My January 2019 24in48 Readathon

Today and tomorrow, I am participating in the 24in48 Readathon (read for 24 hours over two days). I am keeping most of my updates on Instagram. However, I also will be updating here from time to time over the weekend. Above is a photo of the books I am starting with.

Saturday

Check-In No. 1

I plan to check in every four hours except when I’m sleeping tonight for a planned 8 hours. So here is my first check-in after starting at 8 a.m.

  • First Book Started: I started with All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot, which I started last year, but didn’t finish. After reading about more cows’ “lady parts” and blood than I wanted for the morning (or really any time), I decided to take a break and read the January 2019 edition of Harper’s. No less disturbing in some ways, with its political rhetoric (with which I agree), but still a reprieve from Herriot’s bloody (literally, often) musings on being a veterinarian. Out of the four hours, I read about 2.5 hours.
  • First Meal Eaten: Burger (apropos after reading about cows – and how cute they are? Hmmm) with Muenster cheese on a croissant, onion rings, with a side of Sir Kensington’s Special Sauce on the side.

Check-In No. 2

I’m about halfway through my first book and am enjoying it immensely. Unfortunately, I also have been reading from time to time the Wikipedia entries about Alf Wight, the real man behind James Herriot, and the other “real-life” inspirations for his characters (his stories were semi-autobiographical). Sadly, the inspiration for Siegfried, his mentor veterinarian, committed suicide in his 80s, because among other things, he was depressed after Wight died from prostate cancer. However, that doesn’t take away from Siegfried or from any person who committed suicide. He and they still could have inspired others. Just because they committed suicide doesn’t take away their good qualities.

I also was inspired by Wight that he didn’t start writing until the age of 50, the age I am turning this year. It reminds me of the late George Sheehan, who was a former doctor and who started running when he was 45. He then went on to write several books about running that helped inspire others, including myself, to get into running, which I did when in my 30s and 40s (yes, I no longer am a runner, but my goal is to get back to walking regularly this year). This quote from Sheehan also is the inspiration for the title of my original blog “An unfinished person…in an unfinished universe” and this blog, by extension.

‘We live in an open universe,’ said William James, ‘in which uncertainty, choice, hypothesis, novelties and possibilities are natural.’  But if the universe is unfinished, so are we. Each one of us is, in fact, an open universe. Each one of us is a microcosm of uncertainty, choice, hypothesis, novelties and possibilities. Each one of us is an unfinished person in this unfinished universe. And each one of us feels an infinite and mysterious obligation to complete ourselves and somehow contribute to the completion of the universe.” 

George Sheehan, “The Ends,” The Running Life

In the last four hours, I read about 1.5 hours, which puts me at 4 hours in 8 hours so far. I hope to make up some time reading tonight after 8 p.m. as my wife goes to work. She is a 911 dispatcher and works 8 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday and then 8 a.m. Sunday to 8 p.m. Monday every weekend, along with Fridays and Saturdays, which allows me to be able to do readathons on weekends without taking away time with her. She is off Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays each week and since I work a job with later hours most days, I get to spend time with her earlier — and later after work– on those days.

Check-In No. 3

I am continuing to read All Things Bright and Beautiful, but now am taking another break with Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields by poet Julia Spicher Kasdorf and photographer Steven Rubin. I picked this one up at our local library, where I work. It caught my eye because where we live in northcentral Pennsylvania has been affected, and continues to be affected, by the natural gas industry.

I read the same amount of hours, 1.5, within the last four hours. During the previous four-hour stretch from noon to 4 p.m., I ended up napping part of that time, like our cat, Seamus, pictured above. This last four-hour stretch from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., I called a friend whose birthday was today and talked with him for an hour and had dinner with my wife. We also watched a couple of episodes of a Canadian TV show Corner Gas that we have been enjoying on Amazon Prime Video.

