My Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon for October 2018

October2018Readathon

Today, Oct. 20, into tomorrow, Oct. 21, I will be participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. I’ll be posting updates periodically and also (mostly) on Instagram. Initially, my potential list was all from books I already own, most via Kindle.

The List

Here is that list:

  1. All Creatures Bight and Beautiful by James Herriot (part of a trilogy I own)
  2. American Street by Ibi Zoboi
  3. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson (both on ebook and audio)
  4. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine (print)
  5. Crocodile on the Sandbank, the first Amelia Peabody mystery, by Elizabeth Peters
  6. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (part of a trilogy I own)
  7. John Adams by David McCullough
  8. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
  9. She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
  10. We Were Eight Years In Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates (print)
  11. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alex

To that, I now have added, from library browsing, these:

  1. The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson
  2. Less by Andrew Sean Greer
  3. The Graveyard Book, Vol. 1. by Neil Gaiman (graphic novel)
  4. Claire DeWitt and The City of the Dead by Sara Gran
  5. Claire DeWitt and The Bohemian Highway by Sara Gran
  6. The Infinite Blacktop by Sara Gran
  7. Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint

So 18 choices…

…of which I’ll be lucky to read two or three or four. But hey, it all will be good.

Also good will be…

The Food

My wife Kim picked up several “things” for me for today, including crackers and cheese, pizza (which we ate last night…oops), and soda. Tonight, we’ll have burgers and fries for dinner and this morning, as she is sleeping (she works midnight shift so will be heading to bed as I start), I’ll probably make a run to McDonald’s for breakfast. And later, there’ll be ice cream and wine!

The Plan

The last time I did a readathon, I had grand plans with a schedule. That didn’t work so well, so this time I’m playing it a little more by ear. I’ll read for as long as I can with a goal of 12 hours because I have done that…once. Much of the time, I’m lucky if I get eight. But my motto for today’s readathon is this: It’s all good! So however long I read, however many books I read, even if it’s only one or two…

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Getting to Know You Survey

  1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, in northcentral Pennsylvania.
  2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I’m just playing it all by ear, so we’ll see what grabs me.
  3. Which snack are you most looking forward to? Ice cream! Blue Bunny Peanut Butter Party!
  4. Tell us a little something about yourself! I’m married, no children, have two cats, and work in a library as a library assistant. I’ve been there about 10 years.
  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? No schedule. Just going with the flow. As is my theme for this readathon: It’s all good.

Book 1

Book 2

8 hours

About eight hours into this thang, and about four and half hours of reading with two books down as you can see above: She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper and American Street by Ibi Zoboi. I had started Harper’s book before the readathon, but only was about 20 pages in, if that. It was a short novel, but very good and a good way to start the readathon with a gritty crime noir and his debut novel. The Zoboi book reminded me a lot of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas in its subject matter, and that isn’t a bad thing at all since I loved The Hate U Give and read that during one of the July readathons. I also found it interesting that during the July readathons, I read another excellent book on immigrants: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, who was a native of Cameroon. Zoboi is a native of Haiti. Both now live in New York City.

So…so far the highlights have been American Street and my wife’s homemade chili:

Mid-Event Survey

  1. What are you reading right now? Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint
  2. How many books have you read so far? Three.
  3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-ton? We’ll see if I’m going to make it to the second half first.
  4. Have you had many interruptions? Yes. 😐 How did you deal with those? I took a nap.
  5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? Not a thing. It’s all good.

The Finish

I finished at about midnight. I read three and a quarter books in about eight hours. The three books I finished were:

  1. She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
  2. American Street by Ibi Zoboi
  3. Normandy Gold by Megan Abbott, Alison Gaylin and Steve Scott (illustrator)

I began a fourth book, Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint, but didn’t finish it.

Did you do this weekend’s readathon? If so, what was your favorite read l? What are your highlights otherwise? If not, reading anything good lately?

My Dewey’s Reverse Summer Readathon 2018

julyreadaton1.jpg Last Saturday and Sunday, I participated in the 24 in 48 readathon. Tonight, starting at 8 p.m., to tomorrow night at 8 p.m., I’ll be participating in the reverse Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and will be posting updates here and on Instagram throughout the night and day. My initial intention was to read diversely for both readathons, but this past Monday, I looked at books I have checked out or on hold and decided that I’m going to read crime fiction instead. I do have the genders represented almost equally: male, six books; female, eight books.

