Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Preparations

2aLast week I messed up my status post, but I also barely read anything so not much lost. I'm finding that writing a book really interferes with my reading time.

On the bright side, everything that I do read seems quite good by comparison with my own work, so there's that silver lining. I should have saved up the worst drek I need for my challenges.

Somewhere in here I've also got to find time to cook about 1/10 of a Thanksgiving meal. I think I'm responsible for 3 dishes, while my sister makes everything else. Well, my brother-in-law contributes some things, and my niece is stepping up to the plate a bit (see what I did there?). Also, I shall probably force my son to make a pie, even though he's technically not eating with us. He'll be here this weekend, though, so leftovers could be in his future.

I'm off to sign up to see what everyone else is reading lately at bookjourney's and Teach Mentor Texts lists.

Finished this week:
  • William Shakespeare's Star Wars, Ian Doescher
  • After I'm Gone, Laura Lippman
  • Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, Meg Medina
  • Thorn Fall, Lindsay Buroker
  • The Bronte Sisters, by Catherine Reef
  • Dark Triumph, Robin LaFevers
  • Shards of Time, Lynn Flewelling
I think I did these last week:
  • My Side of the Mountain
  • Shifting Shadows
What am I currently reading? 22 books! Unfortunately, I'm nowhere near finishing anything and I will start a new book tomorrow, so I'm stuck on two pages. ARGH!  My currently reading list is now on up-to-date on GOODREADS.
  • Wide Open, Deborah Coates. NOOK. Someone in South Dakota sees ghosts.
  • Conjured, Sarah Beth Durst. Cybils pick.
  • Pantomime, Laura Lam. Cybils pick.
  • Slow Reading in a Hurried Age, David Mikics. Book about the pleasures of reading. As a converted, I like being preached to.
  • Boys Wanted, Flynn Meaney. Boy shortage in a Wisconsin town.
  • The Shadow Throne, Jennifer Nielsen. Third in a series -- my kids read this months ago.
  • Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson. Last month's Sword and Laser pick. I'm always behind. So far I'm not sure I like the main character. 
  • Codex Born, Jim C. Hines. 
  • Dead Man Walking, Sister Helen Prejean. From my shelves.
  • A Matter for Men, David Gerrold. No change.
  • Anna of Byzantium, Tracy Barett. No change.
  • About That Night, Norah McClintock.  No change. 
  • Rogue, Michael Z. Williamson. 
  • Wildflower, Alecia Whitaker. 
  • Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt. No change.
  • Yonder Comes the Other End of Time, Suzette Elgin. No change. 
  • Tinker, Wen Spencer. I do enjoy this book. Windwolf saves her from a bad date. 
  • Inkheart, Cornelia Funke. No change.
Reading intermittently, and deliberately slowly. These never change much:
  • Lost Enchantment, Barbara Cartland. 
  • The Jury, Stephen Adler. 
  • Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vacca. How scattershot strategies aren't that effective.
  • Nerds, Michael Buckley. 
  • Out to Canaan, Jan Karon. The bad mayoral candidate has won the election.
  • The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens.
What's up next?  Still starting a book every other day, until I get this library backlog under control. So reading nothing from my shelves :-(. I'm choosing books I've borrowed that have to go back soon.

Monday: Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls
Tuesday:
Wednesday: Hawk
Thursday:
Friday: Mind Games or possibly Minion
Saturday:
Sunday: The Turning Season

For my NOOK, I have The Summer Prince waiting.

2014 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils: 68/77. Starting to look like I might finish.
  2. Where Am I Reading? 37/51. We are in crisis mode here. Anybody have ideas for Missouri, North Dakota, or New Jersey? I've found books for Arkansas, Wisconsin, and South Dakota -- I just have to read them.
  3. Alphabetically Inclined: 19/26. Only books from my shelves count, and all my library books are due! Still need EIJ V XYZ.
  4. What's In a Name?: 7/7. Still have to review everything. Ha!
  5. Book Bingo: Decided to be happy with one square.
  6. Gentle Spectrum Challenge complete!.
  7. Small Fry Safari: 8/8. All done! Except for the reviewing...
  8. PoC Speculative Fiction: 23/5: Nothing new.
  9. Best of the Best 2012: 52/25.  I am stalled.
  10. Reading My Library: Library temporarily closed, so on hiatus.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Falling, Flailing, and Fictioning

2aIt's a good thing that my house is full of sugar, because I have commenced NaNoWriMo-ing. For people have have spent their lives among sensible people and so have no idea what this means, I am spending November writing a novel of 50,000 words. So are approximately a zillion other people. It's a Thing!