Check-In No. 4

I am putting my last check-in for Saturday up at 11 a.m. instead of at midnight, at an interval of every four hours, because I am going to bed. I finished Shale Play, which I will talk about more tomorrow or another day, but I will say this: It was very good. I ended up reading for 1.5 hours again, finishing with reading again from the January 2019 edition of Harper’s Magazine. I will continue that tomorrow as well as All Things Bright and Beautiful, which I probably am about three-quarters of the way through. I also plan to start, if not finish, Born A Crime.

Sunday

Check-In No. 1

I got a full night’s rest and started at 8 a.m. this morning. Yesterday, I started at 8:30 a.m. and finished with 7 hours of reading. I think my record with any readathon is a maximum of 8 or 9 hours, so I should shatter that record. Of course, I now am on a CPAP and am getting good rest too so that is helping. Since I finished with 7 hours of reading yesterday, I will set my goal for 7 too today.

As planned, I have started with Born A Crime by Trevor Noah. I’m already about 75 pages into it and it’s great. I know that many have expressed that I should listen to this in audiobook, but I just don’t do audiobooks. I can read quicker than I can be read to. I have heard Noah speak before, on a comedy special so know he pronounces the Xhosa words, which adds to the experience. I just rather would read the book. I appreciate those of you who have commutes to work and enjoy listening to audiobooks. My commute is five minutes so it doesn’t work for me.

I woke up this morning to an unexpected snow. We were supposed to get an inch and we already have a couple of inches, so I had to go out and help our neighbor shovel our shared driveway. As I’m writing now, it’s still snowing, but I don’t think it’s supposed to accumulate much more today (I hope). The good thing is I’m in for the day, reading.

Check-in No. 2

Sooo…my grand plans to read today? Um, yeah, I’ve read a total of three hours in the last 8 hours, but I’m almost finished with Born A Crime and I will finish that tonight. Also at 10 hours of reading in, I already have eclipsed my reading numbers for any readathon I’ve participated in previously (to the best of my knowledge) and I still have hours to go and get my goal of 7 hours in today. If not that, I’ll be happy with 12.

The main reason for my not reading is because I distracted myself with a run to get winter boots at Goodwill and wine at the wine and spirits shoppe. I only planned to grab boots at Goodwill, but couldn’t resist looking for pants and shirts. I found one good pair of pants and two nice long-sleeved shirts. Likewise, I went for one bottle of wine, but “found” two other bottles of wine plus a discount bottle of tropical flavored vodka. No, it will not be drunk tonight (some is for The Wife) but as you can see from the photo, I did partake of at least one bottle.

Now the plan is to finish Born a Crime and I think I’ll end with finishing up things All Things Bright and Beautiful since I have been enjoying that. At the end, I’ll report in on how I finished.

Check-In No. 3

It is 8 p.m. and I am in the homestretch now. I finished Born A Crime, another excellent book, which I will talk about later, and now am working on finishing All Things Bright and Beautiful, which earlier I called erroneously (twice, no less in this post) All Creatures Bright and Beautiful. Oops. Now that is corrected, and I’m on to finish my third book for the readathon and should end with over 12 hours which was my initial goal.

Check-In No. 4

If you are participating, let me know how you are faring and what you are reading in the comments. If not, let me know how you are faring anyway and what good books you’ve been reading lately.

24in48 next weekend

Next weekend, starting at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26, until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27, I’ll be participating in the 24in48 Readathon. The goal is to read 24 hours out of the 48 hours, splitting it up however you’d like. According to the official website, that can mean: “20 hours on Saturday, four hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six four-hour sessions with four hour breaks in between. You can pause as much as you need, enjoy regularly scheduled weekend activities, nap, stop for dance breaks with your kids or pets or neighbors. Whatever works for you.” My goal usually is at least 12 hours, to be honest, and probably will be the same again this time, including naps and just general goofing off.

So what am I going to read? My goal is five books as that’s what I usually have read for most of those readathons in the past.

First up is Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson, which I started for last year’s January 24in48 Readathon and had as a goal to finish in the July 24in48 Readathon. It’s not that it was bad, but I tried it in audiobook for the July readathon and deGrasse Tyson’s sonorous voice put me to sleep to be honest, so this time I’m just going to read it on ebook as when I started it.