The List

My new potential list (in alphabetical order) is:

  1. Bluebird, Bluebird: A Novel by Attica Locke
  2. Crocodile on the Sandbank: An Amelia Peabody Mystery by Elizabeth Peters
  3. The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
  4. Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon
  5. Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart
  6. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan
  7. Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions by Amy Stewart
  8. Queenpin: A Novel by Megan Abbott
  9. Richard Stark’s Parker: The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source)
  10. Richard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit by Darwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source)
  11. Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score by Darwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source)
  12. Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground by Darwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source)
  13. She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
  14. Wonder Valley by Ivy Pochoda

I won’t read all of these, of course. I just would be happy to read half, and considering four are graphic novels, I think I should be able to attain that number. Likewise, I don’t plan to read for the full 24 hours; again, I just will be happy if I can read half the time. To that end, I have broken down the 24 hours into a schedule. Initially, I was planning to start at 8 p.m., but then I was given a free ticket to a classical music concert that is part of a local music festival tonight and I couldn’t pass that up. So now I plan to start at 11 p.m.

My planned schedule is as follows:

8 p.m. to 11 p.m. – Concert
11 p.m. to 2 a.m. – Read
2 a.m. to 8 a.m. – Sleep
8 a.m. to 9 a.m. – Breakfast/Online for readathon
9 a.m. to noon – Read
Noon to 1 p.m. – Lunch/Online for readathon
1 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Read
5 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Dinner/Online for readathon
6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Read

That will allow for 12 hours of reading, which seems doable, considering for last weekend’s 24 in 48 Readathon, I read 12 and a half hours.

Opening Survey

  1.  What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Pennsylvania. Northcentral Pennsylvania.
  2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Queenpin. I love myself some good noir.
  3. Which snack are you most looking forward to? Utz’s Crab Cheese Balls. Photo later.
  4. Tell us a little something about yourself! I listen to what my wife likes to call “machine music.” Samples later.
  5.  This is our VERY first Reverse Readathon! How does it feel in your time zone? Humid, but that’s only because I just got back from a concert, but the windows are open and it should be cooling down here soon as I start up my readathon at 11 p.m. on the East Coast of the U.S.

3 a.m. Check In

It’s 3 a.m. and just under two hours of reading in. As noted earlier, I wanted to have three hours of reading in, but it’s doubtful I’ll be able to stay up another hour, plus I’m cutting into sleep (and reading) time. Oh, well, it’s not like it’s a contest. I just want to have fun reading, so probably will check in after a bit of shuteye.

(A Bit Past) Mid-Event Survey

  1. What are you reading right now? I have only been about half an hour here. It’s almost 9 a.m. and I haven’t had my coffee yet, but I plan on continuing with the Parker graphic novels with the last one in that series Slayground. I enjoyed the first two, and the third was okay (I took a star off for the excessive use of the color yellow, no, really), so now I’m heading on to the fourth one.
  2. How many books have you read so far? Three.
  3.  What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Still Queenpin.
  4.  Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? The main interruption was sleep. I dealt with it by sleeping through it.
  5.  What surprises you most about the Reverse Readathon so far? Nothing. I knew I wouldn’t keep to my schedule and I haven’t. So no shock there. However, that’s okay as I still have a whole day before 8 p.m. and plenty of time to read (not catch up, but still read and have fun doing it! Yay? Yes, yay!

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 Noonish

It’s actually 12:30 as I start to type this and I’ve now finished four books: the Parker graphic novels and am midway through my fifth book, Queenpin by Megan Abbott. I’m enjoying it thus far. I was going to take a nap but couldn’t sleep so I’m going to grab some lunch and then go visit a friend who has a 1965 Mustang at a car show in our town. I’m not sure how long I’ll be, but I’ll post photos from there too.

By now I had planned on getting six hours of reading in, but actually I’m at about 3 hours and 19 minutes, minus about four seconds. The last readathon I did back in April, I finished just under 7 hours at 6 hours and 48 minutes. I’m thinking maybe now I can equal that, but I’m not really worried about it. I’m still having fun and have visited some bloggs and Instagram accounts, so it’s all good. To me, it’s not about the numbers, but just that I’m reading, period. Factoring in last weekend’s 24 in 48 readathon, I’ll still have read more books this month than I’ve probably read in one month all year.

4:30 p.m.

I’m done, but I’m going to cheer on a few more folks that are still “in the game.” I’ll have my own post-game analysis later tonight or tomorrow morning…not at all what I planned, but sometimes the best laid plans…

Closing Survey!

