Readerly Rambles: The Read-a-thon Sign-up Post!


I’m really looking forward to Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-thon this October. I love the April Read-a-thon, but the October Read-a-thon is my absolute favorite. Autumn finds me gravitating towards classics, mysteries, and gothic-themed novels and my read-a-thon pile always reflects my current reading mood. Pouring a mug of cocoa and losing myself in a ghost story collection for the day is my idea of bliss.

In fact, I’ve hit on a brilliant idea. I’m going to theme each read-a-thon. The one downside to read-a-thon — and it is a monster of my own making — is that I get overwhelmed by choices. I make piles of short books and graphic novels. I promise to chip away at that Victorian chunkster. I swear that I will spend less time deciding what to read and more time reading. Fail. Fail. Fail. At the end I usually end up slightly disappointed in my progress and wishing I had a way to tie everything together.

OMG. Yes. Themed Read-a-thon. I decided that October will almost always be spooky, but this year I am whittling that theme down even more. My inspiration stuck when I was in the library stacks and saw this book:


Yes, a juvenile spooky series illustrated by Edward Gorey. That triggered a few other ideas in my head related to Edward Gorey and literature and thus I arrived at the idea of having an Edward Gorey-themed Read-a-thon. Now, it won’t be ALL Edward Gorey as I have a delicious stack of graphic novels to read. The bulk of my reading, however, will some how tie into Edward Gorey and I am having so much fun creating the book list.

Other October ideas for the future include books with “owl” in the title or cover art, classics with movie adaptations, vampires or ghosts, or maybe vintage crime novels. In the spring I tend to gravitate towards fairy tales, myths, and children’s literature and that will be a fun list to create as well.

I’m super-excited about this year and I hope you all will join in. Details are here!

Readathon: The Second Update

I’m not uploading any pictures during this update.  I’ve been reading for a while and just realized that I’m taking over parenting duties for a few hours at 6:30 (and it is just striking 6). 

To briefly update, I’m so glad I’m minimized my blogging time.  I haven’t read a single Readathon update, but I’ve accomplished loads of reading (39 pages of Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation and 96 pages of Saplings for a total of 135 pages).  My grand total for the day is 255 pages! 

I’m about to head home and do Atticus’ bedtime routine (bath, cuddles, and an extra long nursing session).  I can usually read while I do Atticus’ night nursing.  Yay!  Shannon is coming to the house tonight and we are going to feast upon grilled hamburgers and sweet potato fries.  After Atticus is asleep we will continue with the reading.  My goal is to make it until at least midnight. 

I’ll be cheerleading in the early morning hours (I hope I’ve planned it right, my goal is to wake before Atticus so I can cheer for other readers).

Happy Reading!!!!

Read-a-thon Update!

Well, the first 3.5 hours of Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-Thon have passed.  I’m reading the day away with my good friend Shannon.  I’ve changed up how I’m doing Read-a-thon and doing less blogging.  I’m a slow blogger and easily distracted.  Less blogging means more time to read, which, after all, is the point of Read-a-thon.  I’m also not planning on participating in mini-challenges.  I think if I had a solid 24 hours to myself I’d participate, but I’m taking breaks to nurse the baby and spend time with my family (Hope is visiting relatives in North Carolina).  So my reading time is going to be purely focused on actually reading.

Now, how did my first three hours go?  I’ve read a 120 pages thus far (a chapter of a non-fiction book — Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation — and 100 pages of Saplings, a Persephone novel by Noel Streatfeild).

Here is a photo update:


8am -- starting out with a pile of books!



Around 9am -- I put aside my non-fiction read and grabbed some fiction and a clementine



Shannon -- although she is barista-ing today -- is finding time to read



A baby break around 10am. Can you tell that his Daddy dressed him today?

10:40am, a cup of Earl Grey and a Chicken Salad Sandwich on an Everything Bagel


I’m off for some family time, but I’ll be back in the swing of things this afternoon!

