Readathon // April 2016 Wrap Up

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favorite reading chair, morning light, tea and a good book.. who could ask for more?

The last 6 hours of readathon went to.. sleeping. I had a modest goal of 500 pages and I’m proud that I finished with 541 (including 3 straight hours of no reading due to work). Finished A Monster Calls, started and finished Maus, a couple short stories from Cities I’ve Never Lived In and about 2/3 of The Martian. Strangely, the only book I didn’t get to was the one I was most looking forward to (Mr. Mercedes).. note to self: don’t worry about “saving” books. Just read good books, always. There are a lot of things I took away from the event, I loved the challenge (I didn’t Netflix! Not once! All day!) and my slight fear that I would spend the next few days not wanting to read at all could not be more unfounded. I woke up this morning and knocked out the last 130 pages of The Martian easily. I will probably finish off Cities I Never Lived In this afternoon. One thing I didn’t anticipate about the challenge was how much my reading pace would slow down. I tend to average 50-80 pages an hour, and for several hours at the end I was more in the 20-30 range. Thankfully, there are no rules to Readathon, and pages read are pages read.

Next Readathon is October 2016, who’s in?

Readathon // April 2016 Hours 13-18

7:40pm
Mom I’d like to renegotiate the cuddle situation that’s been going on today. I’m going to need a lot more cuddles than you’ve been giving.

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[[Hour 13: 20 pages, 412 pages total]]

[[Hour 14: 35 pages, 447 pages total]]

9:50pm
Same book, same companion, new location.

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[[Hour 15: 15 pages, 462 pages total]]

[[Hour 16: 24 pages, 486 pages total]]

[[Hour 17: 40 pages, 526 pages total]]

12:29am
Sleepy time. Aiming for a 2-3 hour nap and waking up for the last 2 hours of readathon. I’m just over 100 pages away from finishing The Martian and I think I can knock it out. Sleep tight, book worms.

[[Hour 18: 15 pages, 541 pages]]

Readathon // April 2016 Hours 7-12

1:02pm
We’re into the second quarter of Readathon! I’m a third of the way through Maus and Juli and I are about to make a change of scenery to a local coffee shop.

1:25pm
Successful relocation.
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[[Hour 7: 36 pages, 245 pages total]]

[[Hour 8: 59 pages, 304 total]]

3:08pm
And now book 3. Been looking forward to this one for a while!

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[[Hour 9: 25 pages, 329 pages total]]

[[Hour 10: 35 pages, 364 pages total]]

5:33pm
Friends that bring you snacks to nom on in the middle of Readathon are good friends.

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[[Hour 11: 18 pages, 382 pages total]]

6:37pm
Back home. Messy hair, comfy pants, can’t lose.

Photo on 4-23-16 at 6.37 PM

Mid-Event survey:
1. What are you reading right now? The Martian by Andy Weir
2. How many books have you read so far? I’m on my third book.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I’ve been saving Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King for last. I think it’s up next.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? A lot. Had to go to work for a few hours, changed scenery (i.e. coffee shops) a few times.. I’m trying to just view them as necessary breaks and not something to worry about 🙂
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? I thought I’d be fading by now, but it’s been a really enjoyable challenge. Most weekends I read for a few hours then put on some Netflix, I’ve had fun pushing myself to power through and put a small dent in my TBR.

[[Hour 12: 10 pages, 392 pages total]]

 

Readathon // April 2016 Hours 1-6

Book friends enable you. Like when they post links to a 24-hour readathon on your Facebook wall without any comment (*ahem* Juli). And that, my friends, is the entire story behind why I’m doing Dewey’s readathon this spring. It’s a very short and wonderful story. I’ll be updating in this post throughout the day on Saturday, but here’s my tentative TBR for the day:

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books and puppies and happiness, xoxo,
Sarah

7:02am
I don’t always wake up way too early on a Saturday, but when I do it’s for Readathon. I’m starting with a book I actually picked up earlier this week, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, and couldn’t wait to begin that wasn’t on my original TBR (because decisiveness).

