21 Jul 2018

24in48 - Progress Report

Hour 1
The official start of 24in48 was at 6:00 this morning. I decided to use the official hours, rather than push it to fit my time-zone, just to make things easier - not that it would make much difference, as I'm not going to read through the night anyway :-P. Indeed, it's currenly 7am and I've only JUST sat down to start reading. The biggest challenge will be to remember to turn on my stop-watch whenever I start reading, so I can track my reading time accurately.

Isabella is coming over at 2pm to read with me. While I'm looking forward to a low-key readathon (not that the family affairs aren't super cozy, but the structure of this encourages a more low-key approach) I'm really glad to share this with her. She's so similar to me in so many ways (how many 14 year olds do you know who'd be interested in doing nothing but sit and read for 10 hours?!) and it'll be good to have her there :)

But for now I'm going to get started reading :). I won't be posting hourly updates, but I think the hosts are posting surveys and challenges every 6 hours or so, so will probably use that as prompts for my updates as well.

Hour 7
6 hours later and I'm just about half way through my second book, having read for just about half of the readathon so far. I need to pick up my pace if I want to make it to 24 AND sleep at all tonight, but at least I'm not behind. It'll help once Isabella arrives in an hour, so I have less reason to get distracted :)

Hour 12
Another 4+ hours read since my last update, meaning that I'm now ahead of schedule! Woohoo!!! Isabella arrived at 2pm as arranged, and we've been sitting in the library reading ever since. I keep having to reassure myself that I'm neither boring nor antisocial to just leave her to read - in fact, her mother assures me she loves it - and I'm definitely enjoying the company hugely :-)

We're stopping for dinner soon, but first the challenge of hour 12:

For this challenge, share a book that has expanded your worldview or changed the way you look at something, whether it’s another culture, gender, race, a new concept, social justice issues…the possibilities are endless.

There are MANY books that fit this category. While I definitely mostly read books by and about people like me, I do branch out frequently, both in regards to culture, race, new concepts etc. However, I think the book that most expanded my worldview would have to be "Gracefully Grayson" by Ami Polonsky. This was my first real introduction to the transgender community (although not my last), and the fact that it was written for YA actually just made it even more thought provoking. I've read other books on the topic since, but this still stands out as the best one.

Hour 18
I managed another 4 hours in the last six, but now I have to call it a night. Isabella gave up about 45 minutes ago... I'm a bad influence on her ;-) She seems to have been enjoying herself though, and I've loved having her here.

Hour 26
I slept longer than expected, so can tell already now that it'll be something of a struggle to make it to 24 hours, as I have to take time out for church this morning. That doesn't mean I'm going to stop trying though! Isabella's still asleep, but I've moved back to the couch and have started my 4th book.

Hour 33
I took a bit of a break to get to church and hand Isabella over to her parents again. It had been my intention to listen to an audiobook in the car on my way back, but forgot my cell phone at home, so no dice! Ah well. I'm currently at 16.5 hrs, so it'll be a tight run - but not impossible - to make it to 24. Especially as audiobooks also count, so I don't have to stop to make dinner :)

Isabella's final time

The challenge of hour 30 is to post a photo of your favourite under-the-radar read. I'll save the photo itself for Instagram, but nobody who's read my bookposts for any length of time can have any doubt that my answer would have to be Debora Geary's "Witches on Parole". This marks the start of the WitchLight trilogy which is close to being my favourite series ever, but with less than 5000 reviews on Goodreads it is not nearly as well-known as it deserves to be. Unfortunately, as it has apparently gone out of print (though it can still be found as an audiobook on Audible), it's unlikely reach the place 'over the radar' where it belongs.

Hour 39
I only have another two hours left to go!!! It's just past 9pm here, so I can totally do it :-D. I'm currently rereading book two of the WitchLight trilogy by Debora Geary (the sequel to the "under-the-radar" book I mentioned above). That book always makes me feel like crying in a good way. I wanna live in WitchCentral someday!