Next up is The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store by Cait Flanders, which my wife recommended. This year, she is a no-buy regimen for many things, including books, and I think that might be a good idea, so I want to see her, andFlanders’, rationale.

Next up is finishing another one I started last year, but didn’t finish: All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot. Last year, I bought three of Herriot’s works on ebooks about his being a veterinarian in England: All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful. I’m actually not sure where I left off, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out by next weekend.

The final two will be books that I have checked out in print form from our hometown library where I work:

  1. Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
  2. The Brutal Telling, the fifth in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny.

I’ve been wanting to read Noah’s book for a while and I started the Gamache series last year. While I don’t know if I love the series, like some other book bloggers I know, I am not opposed to continuing to read it…so far.

Are you planning to participate in next weekend’s readathon? If so, what are you planning on reading? If not, what are you reading lately? Anything good? Anything bad? 😉

This weekend, we’re supposed to get anywhere from a foot to 20 inches of snow between today, Saturday, and tomorrow, Sunday, so I’m just hanging out at home all weekend. My wife is a 911 dispatcher and even though we live near where she works, she’s staying all weekend at the communications center, so I’m “bach-ing” it. Luckily, she left me a pot of chili and hopefully the power will stay on. If not, I’ll be sleeping and reading. For more on my weekend, visit my Instagram account, where I’ll be updating on Instagram Stories.

Back-to-back Summer Readathons still on the radar

Sunday Salon July 8, 2018Like I mentioned last week, I’ve signed up for back-to-back summer readathons for the last two weekends this month. The first is the 24 in 48 Readathon from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July 21, until 11:59 a.m. Sunday, July 22 (reading for 24 out of any of the 48 hours); the second, a reverse Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, from 8 p.m. Friday night, July 27, until Saturday night, July 28, at 8 p.m.

I added one more book to the potential list for both readathons that I announced last week: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue after seeing Tanya  of the blog mention it as her best book she’s read so far this year in her and her co-blogger Kim’s post The 2018 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag [2018 Girlxoxo Edition]. The rest of the list (again) is as follows:

  1. We Were Eight Years In Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  3. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie
  4. Bluebird, Bluebird: A Novel by Attica Locke
  5. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  6. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  7. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli.

In their post, Tanya also gave a shout-out to Children of Blood and Bone and I believe she is one of the bloggers I saw mentioning it that made me want to check it out.

As for what I’m reading before the two readathons or in between them, today I’m going to work on a recommendation from a patron at our library: The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. I’ve had mixed success with her books. I think I liked Pigs in Heaven but I absolutely hated The Poisonwood Bible (sorry for all of you that loved it, but I just couldn’t get into it — at all). The patron mentioned he didn’t like that one either, but did like her first novel, so I thought maybe I won’t hate it and might actually like it. We’ll see. I also have the next Chief Inspector Armand Gamache book, The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny. Even though in the first two, we didn’t meet Gamache until a good 30 or 40 pages into the book, and I’m not usually a fan of multiple points of view, I really enjoy Penny’s writing.

Are you planning on participating in either or both readathons? Have you read either Louise Penny or Barbara Kingsolver? What do you think of their work, if you have? If no to the aforementioned questions, what are you reading this week?

Back-to-back Summer Readathons FTW

Sunday Salon July 8, 2018 I’ve signed up for back-to-back summer readathons for the last two weekends this month. The first is the 24 in 48 Readathon from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July 21, until 11:59 a.m. Sunday, July 22 (reading for 24 out of any of the 48 hours, Eastern Standard Time); the second, a reverse Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, from 8 p.m. Friday night, July 27, until Saturday night, July 28, at 8 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time).

In the past, both readathons have encouraged reading diversely, but the 24 in 48 Readathon organizers this year are putting a special emphasis on it (see their post here). To that end, for the two readathons, I plan on focusing on diverse authors, not only authors of colors (although I will admit my list is lopsided toward them) as the organizers mention, but also also authors and books that represent “LGBTQIA+, disabilities, neurodiversity, geographic diversity, and more.”