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Opening hour meme from Readathon:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Nashville, Tennessee
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.. I’m a huge Stephen King fan and Ihe’s coming to Nashville in June (sold out in 3 hours!). the third book in this trilogy comes with your ticket so I need to catch up!
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? There’s a planned stop to go to a coffee shop in Nashville called Perk and Cork with the best cinnamon buns. I consider cinnamon buns to be a food group.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I come from a family of readers! They impress me so much with how often they’ve heard about (or read) a book long before I do.
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 most looking forward to interacting with other book nerds and getting good book recommendations.

[[ Hour 1: 86 pages read]]

8:00am
This book is amazing. And I am one tired puppy.

8:55am
Finished A Monster Calls. I might have cried. Okay, I definitely cried, and books rarely do that to me. Moving on to the other book I’m in the middle of (and also wrecking me), Cities I’ve Never Lived In by Sara Majka. In a bit I’ll need to start getting ready for a quick stop at work (science rests for no man, or woman).

[[Hour 2: 67 pages read, 153 pages total]]

12:27pm
Back. In. The. Game. Done with work and Juli’s house, picked up Maus.

 

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oatmeal creme pies: snack of champions.

 

[[Hour 6: 56 pages read, 209 pages total]]

 

A book that’s becoming a movie this year

“…so one day my mother sat me down and explained that I couldn’t become an explorer because everything in the world had already been discovered. I’d been born in the wrong century, and I felt cheated.”

-Ransom Riggs, “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”

Rating: 4 stars
Days to read: 4

Part of my attraction to the POPSUGAR Book Challenge was that I tend to read heavily from two genres: young adult fiction, and sci-fi/fantasy (combine the two? I’m in book nerd heaven). The list forces me to pull from other genres, and often researching what book I want to fill a particular category has been half the fun. I started looking up movies coming out in 2016 at the end of 2015 and found a lot of really great options. Of course without trying what do I get for my first book of the year? A fantasy young adult novel. Go me. However, one thing that I loved about this book was that it avoids many of the current YA tropes. No dystopian future, no love triangle (ok, maybe a tiny bit, but no cries of TWO HANDSOME SWEET GUYS LOVE ME WHATEVER SHALL I DO BESIDES WALLOW IN INDECISIVENESS FOR 3 BOOKS?!), and no whiny over the top teenage angst. The book angels sing hallelujah.

Without realizing that this book is actually part 1 of a trilogy, I really enjoyed that Riggs takes a long time setting the scene with Jacob’s character and his world. Jacob is in many ways a quite ordinary teen but thankfully Riggs allows us to explore a part of his life that does not solely revolve around budding romantic feelings and the accompanying misadventures. He feels burdened by his seemingly ordinary life and longs for the extraordinary. For the longest time I wasn’t completely sure that the book was a fantasy novel (is his granddad crazy? Does he really see monsters?) and I think therein lies the beauty of Riggs’s storytelling. We have to learn, with Jacob, whether or not to trust his granddad’s crazy stories. Once Jacob finds a way to visit the orphanage in Wales where his grandfather grew up, I felt with his character the anxious desire to explore and discover and break from the ordinary.

At a certain point in a reader’s life you begin to feel like many stories are just versions of each other. We love those stories though, and so we keep reading and enjoy each new take. In many ways this book seemed new (see lack of YA tropes above), mostly because I really loved the time travel loop that governs the orphanage and the ongoing battle between hollowgasts and the ymbrynes. Of course, the structure of the book can be well placed within a more general narrative arc as with any fiction work, but this particular showdown between good and evil (especially the desire for power and immortality) feels fresh. I can’t wait to learn more about the hollowgasts and watch Jacob’s character transform through the adventure.

My one reservation is that I’m not sure what to make of Jacob falling in love with his grandfather’s old flame… it feels like a plot element you’d find in a Palahniuk novel (see: Rant). Throughout this first book their interactions have been fairly tame and Jacob and Emma seem to be slowly processing the complicated (understatement) feelings they have. I’m slightly wary of this subplot becoming a large portion of the narrative but hoping the main focus will remain Jacob’s development as he takes on the responsibility of a dangerous but exciting mission. The movie is scheduled for a Christmas release and although I’m happy to have imagined everything on my own first as a reader, I’m really looking forward to experiencing this world through Tim Burton’s eyes.