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April, 2010 browsing by month


Hour 11 update

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Just a quick check-in post; I can’t believe it’s already 3pm! Rachel’s on movie #5, and I’m about a hundred pages into my second book, Gathering Blue. We’ve been snacking since breakfast and are about to do frozen pizza for lunch, which will hopefully give us a bit of pep rather than making us feel sluggish :) She’s been doing curls with the free weights every so often, and I’ve done leg lifts and crunches while reading in the bedroom (except when Xander jumped up and got all comfy on my tummy; I know he would have been a bit put out if my knees kept coming at him).

I think I hear the timer on the oven – lunch time! Be back in a bit with the latest readathon progress :)

Title sentence challenge

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

I remember this challenge from last fall, and so almost didn’t even think about participating this time around; as the host says, you can spend ages agonizing over it if something doesn’t jump out right away. This time, though, the first two were on my stack, and the other sort of stuck out directly in my line of sight on my shelves, so here’s my contribution!

“I am the messenger, gathering blue tales of the city.”

And now, back to my book, for real this time!

Readathon update

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Just a quick update; I’m about a third of the way through Magical Thinking, which has proven to be a great first read, and Rachel’s on to movie number two. She just took a break to put breakfast together for us, as we were both getting a little rumbly in the tumbly :) The end result? Amazing bagel sandwichy goodness.

Bagel, egg, bacon, and muenster for me, swiss for my girlfriend (hers will be the actual “sandwich” – I’m doing mine open-faced so it’s easier to eat while reading :) SO GOOD. And now, back to reading :) Hope you’re all having a great time!

Mini challenge 2

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

The second mini challenge is about our kickoff strategy – what we’ve got set up to make the start of the readathon cozy and well-stocked for the first few hours’ reading. We prepared a pot of coffee last night so all I had to do this morning was hit brew, and Rachel will be making breakfast sandwiches after the end of her first movie. We’re starting the day curled up on the couch; see that lil spot in the crook of her arm? That’s all mine :)

The picture links to Rachel’s movie blog, which she’ll be updating throughout the day with reviews of the films she watches over the 24 hours of the readathon. And now, I’m only 20 pages into my first book; must stop getting distracted by the movie and get to it! Happy reading, all!

First readathon mini-challenge

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Today’s first mini-challenge is a blessedly easy one, haha…

Where are you reading from today? My apartment in San Francisco, which I share with two roommates (who we’ve warned about today!) and my partner, who is doing a movie marathon while I readathon :)

3 facts about me … Hmm… I love glitter, am afraid of balloons, and am terrible at coming up with random facts about myself. *grin*

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? 21

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? Not particularly, though I would like to make it the whole 24 hours without sleep this time around; I crashed twice for a total of about 3.5 hours last time.

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time? It’s only my second time, but I definitely recommend (a) stepping away from Twitter unless you’re deliberately spending as much time reading the #readathon posts as reading your books, and (b) having a couple of easy reads at the start of the day to give you a feeling of accomplishment right off the bat.

Back to Magical Thinking; have fun, everyone!

Readathon snacks

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

We’re 7 hours from wake-up time. Coffee is ready to brew, Rachel’s movie is in the DVD player, my books are stacked by the computer for now, and I’m about to create a post template for ease of updates. Thanks to my friend Erin for coming through with a second computer monitor so Rachel and I can post, research, and push our marathons simultaneously!

Snack prep was fun; here are a couple of pics of our food lineup for the day!

Chocolate chip cookies, yum!

Fruit salad: you can’t see it all, but we have watermelon, strawberries, pink lady and fiji apples, grapes, blackberries, oranges, and pineapple chunks. Holy moly!

And the majority of the foods we got specifically for the readathon/movie marathon. Snacky stuff, quick and easy meals that Rachel can make without my assistance or coaching (thank you for being the chef for the day, baby!), stuff we enjoy but not too much that’ll cause peaks and crashes.

Now for a quick trip over to the cheerleader pages to see what I need to know for that, and then to bed already – it’s going to be a looooooong 24 hours if I don’t get any sleep!

Dewey’s Readathon book list

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Having the books I already owned in the TBR collection and adding Rachel’s books that I haven’t read made creating a stack for this readathon a very quick process; before I knew it, I had over twenty books totaling several thousand pages. I came in at just under one thousand pages last time around, so I’m not expecting to get anywhere close to completion of this list, but at least I have a good variety, and no re-reads.