I already have a few books selected for the readathon, but will add more to the potential reading list. Here is the list so far:

  1. We Were Eight Years In Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  3. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie
  4. Bluebird, Bluebird: A Novel by Attica Locke
  5. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie
  6. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  7. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  8. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli.

I own the first six and have been meaning to get to all of them for a while and I borrowed Children of Blood and Bone from our library after seeing a lot of book bloggers mentioning it. I am hoping to borrow the last one from our library too. I think we just got it, but it hasn’t been processed yet. Once it is, I’ll scoop it up.

Are you planning on participating in either or both readathons? Even if not, do you have any recommendations of diverse authors or books that I might want to add to my potential reading list for the upcoming readathons?

 

 

 

#24in48: The Postgame

This past weekend, Saturday, Jan. 27, and Sunday, Jan. 28, I  participated in the 24 in 48 Readathon . On Friday, I told you about my preparation, “The Pregame,” for this weekend’s event; Saturday and Sunday, I told you about the event itself, “The Game,” with updates over the two days; and today, I’m giving you my reflections on the weekend, “The Postgame.”

The Postgame

If you are seeing this in a feed, you might not be able to see the embed above from Instagram, but what it said in the caption was that “I finished two, started two. I’ll take it.” It also shows that I read for 6 hours and 45 minutes over the two days, nowhere near the goal of 24 hours.

I started with a possibility of seven books:

  1. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. The Big Book of The Continental Op by Dashiell Hammett, edited by Richard Layman and Julie M. Rivett
  3. The Ghosts of Galway by Ken Bruen
  4. Life On Mars: Poems by Tracy K. Smith
  5. Never Get Angry Again: The Foolproof Way to Stay Calm and in Control in Any Conversation of Situation by David J. Lieberman, Ph. D
  6. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  7. The Last Kashmiri Rose by Barbara Cleverly

I continued reading The Two Towers, finished Life on Mars and The Last Kashmiri Rose, both of which were good, and started Astrophysics for People in a Hurry on audiobook, which also was good even though I fell asleep while listening to it. I bailed on The Big Book of The Continental Op after seeing that the print was too small. Ironically, this isn’t the first time I’ve done that, only noticing that the print was too small after picking up a book for a readathon. Maybe next time I’ll look before checking out the book. I don’t know why I checked out Bruen’s book, because I’ve fallen out of love with the Jack Taylor series a few books back. That one will be going back to the library unread. The anger book, I might get to at another time.

Why didn’t I read for 24 hours? Looking back at both days, it was mainly one thing: friends. On Saturday, my neighbor Mike, whom I usually see only on weekends, invited me over to his “ManCave,” his garage that includes a large screen TV and projection screen. We ended up watching Baby Driver, which I have seen (and loved) and he had not. Then on Sunday, I remembered I was going to call my college roommate Joe for his birthday, which was on Friday, and also to check up on him because he has been going through a trying separation from his wife. He and I ended up talking up for two hours, which is not unusual for us since we only take every few months.

I also didn’t read as much because I ended up taking a couple of naps. While my job isn’t high pressure, working part-time at a small town library, I do get worried over little things and sometimes larger things, especially during the week. On the weekend, I try to let them go and also catch up mentally and physically from the lack of rest I have earlier in the week from thinking too much about work. It also is hard for me to unwind and read during the week, so usually I do most of my reading on the weekend when often I have larger stretches of time to devote to books, and not be thinking about work or trying to keep the thoughts at bay (which I usually do some when playing Solitaire and listening to music at night). I’m not one of those people that can sit down and read five to 10 minutes at a time, so all that said almost seven hours of reading in one- to two-hour blocks is more than good for me.

Do I regret not reading for 24 hours? Nope. I still had a good weekend: spending time with friends, resting, and reading. Like I said, I’ll take it.

How was this past weekend for you? Did you do any reading? If so, anything good? Or even over the last month, read anything good? Share in the comments.