I've tried it before, but this is the first time I've made it past the first week. My secret? Abandon all standards! My book is awful. I ran out of plot thousands of words ago, so my characters just stand around and talk until I figure out how to get them to move. But the whole point of the exercise is to get in the habit of writing, and already I am getting better of noticing that I am writing myself into a dead end. So I think I'm learning something, even if what I have at the end will not be an undiscovered masterpiece. I have hopes about the undiscovered bit. Please all the heavens it remains undiscovered.

All this novel-writing is making it harder to keep up with my reading, although I do have to finish about thirty more books between now and the end of the year. I hope someone has stuck in a dozen or so leap days (weeks?) somewhere in December.

I'm off to sign up to see what everyone else is reading lately at bookjourney's and Teach Mentor Texts lists.

Finished this week:
  • My Side of the Mountain
  • Shifting Shadows
What am I currently reading? 21 books! Unfortunately, I'm nowhere near finishing anything and I will start a new book tomorrow, so I'm stuck on two pages. ARGH!  My currently reading list is now on up-to-date on GOODREADS.
  • The Shadow Throne, Jennifer Nielsen. Third in a series -- my kids read this months ago.
  • Dark Triumph, Robin LeFevers. NOOK. Another Cybils pick. My tenth grader liked it enough to order up the third.
  • The Bronte Sisters: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, Catherine Reef. Another Cybils pick -- this is the last of the YA nonfiction.
  • Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson. Last month's Sword and Laser pick. I'm always behind. So far I'm not sure I like the main character. 
  • Thorn Fall, Lindsay Buroker. NOOK. I'm going to go back and buy the first one, because I'm having a lot of fun with this.
  • Codex Born, Jim C. Hines. 
  • Dead Man Walking, Sister Helen Prejean. From my shelves.
  • A Matter for Men, David Gerrold. No change.
  • Anna of Byzantium, Tracy Barett. No change.
  • About That Night, Norah McClintock.  No change. 
  • Rogue, Michael Z. Williamson. 
  • Wildflower, Alecia Whitaker. 
  • Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt. No change.
  • Yonder Comes the Other End of Time, Suzette Elgin. No change. 
  • Shards of Time, Lynn Flewelling.  The princess has been kidnapped! Can Alec find a way to the land of the dead to save her? Also, Seregil's hair has been ruined! Shades of Nightvale.
  • Tinker, Wen Spencer. I do enjoy this book. Windwolf saves her from a bad date. 
  • Inkheart, Cornelia Funke. No change.
Reading intermittently, and deliberately slowly. These never change much:
  • Lost Enchantment, Barbara Cartland. That sweet young thing has no idea that the nice man is the duke.
  • The Jury, Stephen Adler. Why intelligent people are tossed off juries. 
  • Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vacca. How scattershot strategies aren't that effective.
  • Nerds, Michael Buckley. The protagonist is still a jerk. The kids he bullied eagerly take the chance to beat him up. I need somebody to root for here!
  • Out to Canaan, Jan Karon. Evil rental shenanigans!
  • The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens. Sam's dad is widowed.
What's up next?  Still starting a book every other day, until I get this library backlog under control. I picked two Cybils books (that's the challenge I really want to finish), a book club read, and I'm knocking off Wisconsin with a borrowed book. So reading nothing from my shelves :-(.

Monday: 
Tuesday: Slow Reading in a Hurried Age
Wednesday
Thursday: After He's Gone
Friday: 
Saturday: Pantomime
Sunday:

For my NOOK, I have Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass ready to start.

