26 Jan 2019

January 24in48 - Progress report

Hour 6: (noon) So officially this readathon started 6 hours ago (6am my time), and so far I have read all of ONE hour :-P That's fine though - I'd long since decided not to sweat it and aim for 24 hours this time. I want to be able to enjoy the weekend and do other things as well. So far this morning I've slept in, done a bit of knitting, tidied up the place so I'm actually able to have guests over, got the crockpot started, picked out my books for the next 24-and-a-bit hours... oh, and read some ;-) Mette and Marianne should arrive within the next hour/hour and a half, and everything is pretty much ready for them.

It's rather amusing though - this is the first time either of them have ever visited me (though I've known them for about 12 years each by now, we mostly meet up at coffee houses etc.), and we start out with as informal and unique event as the readathon? For readathons it's really important to just go ahead and feel right at home whereever it's hosted... you shouldn't feel like you have to ask to go make a cuppa, take something out of the fridge, change seats, bring in the more comfortable chair from the lounge or whatever... I hope I can convey this to them - that they shouldn't stand on ceremony, but just make themselves at home. No matter what, I am REALLY looking forward to them coming over. It'll be great to share this with them!

Hour 9: (3pm) Mette and Marianne arrived 1:30pm and got a quick tour of the house before sitting down in the library with each their book. They're both reading Danish crime novels, whereas I decided to pick up "Wyrd Sisters" by Terry Pratchett. Haven't read that one since shortly after Lars and I performed it on stage back in 2001'ish (he was Lord Felmet - I played Granny Weatherwax), so I remember very little of it. It's fun rereading it though, as bits and pieces keep popping up in my memory as I go along.

Hour 12: (6pm) Just finished "Wyrd Sisters". It was just as good as I remembered it, and I found myself sniggering more than once. Now I have to find the script from our play again, just to see how much it was changed in the adaptation. I think I'll pick up "The Martian" now, but we'll probably stop for dinner soon.

Hour 18: (midnight) We ended up taking quite a long break for dinner, as we started talking and just couldn't stop again! Always the risk at social readathons, but I wouldn't be without it for the world :-D Mette finished her first book shortly after ten, which created a natural break and they both called it a day shortly after. They were going home via public transportation though, and as the local train line was out of service due to an accident, I offered to give them a ride to the nearest hub instead. I'm glad I did, as that gave us even MORE time to talk, and I was riding a high all the way home. They're lovely people, and I'm so glad to have gotten this chance to spend time outside work with them :-D They both expressed the desire to join me again another time, so yay! :-D

And now I'm back home (obviously) and back at reading. I have another 130 pages to go of "The Martian", so I'm going to attempt to finish that before heading off to bed.

Hour 27: (9am) It took me until almost 2am, but I got stubborn and finished the book before I headed off to bed! ...which meant I didn't wake up until about half an hour ago. I wasn't really feeling any of the books I'd picked out ahead of time (so typical!) but have instead turned to an old readathon favourite - Tamora Pierce's "Lady Knight" series. We'll see how many of the books I end up getting through :-)

Hour 33: (3pm) The end for me. While the official readathon runs for another 15 hours, I decided to do the unofficial 12in24 instead (reading 12 hours out of 24 rather than twice that). While I love reading all weekend, I also like having time for other things as well ;-) I reached 12 hours at 2pm, but stuck around to finish the book I was reading. So I guess I did 13in25? :-P

But I had a great time as always, and I LOVED having Mette and Marianne join me. It was a really fun way to expand our friendship :-D

Books Read: "Wyrd Sisters" - Terry Pratchett, "The Martian" - Andy Weir, "First Test" & "Page" - Tamora Pierce
Time Spent Reading: 13 hours

1 Jan 2019

Top Ten Books of 2018

It's been a good year, reading-wise, and I had a real hard time limiting myself to just 10 books. But these are the best of the best, the books that moved me the most, and the books I'm most likely to reread and recommend to others.

A Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towels Also wins the award for being the absolutely best book I have read all year. It took me completely by surprise, but ended up being one of the most unexpected comfort reads I think I have ever found. I highly recommend it.

The Loose-Ends List - Carrie Firestone Also wins the award for being the book that made me cry the hardest, however I wouldn't call it a depressing book - hardly even a sad book. It is YA when it's best. Poignant and REAL.

Illuminae - Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff Partly because of the plot (sci-fi), partly because of the writing style (epistolary), partly because of the awesome way the authors play with the media - using it to underline the plot and characters in pretty brilliant ways. I loved all three books in the trilogy, but the first was definitely the best.

Just One Damned Thing After Another - Jodi Taylor The sequel had too much forshadowing for me to care to continue the series, but this first book was absolutely brilliant! I'd requested book recommendations to get me out of a reading slump, and once again delivered BIG time! She hasn't steered me wrong yet! I love time-travel when done well, and here it certainly was. Absolutely awesome book!

Wolfsong - T.J. Klune A book made out of cupcakes and pine cones. Of epic and awesome. It is completely different from his "Tales From Verania" series, but every bit as awesome. He writes relationships so well!
The One - John Marrs One of the best suspense novels I've read in a long time. I couldn't put it down, forgoing sleep to read it, and it stuck with me for a long time after finishing it.

A Wish on the Stars - T.J. Klune The conclusion of the Tales From Verania quartet, and the best one since the first. I am so very grateful to Leslie and Laura for reviewing this series and have ended up falling deep in love with Sam, Gary and Tiggy... okay, and Kevin and Ryan too.

Beneath the Sugar Sky - Seanan McGuire I definitely have a weakness for surreal books, and Seanan McGuire writes surreal really, really well. Her "Discount Armageddon" came very close to earning a place on this list too, for much the same reason.

The Outsider - Stephen King A stand-alone novel in the "Finder's Keepers" universe. Stephen King is one of those authors who have most definitely improved with age and his newer books are much more to my tastes than his older ones were.

Now That You Mention It - Kristan Higgins Chick-lit with substance. It made me laugh, it made me cry and that automatelly makes me love a book.