forward to digging in to Troubled Waters - the kids are in bed, so it's time for some serious reading!

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with them?

Well, I guess if you call two 4-year-olds interruptions, then yes. 

In all seriousness, they were about as good as it's possible for them to be, so I actually got a decent amount of reading done. It's almost like they were cooperating with me. =)

5. What surprises you the most about the Readathon so far?

It's the food situation. I ate too many snacky things, so by the time supper rolled around I was shaky and starving. Note to self - next time, eat real food.



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Update the last, 6:15 am

End of Event Meme -

Which hour was most daunting for you?

You know, there wasn't really an hour that seemed daunting, but that's because I knew I was going to fall asleep so I didn't fight it. I have to be awake all day today with the kiddos, so staying up wasn't really an option - this old lady can't do that anymore! SO I just fell asleep naturally. BUT - I set my alarm for early, got up, and finished the book I was working on this morning!

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

I'm really happy with my decision to read YA novels, short stories, and a book from an author I know I love. The YA novels were quick reads, which gave me a sense of accomplishment. The short stories were nice "palate cleansers" in between longer reads. The novel by one of my favorite authors just felt completely satisfying.

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

This was my first time as a reader, and I really enjoyed myself. I never saw any cheerleaders, so I did kinda miss that aspect, but I know there were a ton of readers, so if they didn't get around to me it's not the biggest deal.

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

I really liked the Goodreads group. I will definitely participate in that again!

How many books did you read?

Three! plus some short stories

What were the names of the books you read?

The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatly Snyder
Mister Orange by Truus Matti
Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn
various short stories from A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor

Which book did you enjoy most?

Probably Troubled Waters, just because Sharon Shinn is such a favorite of mine

Which did you enjoy least?

I actually enjoyed them all.

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

I wasn't a cheerleader, but I did take a short break to "cheer" for a few of my fellow bloggers that I knew were reading, and that was fun. Short breaks seem to be the key for me.

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I will definitely participate again, and I'd love to be a reader. I'm happy I was able to join in when I could and not put pressure on myself to "do more". I think the leaders of the Readathon do a great job of encouraging everyone to read as much as they can, when they can, and that makes it such an INCLUSIVE event. I love it - thanks so much!


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dewey's Readathon!



I'm taking the plunge! I'm going to participate as a reader for the first time ever in Dewey's Readathon!

It's hard to believe this will be my first year ever as a reader - I've been a cheerleader in previous years, but it never quite worked out for me to be a reader. Now, in all honesty, I won't be able to read for the entire 24 hours. I solo parent on weekends while my husband is at work, so my free time is definitely limited. BUT - I have decided that whatever time I have when I don't HAVE to be doing something else, I'm going to be reading. Will it be perfect? Nope. But it will be fun!

I even have a book stack all ready -



I've been paying attention to suggestions from seasoned Readathon veterans, so I have a few books by authors I already know I love; a couple of books of short stories; a couple of YA novels; and if none of these strike my fancy, I'll just pick up something else. I know I'll never get to read ALL these books during the Readathon, but it will be nice to have some good choices.

If you don't know what the Readathon is, you can find out more info here. I'm so excited to be joining everyone this year! Bring it on!


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Shorts

Stella Bain by Anita Shreve
published 2014
272 pages

Synopsis from publisher -

When an American woman, Stella Bain, is found suffering from severe shell shock in an exclusive garden in London, surgeon August Bridge and his wife selflessly agree to take her in.

A gesture of goodwill turns into something more as Bridge quickly develops a clinical interest in his houseguest. Stella had been working as a nurse's aide near the front, but she can't remember anything prior to four months earlier when she was found wounded on a French battlefield.

In a narrative that takes us from London to America and back again, Shreve has created an engrossing and wrenching tale about love and the meaning of memory, set against the haunting backdrop of a war that destroyed an entire generation.

My thoughts -

This was a bit of a case of being sold something that wasn't quite what I got. My expectations for the novel were one thing, but the novel itself veered off into a direction that I found did not really serve the purpose of the novel. I felt like the author was holding her readers at a distance from the story, which kept me from ever truly caring about the characters or their motivations. Beautifully written, but it left me cold.

Finished - 9/6/14
MPAA rating - PG-13 for violence of several varieties
My rating - 2/5