Augusten Burroughs’s Magical Thinking: True Stories – the next from his collection that Rachel recommended, after Running with Scissors and Dry. I’ve found his writing to be super easy for me to fly through, so I’m hoping this will be a good kickoff book – not too dense, but not 100-200 pages of fluff, either. Also on the stack is Possible Side Effects.

Lois Lowry’s Gathering Blue – a companion novel to The Giver, which I read and loved last year. I’ve also got Messenger on the stack, which followed those two.

Chosen: A House of Night Novel by P.C. and Kristen Cast. I read Marked a while back on a recommendation from a friend; I picked up the first four books at once, as they were all out in paperback and she’d read them all so far. I wasn’t hugely impressed with the start to the series, but it was an easy, fast read, and will be a good way to break up the more literary selections on the pile.

Okay, in the interest of time, and wanting to get this up before the readathon actually *starts*, here’s the rest in straight list form:

A Million Little Pieces, James Frey

I Am the Messenger, Markus Zuzak

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw

Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones, the Edge of Reason, Helen Fielding

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

Animal Farm, George Orwell

The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde

Stardust and Coraline, Neil Gaiman

The Wizard of Oz, Frank L. Baum

There are a couple more on the stacks that I can’t post because the pictures I snapped with my cell are pixelating the bindings when I zoom, haha, so those will remain a mystery :) Similarly, if I typoed or completely screwed up a title or author’s name, it’s all the fault of poor camera skills!

At any rate, there’s the batch – no re-reads, and enough variety to hopefully keep me from flitting from book to book at 30-some pages in. Happy readathon-ing, everyone – can’t wait for 5am!

Booking through Thursday

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

btt  button

Plots? Or Stream-of-Consciousness? Which would you rather read?

I’ve not read much stream-of-consciousness, but it does intrigue me. Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse was fascinating to me, though difficult at times to read. I definitely enjoy a brilliantly crafted plot, a la Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith, and am more likely to read something like that, but I think that stream-of-consciousness is a different sort of experience altogether for the reader; it brings you in on a level not many people can actively access, let alone portray with words.

Anyone have any good recommendations for stream-of-consciousness?

How do you choose?

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

I’m still working on my readathon book list post a bit at a time, but in the meantime I thought I’d ask you how you decide what to read. Do you stick to a list you’ve already got going of books to be read, rifle through for things you know (or anticipate) will catch and hang onto your attention, go for short and simple books that you know you’ll fly through?

My list last time was ambitious to a fault – I selected a few series, a few dense standalone novels, and very few light, easy reads. I ended up abandoning most of my pre-selected books and hitting the shelves for ones I felt would be more apt to really be able to get lost in. I re-read several YA novels last time around, which made for an enjoyable readathon, but this time I’m going to try for a more “productive” and “accomplished” feeling. No re-reads, though I do still have quite a few YA titles on the stack so far.

So what’s your plan? Have a link to your anticipated reads for Saturday?  Not participating in the readathon but have a method to your next-book madness? Drop your link or your feedback in the comments!

Teaser Tuesday

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

I suppose the one benefit of insomnia is being able to post weekly memes early enough that being on PST doesn’t serve as a penalty, so here we are –


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

“For all the complaints his neighbors came up with, Allan thought Castro Street was getting more like it used to be when he was a kid; for the first time in years, it seemed like a small town again where everybody knew each other and said hi on the street. Now Castro Street could also show that gays and straights could live together and get along just fine.”

This teaser is from page 94 of Randy Shilts’s The Mayor of Castro Street, a biography of Harvey Milk, which my partner and I are both reading right now. I’m only 40-some pages into it, and I’m enjoying the story bits more than the politics, which is typical for me – in books, and honestly in all aspects of life, my mind tends to wander off and get lost when too many names and dates are thrown my way. Rachel and I are both finding that this one reads quickly in some places and drags pretty significantly in others; Shilts’s style flops between journalistic and conversational, which seems to contribute directly to the “easiness” of the read in various spots. Though he tries to present the facts in a manner that is at once informative and engaging, he hasn’t much of a unique voice, in my opinion; it feels like more of a data dump than a storytelling, which is really too bad. Reading this definitely makes me want to watch Milk again, though, which is as good a reason as any to have picked it up. Maybe I’ll see if Rachel’s up for it when we both finish the book, and I’ll point you to her review over on Popcorn Popper.

Also, linking to LibraryThing above made me realize that we own three copies of this book, and not one of them is in the catalog yet – must remedy the LT backlog!

So how about you, what are you reading this fine Tuesday?