Dewey’s October Readathon Wrapup

And here we are. Another Dewey’s in the books!

I didn’t make it 24 hours, but I didn’t really expect to, either. Around 11:30 last night, I decided I was too tired for reading to be enjoyable, and I knew I needed either to sleep or eat. I chose to sleep with the thought that I’d get a couple hours in and get up to read the last couple of hours until 5am. Instead, I slept like a rock and woke up an hour and a half after the readathon ended. Looks like neither Gilgamesh nor I won immortality this time.*

Still, I did a solid job this readathon. Let’s look at the numbers:

IMG_20181020_214036Books completed: 3

Hours read: about 14 (18 if you count the time I lost to showering and paying attention to my family)

Pages read: 593

Cats petted: 1

Cups of coffee drunk: 1 caf, 2 decaf

Miles walked: 11.68

Closing Survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Hours 19-24. Or maybe those were the least daunting because I ended up sleeping through them.

2. Tell us ALLLLL the books you read!

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (audio; second half finished)

The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín (audio; finished)

The Epic of Gilgamesh by Anonymous (finished)

Gilgamesh Among Us by Theodore Ziolkowski (first 39 pages)

3. Which books would you recommend to other Read-a-thoners?

The Call was a great one for a readathon. Plot-driven but with decent character development and just fun to read.

4. What’s a really rad thing we could do during the next Read-a-thon that would make you happy?

I can’t really think of anything. I feel pretty happy about the readathon as it is.

5. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? Would you be interested in volunteering to help organize and prep?

I definitely plan to participate again, but I would not be interested in volunteering to help. I mean, I’d be interested, but I know I’d have trouble following through so I don’t want to commit even to thinking about volunteering.

Next Dewey’s is April 6, 2019. My daughter has a band concert that day, but I can probably bring a book.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the 24 in 48 Readathon in January!

*Uta-napishti told Gilgamesh that he could attain immortality by staying awake for six days and seven nights, and Gilgamesh promptly fell asleep for exactly that length of time, which they measured in loaves of bread, a means of calendaring I’m totally behind. Of course, I just read a 5,000-year-old book about Gilgamesh and am currently blogging on the Internet on which nothing dies, so perhaps in that sense, G and I are both immortal.

Dewey’s October Readathon – Midpoint Check-in

Well, I’ve made it to hour twelve! And unlike most other readathons, I have spent most of the past twelve hours reading (or “reading” in the case of audiobooks).

The first nearly six hours were devoted to listening to audiobooks while I walked to, up, and around a local mountain and back home. My tracking app was being temperamental but the total distance was 11.68 miles, more or less.

The hours since have been at home, reading and eating and lazing in the sunshine while my family were out running errands. They’re on their way home now, though, so we’ll see how much reading I get done in the next twelve hours.

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Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now?

I just finished Tablet IV of The Epic of Gilgamesh. I’m reading it in translation rather than in the original cuneiform.

2. How many books have you read so far?

I finished two audiobooks, The First Next Time by James Baldwin, which I started earlier this week, and all of The Call by Peadar O’Guilin. In addition to those and the bit of Gilgamesh I’ve consumed, I also listened to about two chapters of The Penderwicks on Gardam Street during lunch with my children.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

I don’t have much more on my list, but once I finish Gilgamesh, I’m looking forward to Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff. Although I might just grab my daughter’s copy of The Fault in Our Stars if I get too sleepy.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

Not too many interruptions so far, but that’s about to change. Hopefully I can manage my expectations and keep my cool.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

That I’ve read as much as I have. I really like the West Coast 5am start.

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Dewey’s Readathon – October 2018

It’s time for another Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon!

I’ve had some trouble participating in readathons since we moved in January, but I’m hoping I’m back in action this time around.

I doubt I’ll read for the full 24 hours (I’m over 40 and have things to do tomorrow that will be easier to do if I’ve slept), but I’m going for at least twelve.

My Cavalcade of Classics will be making an appearance this time around, too, wrestling with Gilgamesh for at least part of the time.

I’ll mostly be checking in on Instagram, but I’ll try to post here for big events, like the kick-off.