#24in48: The Game

readathon1

Today, Saturday, Jan. 27, and Sunday, Jan. 28, I am joining the 24 in 48 Readathon (click on button at right to be taken to the site to learn more about the event). Yesterday, I told you about my preparation, “The Pregame,” for this weekend’s event; today and Sunday, I’ll tell you about the event itself, “The Game,” with updates over the two days; and on Monday, I’ll give you my reflections on the weekend, “The Postgame.”

The Game

Saturday

10:06 a.m.: First book done after a couple of missteps:

  1. I try The Big Book of The Continental Op by Dashiell Hammett, but the print is too small. The print is small in the one I finally did pick, Life on Mars: Poems by Tracy K. Smith, but at least it is short. I also learn by reading the blurbs on the back of the book why the book is on the new shelf. The book was republished in honor of Smith being named the Poet Laureate of the United States last year.
  2. After starting to read, only three minutes in, I smell at poop. Our older cat, Seamus, occasionally poops on the floor and he did so this morning. I go clean it up.

The book, though, was very good: no poop.

1351044410:35 a.m.: I begin on my second book, which I already had started reading before the readathon: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien.

12:45 p.m. or thereabouts: I stop the stopwatch app on my phone at 2 hours and 15 minutes and six-tenths of a second. I am on my way to Isengard. I am not sure when I will get there as my neighbor Mike has invited me over to his “ManCave” for a little bit. I will try to extricate myself as politely as I can, probably within an hour. I think it is more than safe to say I will not be keeping to my original schedule and it is highly doubtful that I will be making 24 hours of reading within the allotted 48 hours, but I still hope to get some good reading in.

4:45 p.m.: I’m home after watching movie Baby Driver with Mike, and next will be having dinner with Kim. So yeah, about that game plan yesterday…er, not gonna happen, but plan to do some more reading tonight after Kim goes to work. And there is always tomorrow.

6:45 p.m.:  I pick up where I left off and read The Two Towers for a little bit. I am now with Frodo and Sam…and soon to be Gollum. When I stop the stopwatch, it reads 3 hours and 45 minutes. I reset my goal for 6 hours a day and 12 hours for the entire event.

8:25 p.m.: I take a nap.

12567027A little after 10 p.m.: I continue reading another book I already had started before the readathon, The Last Kashmiri Rose, the first in a series about Detective Joe Sandilands, by Barbara Cleverly. I also enjoy sea salt caramel gelato and am joined by Seamus on my lap as I sit in the recliner, which has been my place for today’s reading and will be again tomorrow.

Sunday

12:56 a.m.: I finish The Last Kashmiri Rose, which while not great was good enough for me to finish and want to pick up the next in the series sometime. After I am done, I try to look around for another book on The Free Library of Philadelphia Overdrive website, but the site seems to be down. Maybe they are doing maintenance, I will try tomorrow.

10:15 a.m. or thereabouts: I decide to switch it up and listen to an audiobook, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson as narrated by DeGrasse Tyson himself. I enjoy the book until I fall asleep in the recliner and go take a nap about 11:15 a.m.

2 p.m.: I get up and plan on reading but then remember that I was supposed to call my college roommate to wish him a happy belated birthday (his birthday was Friday). I end up talking to him for about two hours.

4 p.m.: I think that my readathon is over as I really don’t want to go back to listening to DeGrasse Tyson on astrophysics tonight or continuing with The Two Towers, I think I’d rather watch something on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

So here is how long I read for:

Screenshot_20180128-111011

I’ll give you my full report in tomorrow’s post: “#24in48: The Postgame,” including how many books I read, which was my favorite, etc.

#24in48: The Pregame

24in48 The Pregame Tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 27, and Sunday, Jan. 28, I am joining the 24 in 48 Readathon (click on button at right to be taken to the site),” in which “beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday morning and running through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday night, participants read for 24 hours out of that 48-hour period. You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, four hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six four-hour sessions with four hour breaks in between, whatever you’d like.”