2014 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils: 64/77. Still need to finish nonfiction YA.
  2. Where Am I Reading? 36/51. We are in crisis mode here. Currently reading Arizona, and have a Wisconsin up this week.
  3. Alphabetically Inclined: 19/26. Only books from my shelves count, and all my library books are due! Still need EIJ V XYZ.
  4. What's In a Name?: 7/7. Still have to review everything. Ha!
  5. Book Bingo: Decided to be happy with one square.
  6. Gentle Spectrum Challenge complete!.
  7. Small Fry Safari: 8/8. All done! Except for the reviewing...
  8. PoC Speculative Fiction: 23/5: Nothing new.
  9. Best of the Best 2012: 52/25.  I am stalled.
  10. Reading My Library: Library temporarily closed, so on hiatus.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Friends, Romans, Archeologists

2aThis week ended with an abundance of candy. The boys dressed up as a Roman senator and Indiana Jones, and went off gathering goodies with their cousin the Dark Angel. The high schooler carefully shaved before heading out because he didn't want to look too old.

Hey, my rule is, if you wear a costume, you can trick-or-treat. I decorated up my house with the jack-o-lanterns and all the clearance Halloween stuff I've accumulated (dangling skeleton, glowing skull stakes, eyeball and spiderweb lights. I think I hit it about right when I heard a four year old explaining that it wasn't too scary because he was very brave. So I have him an extra piece of candy. We get lots of kids, from the toddlers who toss aside their pumpkin basket to get their hands on the candy I'm offering, to the slacker teens who won't dress up. Although I always ask, because I'm open to the idea that I'm just missing the joke. After all, how was I to know that those kids were dressed like Nerds? I thought that was the style these days.

I'm off to sign up to see what everyone else is reading lately at bookjourney's and Teach Mentor Texts lists.
  • I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girl 1), Ally Carter. This was a lot of fun -- I may get some of the rest. Thanks to my elementary book club for the recommendation.
  • Wrinkle In Time, Madeline L'Engle. My family book club picked this. It has held up well.
  • Magic City: Recent Spells. Many good short stories.
  • The Heiress Effect, Courtney Milan. Fun romance, and I want to see some of those dresses.
  • Uzumaki 1-3, Junji Ito. This Cybils pick was much too creepy for me, and I also have problems with the depiction of women in it.
What am I currently reading? 21 books! Argh, I am back on two pages. I will try to finish a few of them quickly.  My currently reading list is now on up-to-date on GOODREADS.
  • Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson. Last month's Sword and Laser pick. I'm always behind.
  • Boy on the Wooden Box, Leon Leyson. Cybils book about the Holocaust.
  • Kiss of Steel, Bec McMaster. NOOK. Vaginal Fantasy alt from last month. I'm not really liking it much.
  • Pleasure Unbound, Larissa Ione. Very old Vaginal Fantasy pick. I think. I hope I am laughing in the right spots.
  • Thorn Fall, Lindsay Buroker. NOOK. I have to say that Buroker does urban fantasy just as well as she does her steam-punk stuff set in a different world.
  • Codex Born, Jim C. Hines. Second book in a series where magicians get their power from books, so it's hard to see how it can possibly go wrong. I liked the first one, so I bought this one.
  • Dead Man Walking, Sister Helen Prejean. From my shelves.
  • A Matter for Men, David Gerrold. No change.
  • Anna of Byzantium, Tracy Barett. No change.
  • About That Night, Norah McClintock.  No change. 
  • Rogue, Michael Z. Williamson. 
  • Wildflower, Alecia Whitaker. 
  • Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt. No change.
  • Yonder Comes the Other End of Time, Suzette Elgin. No change. 
  • Shards of Time, Lynn Flewelling.  They get to the island and take a bath.
  • Tinker, Wen Spencer. I do enjoy this book. Windwolf saves her from a bad date. 
  • Inkheart, Cornelia Funke. No change.
Reading intermittently, and deliberately slowly. These never change much:
  • Lost Enchantment, Barbara Cartland. I've never read anything by this romance icon.
  • The Jury, Stephen Adler. Why intelligent people are tossed off juries. 
  • Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vacca. How scattershot strategies aren't that effective.
  • Nerds, Michael Buckley. The protagonist is still a jerk. The kids he bullied eager take the chance to beat him up. I need somebody to root for here!
  • Out to Canaan, Jan Karon. The rich guy brought home a wife.
  • The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens. Sam's dad is widowed.
What's up next?  Still starting a book every other day, until I get this library backlog under control. I think my the New Year I will have this under control, just in time for three month drought where I try to get no new books.  I picked a book for it's location, a book recommended by my elementary school book club, a Cybils finalist, and the Sword & Laser October pick.

