My Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon for October 2019

Tomorrow starts another Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, and starting today, I’ll be keeping track of the readathon here and on Instagram, from pre-readathon prep to post-readathon analysis on Sunday. I’m in the midst of convalescing from arthroscopic knee surgery this past Tuesday (to learn more about that, visit my previous post), and I haven’t gotten much reading done so far, thanks to a slight haze of Norco (hydrocodone and acetaminophen). However, now that I’m coming out of the fog, I’m ready for some reading.

Pre-readathon prep

I only have two books on my list that I definitely want to get to, one in a collection:

  • Four Novels: The Sun Also Rises; A Farewell to Arms; For Whom The Bell Tolls; The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway that I bought last week from our library’s bookstore.
  • Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises by Lesley M.M. Blume that I was reminded that I had bought last year in ebook when I saw The Sun Also Rises among the four novels.

I’m thinking that they will complement each other well for tomorrow’s readathon.

I also have other possibilities, but most likely they will be saved for next week, while I’m still off from work, and probably even later for some:

  • Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • Heaven, My Home (A Highway 59 Mystery Book 2) by Attica Locke
  • Orphan X (Orphan X, #1) by Gregg Hurwitz
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (an annual Halloween reread tradition)
  • Ruth Galloway Series: The First Three Novels by Elly Griffiths
  • The Lord God Made Them All (All Creatures Great and Small Book 4) by James Herriot
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling (Cormoran Strike Book 1) by Robert Galbraith
  • A Morbid Taste for Bones (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael Book 1) by Ellis Peters.

This past week I finished one book, A Story To Tell by Lisa R. Howeler (my sister), and started another, The Best American Poetry 2014 (edited by Terrance Hayes, guest editor, and David Lehman, series editor) that I probably will finish today before tomorrow’s readathon.

My wife and I also started watching Mindhunter, Season 2 on Netflix Wednesday night, and we plan on possibly getting to these other series this coming week:

  • Good Omens, Season 1 on Amazon Prime
  • Narcos Mexico, Season 1 on Netflix
  • Money Heist, Season 2 on Netflix
  • Criminal: UK, France, Germany, and Spain on Netflix

We had started watching the Narcos and Money Heist seasons previously, but have yet to get to the other three.

The Readathon

8 a.m.: Opening Survey!

  1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Northcentral Pennsylvania
  2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? The Sun Also Rises, the first book on my “stack” of two, the second being a nonfiction book about The Sun Also Rises
  3. Which snack are you most looking forward to? Crackers, cheese, and wine, especially after having arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this week.
  4. Tell us a little something about yourself! I had arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this week and now that the pain meds are wearing off, I’m ready to focus on reading.
  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? I’m not going to be as obsessed with time. Just read as much as I can, and especially with aforementioned knee surgery, rest as I need.

Update No. 1: 10 a.m.

  • I’ve read 50 pages in The Sun Also Rises.
  • I remember why I love Hemingway: the short, back-and-forth dialogue.
  • I do:n’t remember the use of the casual n-word, but when it came 50 pages in, it slapped me in the face. “The n***** drummer waved at Brett.”
  • I had breakfast: sausage, egg, and Swiss cheese on a croissant.

Update No. 2: 12:40 p.m.

  • I’ve read 165 pages in The Sun Also Rises.
  • I’m about to grab lunch: probably a turkey and cheese sandwich on rye bread with potato chips on the side.
  • I’m still enjoying the book, not just the dialogue, but the long, almost stream-of-consciousness descriptions at times. I’m remembering why he is one of my favorite authors.

Update No. 3: 2 p.m.

  • I just finished The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.
  • And I just got these two books, in the mail, a perfect break from my Hemingway reading:
  • I’m starting with The Score.

Update No. 4: 6:30 p.m.

At about 2:30, I took a nap and woke up about 4:30, had a snack and then got back to reading The Score. I’m more than halfway through.

Best quote so far

The book is about a group of robbers planning a heist of a town. In the one part, the one robber explains to the other about taxes:

“You’re a young man, you still can learn. Pay attention to this. You can steal in this country, you can rape and murder, you can bribe public officials, you can pollute the morals of the young, you can burn your place of business down for the insurance money, you can do almost anything you want, and if you act with just a little caution and common sense you’ll never even be indicted. But if you don’t pay your income tax, Grofield, you will go to jail.”