My books:

The Epic of Gilgamesh (starting page: 12)

Gilgamesh Among Us by Thoedore Ziolkowski (starting page: 23)

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (audio; starting at 1:10:00)

The Call by Peadar O’Guilin (audio)

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Opening Survey

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I’m reading from San Diego, California. My first West Coast readathon, I’m starting at 5am Saturday with an Epic Walk and an audiobook.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Probably The Epic of Gilgamesh. I’ve already read Tablet 1, and this thing is weird.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

To be honest, the snacks aren’t really on my mind today. If I can manage the reading, I’m sure the snacks will fall into place.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

Goodness. Well, I read. I homeschool. I make homemade hand cream. I have a cat. I like to take long walks.

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?

My stack is much smaller this time, and I’ll be spending more time outside, starting with a three-hour walk and audiobook. Which I’d better get started!

More at the halfway mark! Catch my posts on Instagram to keep up with my adventures more frequently.

Dewey’s Readathon Wrap-up (Oct 2017)

3:00pm, October 22: I tacked seven more hours onto my reading time to make up for sleeping overnight, and I finished two more books (one of which is shown below).

Final stats:

Books Completed:

1. Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips (definitely recommend!)

2. Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

3. Castle Waiting by Linda Medley

4. A Spoonful of Sugar by Brenda Ashford (audiobook that had only about an hour left on it when readathon started)

Books Started:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman (43 pages read)

Total Pages Read: 1,238

I definitely want to participate in Dewey’s in April 2018, and since that’s so long to wait, I’m going to try my best to do the next 24in48, too. Hopefully I will one day learn how to put together a somewhat realistic readathon stack.

In the meantime, here’s my victory lap:

Readathon Check-in: One book down!

1:30pm: I finished one whole book! 

Fierce Kingdom is awesome, and if you’re familiar with my book reviews, you know that I rarely call a book “awesome.” It drew me through the pages, and when I got to the last page, holy heck. I’ve cried at books before, but this is the first time I’ve ugly-cried.

The whole book was just so real and vivid and it didn’t let me fall into the “good guys, bad guys” dichotomy, which would have been very comforting. 

I’m going to keep this mini-review obtuse because I don’t want to reveal too much, but I’ll say that I do wonder if I would have reacted so strongly before I had kids…and if I weren’t the main character’s age and if I didn’t go to zoos all over the United States and so have a clear mental picture of just how this might happen in real life. Too much to relate to.

This would make a great movie, but I really hope they don’t make one out if it, even though that’s probably not fair to Gin Phillips.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon, Oct 2017

Dewey’s Readathon—10th-Birthday Edition!—starts right now, so here’s my quick kickoff post.

My stack:

The bullet journal progress page that I stayed up late and probably sabotaged my readathon to put together:

My meme responses:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Central Massachusetts, where fall is falling.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips. I might just treat myself and start there.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Ginger kombucha and a gallon of La Croix.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

No time for such niceties! I’ve got to get reading!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?

I’m going to stay off of social media except for the kickoff (hi!) and the wrap-up posts and maybe one or two check-ins on Instagram (@imperfecthappiness) and maybe here, too, so I can dedicate myself more to reading than I often do.

Now that I’ve kicked off, to the books!

Bookends: April 2017

April in Massachusetts was a stop-and-start process towards spring. We heard spring peepers peeping, watched the maple trees bloom and then make itty-bitty seeds, and now we’re seeing leaves galore. The lilacs and cherry trees are in blossom, and I can smell flowers on my walks around the neighborhood. And unlike last year, there’s been no late freeze (knock on wood), so it’s likely we’ll have LOCAL PEACHES this year!

What kind of monster looks at bunnies and thinks good things about coyotes?

I also see bunnies, bunnies, and more bunnies, which I bet thrills the coyotes and foxes in the neighborhood. The small-dog owners and keepers of outdoor cats aren’t thrilled about the predators traipsing around, but I’m a fan. Small furry creatures are adorable and I love them, but they spread deer ticks, which are awful already this year, so we can benefit from having a food-chain-related way to keep the furry population in check. I also like hawks and falcons.

Another wonderful thing about April: Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon! To read about my progress during the readathon, check out my wrap-up post.

Here’s some of what I finished reading in April (funny…I felt like I didn’t read much this month, but my list argues against that):

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Dewey’s April 2017 Readathon Wrap-Up

Here I am, another readathon in the books. So to speak.

I ended up reading from 8am Saturday until about noon on Sunday, with a 7-hour break to sleep and do some yoga. After I’d stayed up an hour past my bedtime, I considered going the distance, but my cat was too exhausted to continue.