Monday: 
Tuesday: Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince
Wednesday
Thursday: Shifting Shadows
Friday: 
Saturday: The Bronte Sisters
Sunday:

For my NOOK, I have Dark Triumph ready to start.

NOOK books:

2014 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils: 62/77. Still need to finish nonfiction YA.
  2. Where Am I Reading? 36/51. We are in crisis mode here.
  3. Alphabetically Inclined: 19/26. Only books from my shelves count, and all my library books are due! Still need EIJ V XYZ.
  4. What's In a Name?: 7/7. Still have to review everything. Ha!
  5. Book Bingo: Fifteen boxes into square 2.
  6. Gentle Spectrum Challenge complete!.
  7. Small Fry Safari: 8/8. All done! Except for the reviewing...
  8. PoC Speculative Fiction: 23/5: Umazi counts.
  9. Best of the Best 2012: 52/25.  I am stalled.
  10. Reading My Library: Library temporarily closed, so on hiatus.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Carving

2aThis week showed a definite move away from summer -- the rains came down and the sun hid away. Luckily most of the weekend plans were weather independent -- volleyball class is in a gym, chess is not really an outdoor sport, and D&D only has imaginary storms. Even the pumpkin carving party was safely indoors, with enough natural and electric light for me to create my usual masterpieces.

My sister hosts this every year, and she has a nice collection of specialty carving knives and saws and shapes as well as a collection of design suggestions that almost everyone else uses to create vegetable artwork. Me, I'm a jack-o-lantern traditionalist. My boys were trapped in some of the above activities, so I carved two pumpkins and then decided that the gourd-like object was spooky enough intact. Also, it looked like it might hurt me if I tried to cut it.

I had an good time reading this week. From Monday to Wednesday I concentrated on the books due back at the library, and then I just meandered through my still quite hefty currently reading sack. That looks to be my policy for the next month or so, at which point I will switch from frantically reading whatever is due to frantically finishing off my challenges.