Littlefield in “The Score” by Richard Stark

8 p.m.: Mid-Event Survey

  1. What are you reading right now? Nothing right now, but about to start Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises by Lesley M.M. Blume.
  2. How many books have you read so far? Two: The Sun Also Rises and The Score by Richard Stark.
  3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Everybody Behaves Badly. Other than that, I’m not sure what I’ll read although I have possibilities (see above).
  4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? I’ve had several, including a two-hour nap. I’ve rolled with them, because I’m recuperating from arthroscopic knee surgery earlier in the week.
  5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? That I forgot my sister was sending me two Parker novels by Stark in the mail. It was a nice surprise and came at the right time when I needed a break from Hemingway. Now back to…well…about Hemingway, anyway.

Shortly after completing this survey, I had a small glass of wine and then promptly felt tired, so I went to bed. I did get up at about 5 a.m. and started Everybody Behaves Badly. I will be continuing that later today with my own readathon.

Post-Readathon Analysis

Especially considering that I am recovering from knee surgery on Tuesday, I am pleased with reading two books, although they weren’t the two books I expected to read. I also got started on another, the second one that I had intended to read.

What are you up to this weekend? Readathon? If so, what is/was on your stack of possibilities? If not, what have you been reading good lately or what do you have good planned to read? Whatchya up to otherwise?

My own weekend readathon

In the midst of the busyness, the chaos, sometimes it is just good to step back, step down and relax, read. That is what I am planning to do most of this weekend, my own weekend readathon.

I need it as this past week has been full of medical appointments and this coming week promises more of the same, for both me and my wife. In short, we’re both OK or will be in the not too distant future, thanks to a change in diet, physical therapy, and medication, with the latter being not as much as the others. And on Thursday, we’re getting away for the day to a winery up on Seneca Lake in New York, where my wife already has said the rule of the day is no medical talk…which I’m more than fine with.

So here are the potentials:

  • The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware, which I started last night and probably will continue this afternoon. I have checked this out several times in print and on ebook, but haven’t gotten to yet. Maybe this time I will.
  • Black Diamond, the third in the Bruno, Chief of Police series, by Martin Walker: I renewed this one after not getting to it the first go-around. Now I’m going to try again.
  • How Did It Begin?: The Origins of Our Curious Customs and Superstitions by Dr. R & L. Brason: One of my coworkers lent me a copy of this, thinking I might be interested.
  • Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words by Josefa A. Heifetz Byrne: I mentioned this one last week and it’s more one I’ll dip into from time to time, probably like the one listed right before this.
  • Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry, edited by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan, which I also had in another readathon list recently. It will be another that I most likely will just dip into periodically throughout the weekend.

At the end of each day, I’ll try to keep you updated here on the blog. We’ll see how that goes too.

6 p.m., Saturday night

I finished The Death of Mrs. Westaway. Here is what I wrote on Goodreads:

I kept getting this one out of the library and then not reading, mainly just because I didn’t get to it. I think I also probably blanched at the use of italicized flashbacks, but I was pleasantly surprised that they didn’t reveal everything, unlike in other books I’ve read.

Of course, I forgot until I started typing in the quote block here on WordPress.com that it also would appear in italics, but it seems apropos, does it not? While on Goodreads, I looked back and noted that I read The Woman in Cabin 10 and In A Dark, Dark Wood, both in 2016, and that I also liked them. I have not read The Lying Game yet or her latest The Turn of the Key.

4 p.m., Sunday afternoon

I haven’t done as much reading as I wanted to today, but I am still doing a little. This morning and earlier this afternoon, I dipped into How Did It Begin? which I am about halfway through. I probably won’t finish it today as it is more a book to dip into than to read in one sitting or in one day. Here are my thoughts on Goodreads:

Not to be read in one sitting. As for other reviewers’ comments that the book is outdated and doesn’t cite sources, author was in his 80s when he wrote book and did research for Enclyopedia Brittanica. My main critique is with the subtitle of “curious customs” and his overuse of exclamation marks. Some customs he describes really aren’t that curious and does he really need to use that many exclamation points?!!

I now am reading Black Diamond, but only am about 50 pages in. So far, though, so good.

10:30 p.m., Sunday night

I didn’t read tonight. Instead, I watched two episodes of Midsomer Murders, but I’ve decided to continue my readathon tomorrow morning since the rest of my week is pretty full.