Reading Update and Prepping for Read-a-Thon

I had fully intended to write a review of my latest Persephone read, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, but I couldn’t really think of anything to say past typing the word “delightful” over and over and over again.  Truly the book was delightful and I think my inability to write something stems from the fact that I finished that book nearly a month ago and it is one of those lighter reads that doesn’t really warrant many hours of thought afterwards. My current Persephone read, Saplings by Noel Streatfeild, is completely different.  Already things are darker and more complicated as far as family dynamic and tension goes; thus far the novel seems very Whipple-esque.

My other bookish news is that I’m eagerly anticipating Read-a-thon this weekend.  Best friend and coparent, Shannon, will be participating with me and we are in the throes of nerdiness.  Obviously, I won’t be able to participate for a full 24-hours (Atticus didn’t like that idea), but I’ll hopefully get in a solid 8 hours of reading with a solid 2-3 hours of blogging and cheerleading.

My book list is forming, so far I have on the pile:

I’m so excited!

Reading Goals for 2011

I’m not quite ready to post my wrap-up for my 2010 reading year, I’m still determined to finish North and South before midnight on January 1st!  I have been spending a great deal of time thinking about 2011.

This post will be in list format because I adore lists.

The Basics:

  • Read a minimum of 75 books or 20,000 pages
  • Participate in the April and October Readathons
  • Participate in 3 other book blogging events (for example, I’m eager to participate in the Virago reading week and the Persephone reading weekend.)
  • Do 5 readalongs.  They can be blog readalongs or GoodReads readalongs.  I’m signing up for several readalongs hosted by Allie at A Literary Odyssey
  • Complete 3 reads for the Classics Circuit and POST ON TIME!
  • Complete all the reading challenges I’ve signed up to do.
  • Only do 12 challenges at a time.  I have to finish a challenge to signup for another.

Reading Challenges:

I’m still making my lists for these challenges, so check back soon!

  1. Local Library Challenge — Check out and read 30 library books
  2. Off the Shelf Challenge — Read 30 books off my shelves
  3. Chunkster Challenge — Read 8 chunksters or 3 tomes
  4. To Be Read Challenge — 12 books from my TBR pile
  5. Special Topics in Calamity Physics Challenge — Senior Level
  6. Vintage Mystery Challenge — Read 4-6 Vintage Mysteries
  7. Man Booker Challenge — A Booker’s Dozen, read 12 of the winning, short-listed, or long-listed titles.
  8. What’s in a Name Challenge — List coming soon!
  9. First in a Series Challenge — Read 3 books that are the first in any series
  10. Seconds Challenge — Read 12 books that are the second in a series or the second time I’ve read the author.
  11. Chivalrous Deeds Historical Challenge — Read 7 historical fiction books
  12. Dystopia Challenge — Read 5 Dystopian novels

Tomorrow I plan on posting my lists for the various challenges.  I need to read read read because there are so many other challenges I want to join.  Wish me luck!

I think that is it for my more concrete reading goals.  I also want to try to blog more reviews and do general reading updates.  A strict blog schedule isn’t for me, but I’ll try to be more devoted to maintaining the bookishness of this blog.

In a Glass Darkly and a Tardy Readathon Wrapup

It is a quarter to eight in the morning and every thing is very quiet and still.  I have a pot of tea beside me and I’m finally prepared to wrap-up my readathon thoughts two whole days after the event.

First — a few non-book related somethings:

  • Why am I out of Irish Breakfast Tea?
  • Is having an intense desire to rearrange my kitchen cupboards a sign of nesting?

Please, feel free to share your thoughts on both subjects.