I'm off to sign up to see what everyone else is reading lately at bookjourney's and Teach Mentor Texts lists.
  • The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander. A truly depression description of what America's evil drug policy has done to its minority underclass, and how hard it will be to change it.
  • Touch Blue, Cynthia Lord. Simple tale of a family reforming -- I thought it would be much more preachy than it is. Left me hungry for a lobster dinner, though.
  • Drink, Slay, Love, Sarah Beth Durst. This story of vampires, unicorns, and prom deserves the high honor of being shelved next to Team Human. I have recommended it to my high schooler. Also, Connecticut!
  • Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell. College kids struggle through their first year. And they do it in Nebraska! Score!
What am I currently reading? Only 20 books! Which means it fits on one page of my screen, which is the definition of restrained.  My currently reading list is now on up-to-date on GOODREADS.
  • Uzumaki, Junji Ito. For the Cybils. The official finalist is the compilation of volumes 1-3, but my library has them seperately. I assume it is because my awesome library know about them before they were cool.
  • The Heiress Effect, Courtney Milan. NOOK. Fun yet emotionally true romance mixing English voting reform with the legal helplessness of women, and of course humor and true love.
  • Pleasure Unbound, Larissa Ione. Very old Vaginal Fantasy pick. I think. I thought it was endless BDSM porn, but it mixes the sex with funny dialogue. I think it is supposed to be funny.
  • Thorn Fall, Lindsay Buroker. NOOK. I have to say that Buroker does urban fantasy just as well as she does her steam-punk stuff set in a different world.
  • Codex Born, Jim C. Hines. Second book in a series where magicians get their power from books, so it's hard to see how it can possibly go wrong. I liked the first one, so I bought this one.
  • Dead Man Walking, Sister Helen Prejean. From my shelves.
  • A Matter for Men, David Gerrold. No change.
  • Anna of Byzantium, Tracy Barett. No change.
  • Magic City: Recent Spells, Paula Guran, ed. I liked the Elizabeth Bear story about the tall werewolf drag queen.
  • About That Night, Norah McClintock.  No change. 
  • Rogue, Michael Z. Williamson. 
  • Wildflower, Alecia Whitaker. 
  • Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt. No change.
  • Yonder Comes the Other End of Time, Suzette Elgin. No change. 
  • Shards of Time, Lynn Flewelling.  They get to the island and take a bath.
  • Tinker, Wen Spencer. I do enjoy this book. Windwolf saves her from a bad date. 
  • Inkheart, Cornelia Funke. No change.
Reading intermittently, and deliberately slowly. These never change much:
  • The Jury, Stephen Adler. Why intelligent people are tossed off juries. 
  • Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vacca. Different approaches to reading. 
  • Nerds, Michael Buckley. What strange organization is this?
  • Out to Canaan, Jan Karon. Time to welcome home the traveler.
  • The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens. 
What's up next?  Still starting a book every other day, until I get this library backlog under control. I think my the New Year I will have this under control, just in time for three month drought where I try to get no new books.  I picked a book for it's location, a book recommended by my elementary school book club, a Cybils finalist, and the Sword & Laser October pick.

Monday: The Summer Girls
Tuesday:
Wednesday: I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You
Thursday:
Friday: The Boy in the Wooden Box
Saturday:
Sunday: Alif the Unseen

For my NOOK, I have Kiss of Steel waiting, and Dark Triumph when I finish that.

NOOK books:

2014 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils: 62/77. Although I'm most of the way through the last Graphic Novel.
  2. Where Am I Reading? 36/51. Connecticut and Nebraska down. Now I need an Arkansas book. And Maryland. Will start South Carolina this week.
  3. Alphabetically Inclined: 19/26. Only books from my shelves count, and all my library books are due! Still need EIJ V XYZ.
  4. What's In a Name?: 7/7. Still have to review everything. Ha!
  5. Book Bingo: Fifteen boxes into square 2.
  6. Gentle Spectrum Challenge complete!.
  7. Small Fry Safari: 8/8. All done! Except for the reviewing...
  8. PoC Speculative Fiction: 22/5: Son of Neptune has to PoC main characters.
  9. Best of the Best 2012: 52/25.  I am stalled.
  10. Reading My Library: Library temporarily closed, so on hiatus.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dewey 24 Hour Readathon Weekend

2a
This weekend I signed up for the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon, and managed to read for about 21 hours of it, with a few interruptions for walking around, cheering on everyone else, and breathing. My goal was to finish some of the books I've been carrying around since this summer, and to get my currently-reading stack under 20.

Mission accomplished! Of course, I've only read about 100 pages since Saturday, so now I'm falling behind again, but I just need a few hours a day of concentration. I had fun pushing myself to finish things, and my kids had fun slacking off. Sunday I managed to get out of the house to do some long overdue grocery shopping and to enjoy the beautiful weather and the return of my traveling niece.