Readathon Cat April 2017

During the official readathon period, I completed one novel, the audiobook of Anne Tyler’s Vinegar Girl. During my unofficial morning session, I finished Lionel Shriver’s Big Brother.

There’s a closing survey, but I don’t feel like completing it this time around. I still love the readathon, though, and definitely plan to participate in the next one, coming up on October 21, 2017.

Dewey’s Readathon, April 2017 Edition

Today is one of the best days of the year: readathon day!

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Readathon TBR Stack

My TBR is this stack plus a download of the audio version of Anne Tyler’s Vinegar Girl, a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew. I know I won’t be reading all of these. In fact, I’ll be lucky to finish even one, but I like to aim high. At least my list is more realistic than the one I made for October’s readathon.

Keeping with tradition, here are my responses to the opening survey:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Sunny central Massachusetts.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Probably Big Brother by Lionel Shriver, but mostly because I’ve already started it and I think I have a decent chance of finishing it today. After that, I might try to sprint through Gods and Warriors by Michelle Paver.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Kale salad with tahini dressing. I can live on that stuff. I’m also looking forward to popcorn, but that’s a logistical challenge because I use the same bowl for popcorn as I do for kale salad.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I’m trying to keep to a regular sleep schedule, so I’ll only be reading until about 9:00 tonight. That’s a really boring thing about me. Nominally more interesting: I’m wearing my hair in two French braids today. I worry that’s a little silly for a forty-year-old to do, but it’s a little hot today, and the two braids keep the hair off my neck. It’s pragmatic, so it’s okay.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?

I’ve already mentioned the quitting early and the braids. I’m also wearing yoga clothes all day and I did forty-five minutes of yoga before starting the readathon. Gotta stay limber. Oh, and I might take a break in the afternoon to watch the first Harry Potter movie with my family.

Now off to read!

 

Bookends: March 2017

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One of the things I love about Massachusetts.

My time in central Massachusetts, experiencing the discourtesy people here call “direct,” has been six years of cultural fatigue. There are things that I love about the area, but the people are consistently prickly. Yes, people can be impolite anywhere and in a surprising variety of ways, but most places I’ve lived and visited, the rudeness has been shocking in part because it happened so infrequently. In Massachusetts, discourteousness is like an element: living here, we swim in rudeness, whether we participate in it or not.

Late in March, my family spent a week in California. From the moment we landed, the difference was obvious. Sure, we lost thirty minutes in the rental car place because the guys working there were inept, but at least they were friendly. Everywhere we went, people smiled, they were cordial, they spoke kindly to one another. I felt little to none of the social anxiety that clings to me in Massachusetts. For the first time in ages, I felt like I could exhale.

Going to San Diego was like jumping from a polluted river into one that ran with fresh, clean water; coming back has been the opposite experience. Just this morning I observed a cashier and her customer openly ridicule another customer for thinking the cashier had given her a friendly look. “She thought since you looked nicely at her that meant it was her turn!” said the first customer, and she and the cashier brayed together as the second customer apologized and got back into line. If the three had been friends, I could understand it as rough but good-natured joshing, but I saw nothing to indicate that these people knew each other.

On the plus side, this kind of interaction makes travel even more appealing. Time to put our passports to work.

Aside from this unpleasant but not unexpected welcome back, March has been wonderful. Not only did I spend a week in a place that felt like home, but I got a lot of reading done, and I’ve had the pleasure of watching my children write and illustrate their own books and stories.

My seven-year-old has moved from filling journals with his stories to typing them out on legal-sized paper on the Smith Corona my dad used in graduate school in the early 1980’s. My son will kneel on a chair at the dining room table, typing for hours and yelling at anyone who tries to interrupt him for something as trivial as dinner or bedtime. All he needs now is a bottle of scotch, an overflowing ashtray, and a fedora.

Something to look forward to: Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is April 29! I’m especially excited because this time around, a goal of the readathon is to raise money for Room to Read, a non-profit focusing on literacy and girls’ education across Africa and Asia. To learn more about this part of the readathon and to donate, visit the Dewey’s Room to Read campaign page.

Reading through the night won’t be happening for me on April 29, but I plan to clear my schedule at least for the daylight hours. If I take part, I’ll post about it here and on Instagram.

Until my children finish their masterpieces, I’ve had to content myself with what’s already on the shelves. Here’s some of what I finished reading in March:

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