Reading anything good lately? How about this weekend? Have you ever read any Ruth Ware? What did you think, if you have?

My Dewey’s August 2019 24 Hour Reverse Readathon

Starting tonight at 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 2, until tomorrow, Aug. 3 at 8 p.m., I am participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Reverse Readathon. It’s called “reverse” because instead of starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, as Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon usually does, it’s starting on Friday at 8 p.m. to include more international participants. I participated last year, reading one short book and four graphic novels in five hours. My goal this year is going to be double that: with 10 hours because unlike last year when I started with an interruption, a classical music concert at a local festival, this year I’m not starting with any interruption. I’ll be starting fresh.

The Stack

Also unlike the last readathon in which I participated, the July 24in48 Readathon, I’m starting with a list of shorter books, although with some of the same books:

  • The Dark Vineyard, the second Bruno mystery, by Martin Walker: I read the first one during last month’s readathon. I already started this second one earlier in the week and was thinking I’d finish this before starting the readathon, and would be reading the third one for the readathon. That didn’t happen, so now I hope to finish this second one tonight.
  • Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck: This one was on the list from the readathon last month.
  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius: This one also was on the list from last month’s readathon.
  • On The Come Up by Angie Thomas: I loved The Hate U Give by Thomas, so I had to get this one when I saw it at our library.
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor: I bought this novella at the end of June on a whim. I haven’t had good luck with science fiction in recent years, but I will keep trying.
  • Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry, edited by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan: I included poetry in July’s readathon with a collection of haiku that I finished so I thought why not include it again? This time, though, I don’t think I’ll finish the collection, but probably just will dip into it from time to time.

As with every readathon, I know I won’t finish all of them, and will consider myself lucky if I finish half of these, but hey, I’m still reading. I’ll take it.

Friday afternoon

A clarification and an explanation before I start: 1.) Travels with Charley is a reread. It is a favorite. 2.) Why is it called Reverse Readathon? “Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon normally starts at noon GMT, which is first thing in the morning for North and South Americans but an awkward time of night for readers on the other side of the international date line. The Reverse Readathon’s start time is more convenient for them.”

Friday Night

After finishing The Dark Vineyard, I distracted myself from reading for a while by visiting other participants’ posts on Instagram and on Goodreads. Then I picked up the Unsettling America collection of poetry…but then put it back down as I went on a whim, a book I snagged from the donations at our library: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay. I’m glad I did. I’m already halfway through, but stopped because I want to finish tomorrow when I’ve had a little rest. I might read, though, a little of the poetry before I go to bed. I’ll let you know with tomorrow morning’s update.

Saturday Morning

I woke later than I wanted, but I’ve still managed to finish my second book before noon (11 a.m here as I write this) and it was an excellent one. I won’t say more about it: 1.) lest my thoughts be misconstrued, and 2.) I’m still trying to collect my thoughts about it, but know that is a “must-read,” and I’m glad I read.

Now I’m off to visit a few blogs, a few Instagram posts, the Goodreads group…but first to call my mother on her 75th birthday today…and then back to the reading…

Saturday Afternoon

Then I took a nap..and at 6:50 p.m., I called it. I didn’t finish either of the above two books, but I am halfway through my reread of Travels with Charley, and I’ll finish it tomorrow. I was going to try to push through to finish by 8 p.m., the end of the readathon, but then I decided I didn’t want to rush it. I want to savor it and so I shall.

Conclusions

  • I didn’t make my goal of reading for 10 hours. I probably read for about half of that, and even though I didn’t finish half of my potentials, I read one very good one, Hunger, not on my pile. I also started a reread of Travels with Charley and am beginning to remember why I loved it the first time (and maybe more times than that) I read it.
  • I don’t do well with humidity, which makes it hard for me to concentrate to read. Even though we have a window air conditioner for our small house, it’s still humid – even as I have the windows open after a rain. The cool air isn’t really reaching in here. Ugh.
  • I need to plan out my readathons better. This one and the July 24in48 Readathon, I just did on a whim, which in one way is okay, but in another way, it would have been nice if I had planned better.

So did you participate in this weekend’s readathon? If so, what did you read? How did it go for you? If not, what are you reading that’s good? Watching anything good? Listening to anything good? Let me know in the comments.

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?