I'm off to sign up to see what everyone else is reading lately at bookjourney's and Teach Mentor Texts lists. Six of these books were finishing on Saturday during the read-a-thon.
  • Protector, C.J. Cherryh. This series is getting very top-heavy, so wheels spin for the first hundred or so pages, but once past that the plot is fast and furious. The stilted language of the aliens tired me out so I didn't quite finish it on Saturday.
  • The Son of Neptune, Rick Riordan. They got to Alaska! Although the Amazons were my favorite part.
  • Cathedral of the Wild, Boyd Varty. Touching memoir of growing up interacting with animals at a safari park, only to almost succumb to demons within.
  • Always, Abigail, Nancy Cavanaugh. A cautionary tale of a sixth grader attracted to the mean girls who almost can't bring herself to make friends with actual nice people.
  • "The President Has Been Shot!", James L. Swanson. Taut description of JFK's assassination, a worthy finalist for the YA nonfiction Cybils .
  • Templar, Jordan Mechner. Another Cybils, this time YA graphic novel. Interesting history that I didn't know much about.
  • Divergent, Veronica Roth. Better than I expected -- and now I can get the movie!
  • The Whispering Skull, Jonathan Stroud. I'm struggling a bit with this series, because I keep wishing for the narrator to be as awesome as her boss.
  • Imprisoned, Martin W. Sandler. Another Cybils history book, which taught me things I didn't know about the Japanese internment.
What am I currently reading? Only 19 books! My currently reading list is now on up-to-date on GOODREADS.
  • Pleasure Unbound, Larissa Ione. Very old Vaginal Fantasy pick. I think.
  • Drink, Slay, Love, Sarah Durst. I believe this takes place in Connecticut.
  • The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander. NOOK. Distressing account of the evils and racism of our drug policy.
  • Thorn Fall, Lindsay Buroker. NOOK. Buroker does great action scenes, and so far I like the characters and the peril.
  • Codex Born, Jim C. Hines. Second book in a series where magicians get their power from books, so it's hard to see how it can possibly go wrong. I liked the first one, so I bought this one.
  • Dead Man Walking, Sister Helen Prejean. From my shelves.
  • A Matter for Men, David Gerrold. No change.
  • Anna of Byzantium, Tracy Barett. No change.
  • Magic City: Recent Spells, Paula Guran, ed. It has returned to me!
  • About That Night, Norah McClintock.  No change. 
  • Rogue, Michael Z. Williamson. I don't really pay attention to their techniques, but I like the action.
  • Wildflower, Alecia Whitaker. She chooses a record company -- fame is starting.
  • Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Carol Rifka Brunt. No change.
  • Yonder Comes the Other End of Time, Suzette Elgin. No change. 
  • Shards of Time, Lynn Flewelling. 
  • Tinker, Wen Spencer. I do enjoy this book. Windwolf saves her from a bad date. 
  • Inkheart, Cornelia Funke. No change.
Reading intermittently, and deliberately slowly. These never change much:
  • The Jury, Stephen Adler. Now an example of a bad jury. 
  • Reading and Learning to Read, Jo Anne Vacca. How a phonics classroom operates. 
  • Nerds, Michael Buckley. Our hero discovers that the kids he bullied don't like him.
  • Out to Canaan, Jan Karon. Not much happens in a small town
  • The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens. Bringing idiots along to a delicate negotiation is not a good idea.
What's up next?  Still starting a book every other day, until I get this library backlog under control. Actually, I suspect I'll have to send some books back unread even at this pace. At least I only got one new book last week:

Monday: 
Tuesday: Fangirl
Wednesday
Thursday: Touch Blue
Friday: 
Saturday: Uzamaki
Sunday:

NOOK books:

2014 Challenge Progress:
  1. Cybils: 62/77. I have left all the long books for last.
  2. Where Am I Reading? 3451. Alaska! Now I need an Arkansas book. And Maryland.
  3. Alphabetically Inclined: 19/26. Only books from my shelves count, and all my library books are due! Still need EIJ V XYZ.
  4. What's In a Name?: 7/7. Still have to review everything. Ha!
  5. Book Bingo: Fifteen boxes into square 2.
  6. Gentle Spectrum Challenge complete!.
  7. Small Fry Safari: 8/8. All done! Except for the reviewing...
  8. PoC Speculative Fiction: 22/5: Son of Neptune has to PoC main characters.
  9. Best of the Best 2012: 52/25.  I am stalled.
  10. Reading My Library: Library temporarily closed, so on hiatus.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The 24Hour Readathon!

I got off to a slow start for the Readathon by sleeping in till 6:30, but maybe that will help me power through farther.