The challenge of hour 36 is a charming one. What’s the oldest children’s book you have, or a book you’ve held onto since your childhood? Share it with us!. Many of the ones that immediately jump to mind (Lurituri for one) still resides at my parents' place, but I have brought a few with me for my own library.

Hour 50
At 11:15pm last night I made it to 24 hours! It turned out to be a lot tighter than I had expected ahead of time, but that's mostly because I'm old and tired and value my sleep :-P I made it through 5 and a bit books, for a total of a whooping 2,342 pages!!!

Turns out, 24in48 is a biyearly event too, same as Dewey, with the next one being scheduled for the last weekend of January. I don't know that I'll participate every time, but it'll be fun once in awhile. And I LOVED having Isabella join me for some of it :-D

Books Read: "Divas Don't Knit" - Gil McNeil, "Breaking Dawn" - Stephenie Meyer, "Witches on Parole" - Debora Geary, "The Library of the Dead" - Glenn Cooper, "Witches Under Way" - Debora Geary
Currently Reading: "All By My Selves" - Jeff Dunham (audiobook)

5 Jul 2018

Best books of 2018 (so far...)

We're just over half way through the year, so it's time to list my top 10 9 books of the year so far. As per usual, I'm not going to list rereads, which actually made picking my books a tad tricky as I've reread a LOT this year (which is also why I only made it to 9). Still, there were at least 3 that are sure contenders for my Best of 2018 list as well :-)

A Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles Henni recommended this to me as an "unlikely comfort book", and she was spot on! I had NOT expected to love this as much as I did, but reading about Alexander Rostov's way of coping with his lot and carving out a life for him at the hotel just worked for me. I was a bit disappointed by the ending, but loved the rest.
Now That You Mention It - Kristin Hannah Kristin Hannah has written both one of the best and one of the worst books I've read so far this year. I received this as an arc and read it in no time flat. Chick-lit with substance.
A Wish Upon the Stars - T.J. Klune The last book in the "Tales from Verania" series, and every bit as sweet and funny and touching as I had expected. I expect this to be a series I reread often in the years to come.
The Loose Ends List - Carrie Firestone This book made me cry longer and harder than I had ever expected going into it. But it's not depressing. It's heartbreaking and life-affirming. Poignant and beautiful. A close contender to the best book I've read so far this year.
Just One Damned Thing After Another - Jodi Taylor The first book in a new series and I immediately fell in love with the quirkiness of it all. Unfortunately the sequels couldn't quite live up to it, but this first one was totally worth the read.
Discount Armageddon - Seanan McGuire Once I read "Life as the chosen religious figure for a colony of cryptid mice can be a lot of things, but it's definitely never boring." I was sold!
The Tuscan Time Traveler - Claus Holm I'm not usually a huge fan of short stories, but something about this collection just appealed to me.
There's Someone Inside Your House - Stephanie Perkins I started reading this mostly because I was interested in seeing how somebody known for the romance YA could write suspense. The answer? Surprisingly well! Sure, it had a few issues, but at the end of the day, I couldn't put it down, and greatly enjoyed it.
Algeria is Beautiful Like America - Olivia Burton I know very little about Algeria, so was fascinated by this graphic memoir describing Olivia's journey through the country her parents grew up in.

2 Jul 2018

24 in 48?

Thanks to Dewey's facebook page, I recently discovered the upcoming 24 in 48 Readathon taking place July 21st-22nd. Basically it's a readathon where you read for 24 out of 48 hours - you can split up those hours however you want, as long as you start after 00:01 Saturday morning and end before 23:59 Sunday evening (official hours are ET, but you can move them to fit your time zone if you want).

I've never done any readathons other than Dewey's before, but Lars is off working that weekend anyway, and I have absolutely no plans, so I figured, why not?! On one hand the different format sounds like it might make it more low-key, but on the other hand, reading 24 hours out of 48 is a LOT... even for me.

But I'm up for a challenge, so this is me signing up :-)