Today, I’ll be telling you about my preparation, “The Pregame,” for this weekend’s event; tomorrow and Sunday, about the event itself, “The Game,” with updates over the two days; and on Monday, reflections on the weekend, “The Postgame.”

The Pregame

The Books: Like the shirt above says, “I read what I want,” so these are just among many books from which I might select:

  1. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. The Big Book of The Continental Op by Dashiell Hammett, edited by Richard Layman and Julie M. Rivett
  3. The Ghosts of Galway by Ken Bruen
  4. Life On Mars: Poems by Tracy K. Smith
  5. Never Get Angry Again: The Foolproof Way to Stay Calm and in Control in Any Conversation of Situation by David J. Lieberman, Ph. D
  6. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  7. The Last Kashmiri Rose by Barbara Cleverly

32191710I am rereading The Lord of the Rings this year and already finished The Fellowship of The Ring so next up is The Two Towers. I might get to starting The Return of the King in this readathon, but I doubt it. Last year I read Red Harvest and The Dain Curse, two novels about The Continental Op, a detective created by Dashiell Hammett and recently I saw this book, which collects all 28 stories about The Op and the two novels, on the “new” bookshelf at our library. That’s where I also got the next three books that are listed, although the Smith collection of poetry is from 2011, but it’s new to our library. I purchased the deGrasse Tyson book as a Kindle deal and the Cleverly book is the first of a series about a British detective in India named Joe Sandilands that a friend of mine, who lived in an apartment building we lived in for many years when we lived in suburban Philadelphia, recommended to me. I might add others from another list of ebooks that I discussed a few weeks ago to the list of possibilities, but we’ll see.

The Snacks: Tonight after work I stopped at the grocery store and the wine and spirits shoppe to stock up on snacks for tomorrow and Sunday: wine, cheese, crackers, nacho chips, and salted caramel gelato. The wine will be used sparingly as I don’t want to be asleep the whole time, which leads me to…

The Game Plan: I plan to schedule both days the same:

Midnight to 8 p.m.: Sleep
8 a.m. to 9 a.m.: Breakfast with my wife Kim
9 a.m. to noon: Read
Noon to 1 p.m.: Lunch
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.: Read
5 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Dinner with Kim
6 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Time with Kim before she goes to work
7 p.m. to midnight: Read

I should explain that my wife works midnight shift so she will be asleep most of the time that I am reading in the morning and afternoon and then on both nights, she has to be to work at 7:45 p.m. for 12-hour shifts that end the following mornings – lest you think that I am completely abandoning her.

So are you participating in this weekend’s readathon? If so, what is your plan of attack? What does your stack look like? Snacks? If not, are you doing any reading this weekend? If so, what are you reading? If not, whatchya up to anyway? 🙂

Signed up for #24in48 again

readathon1

This coming Saturday, Jan. 27, and Sunday, Jan. 28, I am joining the 24 in 48 Readathon (click on button at left to be taken to the site). “…this is the basic gist: beginning at 12:01am on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, participants read for 24 hours out of that 48-hour period. You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, four hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six four-hour sessions with four hour breaks in between, whatever you’d like.” I don’t think I’ve ever actually made 24 hours, but it’s a goal anyway.

I haven’t read anything since my first DNF of the year, but I am hoping to continue my reread of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I already finished the first one, The Fellowship of the Ring, earlier this month and am just starting the second one, The Two Towers, which is my favorite of the trilogy. Beyond that, if I’m lucky, I’ll start The Return of the King during the readathon. I have no other books that I plan to read during the readathon, although I do have plenty of choices on my Kindle, as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago.

As for this weekend, yesterday I worked at the library and today I’m going to my parents, where I’ll be helping them sort and discard “stuff” that belonged to my recently deceased aunt. My sister and brother-in-law already have begun (a large part of) the process, I’m just going to do my (small) part, including taking some clothes to Goodwill when I come home on Monday. My wife Kim would be going, but she worked a 12-hour-shift from 8 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m this morning and then will work another 12-hour shift tonight, from 8 p.m. tonight to 8 a.m. tomorrow morning. So while I might be checking comments on my phone later tonight, then again I might not, but I’ll do my best to respond to your comments sometime this week.