First book: Veronica Roth's Divergent, at Chapter 21, p.261.

But first -- the Opening Meme:

1. Where: Reading in Renton, Washington, USA.
2. Most Anticipated book: Argh, I dunno, About That Night by Norah McClintock.
3. Snack: Nachos
4. About me: I read too many books. Not overall, but at the same time -- currently over 20 open.
5. What I Am Looking Foward to: Finishing a lot of those books!

8:30 AM. Finished Divergent. It was more complex than I anticipated, and now I'm ready to see the movie!

Now grabbing Templar, a graphic novel by Jordan Mechner. It's on page 87. Chapter 3.

11:30 AM. Finished Templar, which was a gripping story of the fall of the Templars in France. Took a quick break with a story from Magic City: Recent Spells, and then I dove into "The President Has Been Shot!"by James Swanson.

While driving around I'm listening to The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, and having a lot of fun with the Amazons.

1:30. Back from driving around. Finished "The President Has Been Shot!"  In the mood for something that does not involve a lot of dead people (unlike Divergent, Templar, and The President Has Been Shot!"  Opened Always Abigail, a book I won during the 48 Hour Reading Challenge. The secondary character's mom died three years ago.

3:30. Finished Always Abigail. It was actually quite stressful to read about a reluctant bully who constantly disappoints herself. The last few pages didn't really make up for the previous 275. Ouch. Cathedral of the Wild by Boyd Varty is about growing up on a South African safari park -- that should cheer me up.

4:30 Survey for Hour 12:
Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? Cathedral of the Wild by Boyd Varty, a memoir of a man whose family runs a safari park in South Africa
2. How many books have you read so far? I've finished 3 (both started before today), read a story from a book of short stories, and listened to an audio chapter.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? rereading Tinker by Wen Spencer
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Nope, people are leaving me alone.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How grim so many of my books were! I may develop a complex. I need something happy and light!

Mini challenge for Hour 15: Spine Poetry:

About that night
Drowned hopes find me 
Forever free.
The warrior templar,
Protector, Rogue.
Dead man walking.


(The book Protector is sadly hidden beneath Templar, sorry for the bad photography.)

9:00 PM: Finally finished The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. That's a heavy book out of my bookbag! I like what Riordan does with the Greek vs Roman mythology, and as a Seattle neighbor I found the Amazons hilarious.

2:45: I've been reading Protector by C.J. Cherry, but I'm going slower and slower and getting more and more tired. I think it's time to give up, which I will do at 3:00 AM. So I started 90 minutes late and ended two hours early. I guess that's OK for a first try!

I managed to knock six books off my currently-reading stack, and moved the bookmark in Protector along 225 pages. I'm still reading too many books, but I think I'm closer to having things under control. This was a lot of fun!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Emergency Protocol: 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

readathonbuttonOK, it is time to directly address my problem. I have never caught up from my start-a-book-a-day summer reading habit, and now I have over twenty books with active bookmarks. Even I admit this is unwieldy. In addition, my library pile has blossomed to a huge extent, with fifty books jostling for my attention. A few of those are for my kids, but honestly, only a few. Something needs to be done.

I could stop reading new books until I get caught up. But that's not going to happen. I mean, not only am I way behind on many challenges, but I also have the will power of a flea. Additionally, reading things is my security blanket, so if I have nothing new to distract me, the normal stresses of life will send me quivering under my bed, unable to reassure myself with the thought that Jane Eyre had it worse.

So instead, I have stumbled across the Dewey 24 Hour Readathon, a twice-yearly event held by some fabulous bloggers. I can devote all of Saturday to reading, and do it with a pack of other bibliophiles so it looks like a community-spirit, social event! And my kids are supportive and have promised to bring me nice things to eat during it.
I'm not going to go all insane -- the official start time is 5:00 AM PST on October 18th, but I think I'll sleep in until 6 and start in a good mood. And I've put an audio book on my phone so I can drive my kid to a few things, and I'll want to pull out of the pages to welcome home my niece from Japan. But I'm hoping to get a few books finished, especially almost everything on the bottom row of my to-read picture.