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? 3 a.m. because I should have stuck to my initial schedule and gone to bed at 2 a.m. instead of pushing on and trying to play catchup when a little bit behind.
  2. Tell us ALLLLL the books you read! Queenpin: A Novel by Megan Abbott and Richard Stark’s Parker: The HunterRichard Stark’s Parker: The Outfit; Richard Stark’s Parker: The ScoreRichard Stark’s Parker: Slayground by Daqrwyn Cooke (author/illustrator), Richard Stark (source).
  3. Which books would you recommend to other Read-a-thoners? Queenpin.
  4. How did you feel about this first-ever Reverse Readathon? Should we do it again? I’ll be honest I prefer the regular readathon because at least I can get sleep the night before to start it. However, I know that’s because the “regular” readathons are geared toward those of us on the East Coast of the U.S. Personally, I think with two readathons a year usually (one in April and one in October), one should be geared toward international readers; the other towards those in the U.S., but still invite everyone to participate, maybe have one group cheer on the other?
  5. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? Would you be interested in volunteering to help organize and prep in October? I will be participating again, probably in October if I’m not working that weekend. I would be interested in volunteering to help organize and prep. Just let me know, ladies.

I do have other thoughts on readathons in general, but I’ll save that for another post sometime.  For now, I’ll just finish this post…

So for those of you who did participate in the readathon? How did you do? What was your favorite book? For those who didn’t, read anything good this past week? Share in the comments.

My April 2018 #readathon

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Today I’ll be participating in Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, for the umpteenth time. I know that I haven’t participated in every single one in the last 10 and a half years but I have participated in quite a few. No, I’ve never made it for 24 hours. I’m usually make six hours, if I am lucky, but that is okay; I’m reading more than I usually do in a week.

I’ll be keeping periodic updates here and on Instagram throughout the day. So follow along, if you want, in either or both places. As I mentioned last Sunday, here are the books from which I’ll be choosing for today:

  1. All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot
  2. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
  3. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown
  4. Colosseum: Poems by Katie Ford
  5. Dear Darkness: Poems by Kevin Young
  6. Dove Season by Johnny Shaw
  7. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  8. Macbeth by Jo Nesbo
  9. Poetry Magazine, April 2018 edition
  10. Sending Christmas Cards to Huck & Hamlet by Joseph Mills
  11. Shoot the Dead by Steve Wetherell
  12. Tangerine by Christine Mangan
  13. Unknown Friends by Carl Dennis
  14. Wade in the Water: Poems by Tracy K. Smith
  15. Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
  16. We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehishi Coates
  17. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie.

Altogether, I have eight physical books, eight digital books, including one audiobook with deGrasse Tyson, and one digital magazine. I have six fiction, five nonfiction, and also five books of poetry in honor of National Poetry Month this month. I have 10 books by male authors, six books by female authors and one magazine with both genders represented as well as eight books by non-white authors. In other words, almost all of the food groups are represented. 😉 But really I did try to select diversely in terms of the authors’ ethnicities and genres.

The Plan

I plan on reading as much as I can, but I know that it won’t be for 24 hours. I seem to always have an unrealistic goal of reading for 12 hours, so I’m going to make it slightly more doable with 10 hours. I think I’ll start with something short, maybe the Brown or some poetry, before I pop out later this morning to grab chicken from a chicken barbecue a local drug and alcohol counseling center is having today. As for the rest of the day’s culinary choices, I have lobster bisque, deviled eggs (made by my wife), crackers and cheese, a little wine, ice cream, corn chips, and a new favorite (and unfortunately seasonal) snack: white cheddar crab-seasoned cheeseballs from Utz.

Stay tuned for what I choose in both books and food…

Updates

10:15 a.m.: Halfway through first book. 1 hour and 45 minutes of reading thus far.

1 p.m.: First book finished, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown. Almost three hours of reading time. On to the second one.

Instead of a book, I next listened to a playlist of poetry on YouTube from the podcast Book Cougars from book bloggers Emily Fine and Chris Wolak. They asked friends to choose a poem to read for National Poetry Month, and here are their choices, along with others from Emily and Chris:

Between 6 and 7 p.m., I finished two books of poetry, Wade in the Water by Tracy K. Smith and Colosseum by Katie Ford.

And unfortunately, that is where my readathon ended…at 6 hours and 48 minutes of reading.

The reason, which is not an excuse, is that last night was a terrible night for my tinnitus. I won’t give you the long explanation, but will refer you to the American Tinnitus Association page on understanding the facts about tinnitus. After taking a mixture of essential oils made by my wife specifically to help with tinnitus, the tinnitus did lessen in volume, but finally I took a magnesium pill to help me go to sleep. So it was a relatively early night for me, especially considering my goal for the readathon was 10 hours, as I went to bed about 10:30 p.m.

Final tally: Four books. My favorite was Tangerine, with the other three only being “meh” for me. I will add that Tangerine wasn’t perfect for me, e.g. an overuse of sentences beginning with the word “And.” However, overall the writing was exquisite, more than overcoming the book’s imperfections.

So did you participate in yesterday’s readathon? If so, how did you do? What was your favorite book read? If not, what was your favorite book read this week anyway?