So how is your January going? Reading anything good? Listening to, watching anything good? If you’re participating in the 24 in 48 Readathon, let me know where I can follow you: on your blog, Instagram, or Twitter. I’ll be here and on Instagram.

#24in48: High Hopes

readathon1When I last left you, I had signed up for the 24in48 Readathon, which started yesterday and ends today. I had high hopes. I even had one book that had been on hold for months that I believed would be available by this weekend: Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones.

It became available that next week. However, I read about a hundred pages and decided that I had gotten the gist so I returned it. I then was left with a vacuum that I only filled this week with the following books on my Kindle:

  1. The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
  2. The Dark Water by Parker Bilal
  3. The Deep Blue Good-by by John D. McDonald
  4. Friday the Rabbi Slept Late by Harry Kemelman
  5. The League of Frightened Men by Nero Wolfe
  6. The Rubber Band by Nero Wolfe

I also got two more, in print from the library:

  1. Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon
  2. The Infidel Stain by M.J Carter

And one other ebook that only was available in a pub format, Ratking by Michael Dibdin, that I downloaded to my phone.

So with all those choices, how have I been doing?

Well…

Ahem….

I’m….

Um, yeah…

At zero.

I got sidetracked by an Icelandic murder mystery, Trapped, now available on Amazon Prime, and originally on BBC 4. But hey, it does have subtitles so I have been reading and still will be if when I watch more later today.

Unfortunately, much of my morning has been taken up by writing this blog post (thanks to a laptop with outdated software –  Vista – which is extremely slow and missing letters on the keyboard) and not unfortunately, but fortunately this afternoon, my wife is in a couple of radio plays with a local theater troupe that I will be going to see (and hear).

ManofbronzebamaThe actors stand in front of microphones and recite the lines, just as they would in “Radio Days.” Altogether, there are 33 episodes, from old shows like The Shadow to a few locally directed and written originals, and run this weekend and next weekend. I went to the first night, Friday, too and enjoyed the episodes then, especially The Shadow and Doc Savage, the latter of which I read some in novel form as a teenager.

So all that to say, it is unlikely that I’ll be moving that rubber tree plant (the readathon) today. At least, though, I have plenty of choices for my next read, which hopefully I’ll start later this week, maybe even as early as tomorrow.

How about you? Are you participating in this weekend’s readathon? If so, how are you doing? Best book? If not, reading anything good? Listening to anything good? Watching anything good? Let me (and the rest of my readers) know in the comments.

Signed up for # 24in48 

readathon1I haven’t read a book yet this month, but I did sign up for the 24in48 Readathon, coming up in a couple of weeks, July 22 and 23. So there is hope for my reading yet.

Perhaps helping the cause is yesterday a book that has been on my hold list since April finally became available for me: Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones. I don’t read a lot of nonfiction, but since this year I haven’t read a lot period, there is hope here too. The book arrives on the heels of a local onslaught of heroin overdoses because of a “bad batch” within recent weeks. Aside: my wife wrote a blog post on the subject, from her perspective as a 911 dispatcher that is well worth the read.

Not helping the cause is Netflix binge-watching, from ongoing shows like NCIS and Criminal Minds, both of which dropped their most recent seasons earlier than expected, to new shows to us, such as a French crime drama Witnesses. That one had been in and out of my queue for months, but then yesterday on a whim, I decided to give it a try. I enjoyed the first episode so much that I watched it again with my wife so she could watch with me.

Also not helping my reading is my usual genre of crime fiction isn’t holding my attention for some reason. I’m not sure why, except maybe I’m choosing different series that just aren’t as well written or engaging as some of the more established writers and series I often read. However, like with my Netflix watching, I always want to discover things new to me. It’s just that a few of the Netflix finds have been better than my book finds.

Here’s hoping that the upcoming readathon will spur my reading on…

So reading anything good? Watching anything good? Listening to anything good? Share in the comments.