Okay, on to the Readathon Wrap-up:

I’m not going to do the meme provided because I’m a maverick (j/k).  No, seriously, I only finished one book and I feel like in my last post I reflected my thoughts on Readathon adequately.  Rather, I’d like to discuss what I — personally — will do differently when I participate in the April readathon:

  • I enjoyed reading, but I’m not too keen on the emphasis on number of books.  I could have blasted through 37 Sweet Valley High novels and had an amazing book count, but instead I chose to read a thick book (which most veterans say not to do during a readathon) and then interspersed my tome reading with scary Victorian short stories.  This worked well for me.
  • So, next readathon I’m going to focus on how many pages I can get through.  This way I’m a winner if I decide to read Trollope or a stack of Agatha Christie mysteries.
  • I’m also going to steer clear of counting hours.  This seemed to be a bit messy.  For example, I would read for a block of two hours, but in those two hours I might use the bathroom, or make some tea, or stare at my cat.  Then I had difficulty truly saying how long I read.  I think tracking minutes of pure, unadulterated reading will work best.
  • I really enjoyed listening to audio books as well.  I didn’t finish my audio book, but I’m planning on having an embroidery blitz soon and listening to audio books while I stitch.

My final goals for the next official Readathon in April (keeping in mind that I will have a 6 month-old baby).   Are to read 500 pages and 4 hours of audio (up from the 407 I read and the 1 hour of audio for the October readathon).  I’ll keep track of minutes, but my ultimate goal will not be a certain number of minutes (i.e. I’ll have a baby).

There is one tiny readathon in my future; I’m planning on Reading in the New Year.  Depending on Atticus’ sleep schedule (or lack thereof) I plan on beginning at midnight and reading as much as I can.  I had a blast doing this earlier in the year.

Now on to a review, Sheridan Le Fanu’s In a Glass Darkly.  This collection of five short stories/novellas (the last two tales are long) make up the papers of one fictitious Dr. Hesselius.  A doctor of medicine, believer in the powers of the supernatural and the trickery of the human psyche, and a sort of psychologist, Dr. Hesselius is periodically called upon to hear tales of horror, madness, and the otherworldly.  What is truly remarkable about this collection is its unpredictability.  Sometimes, the reader believes there is no haunting, only madness.  Other times it appears that some supernatural horror is at play.  And in at least one tale — one of the scariest– there is no supernatural element at all.  Rather than give a synopses of the tales, I’ll implore you to go in reading this collection blind.  By all means, skip the introduction until after you’ve read the 5 stories.  I’m glad I skipped the introduction because then each story was a surprise, a chilling surprise, but a surprise nonetheless.  Fans of Henry James’ “The Turn of the Screw” will especially love In a Glass Darkly.  This book also counts towards my RIP Challenge!

Okay, my tea is getting cold and I need to throw dinner in the crock-pot and start folding a mountain of laundry.  We’ve a busy day today and I better get started!

Readathon: Hour 24

I ended up going to bed closer to 1 a.m.  I had some contractions last night (still random, but if they were Braxton Hicks they were quite stronger).  We used the time to “practice” pain management (i.e. Sam was less freaked out and I got a foot rub and I felt less ridiculous breathing like a ninny).

After all THAT we went to bed, but I was up by 6 a.m. for breakfast (egg and cheese bagel) and reading.

I finished a book!  Hooray!  I wrapped up Sheridan Le Fanu’s In a Glass Darkly at around 7:30 this morning.  The end of the event meme still isn’t up, so I’ll update later with the answers to the meme.

For now, here are my final stats:

  • Title of book(s) read since last update:In a Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu
  • Number of books read since you started: finished 1!
  • Pages read since last update: 105 pages
  • Running total of pages read since you started: 417 plus one hour of audio
  • Amount of time spent reading since last update: 1 hour and 18 minutes
  • Running total of time spent reading since you started: 8 hours and 18 minutes of print, plus 1 hour of audio
  • Mini-challenges completed: Two
  • Other participants you’ve visited: I’ve kept up with some Twitter updates
  • Prize you’ve won: zip

I may have only finished one book, but I read over 400 pages!  That’s amazing.  I used to be obsessed with the “number” of books I read in a year, but I have to say have a yearly number of pages I want to read as my goal keeps the anxiety at bay.  I’m much more inclined to pick up larger works or nonfiction pieces.

So bravo to me!  And super-mega-bravo to all the other readathoners!  We did it!