A confession, a question, and a hope.

Written by Kirsten on July 27th, 2014

Confession: I have relied on the internet – bona fide news sources, not listicles like, “10 Things you don’t know about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” – for information about what is, and has been, happening in and surrounding Gaza. I have first read those articles shared by people I know and trust, and also searched for ways to learn the origins and history, though I certainly do not have anything like a comprehensive understanding.

Question: What would you tell me are the keys to understanding what is happening, and what is your personal connection to or investment in the situation? (Please know that this could be, “I am a human being and so are the people who live there,” this is not limiting in any way)

Hope: I hope to learn from the people in my life who have followed the news for the last month, year, decade, half-century, and can provide a current events dunce with critical facts. I hope to reach out to those people in my life who are connected to this situation. And I hope to let the people in my life know that I am paying attention. I don’t share or post on social media because I do not feel well-enough informed to do so, but I recognize that my silence is, in a way, complicity. Or if not, at the very least, a lack of alliance with and support for my loved ones who are being persecuted, frightened, and enraged by actions and words here and elsewhere.

Please help me understand what this means to you, how you see it affecting the world as a whole, and what I can do to be an ally.

 

Readathon Wrap-Up

Written by Kirsten on April 27th, 2014

girlreading

So, around 6am I decided that it was worth the $10 to buy the sleep I so desperately needed at the end of Readathon. Here are my end stats:

Books read:

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (last 35 pages – I’d listened to nearly the entire audiobook before it expired, and thankfully had a paper copy)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (who is my new hero for not just this book but all of the YouTube videos my friends have been sharing since I proclaimed my allegiance to the School of Green)

Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea by Lisa and Valerie Martin (very cute ARC I received last year and hadn’t gotten to yet)

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (I look forward to finishing this one maybe today; I do love his characters)

Total pages read: 630, x $0.05 per page = $31.50

Hours listening to The Maze Runner by James Dashner, read by Mark Deakins: 4, x $5 per hour = $20

Hours not reading: 6 (3 for concert, 3 total sleeping), x $5 per hour = $30

Comments: 25 on FolioFiles, 17 on Facebook = $42 @ $1 each

I didn’t intend to include FB comments, and only counted the ones that could justifiably have been posted on the blog; I realize that some people are intimidated by clicking through and going through the comment posting process, and others are, frankly, too lazy. And as this is a charity event, I decided to be charitable in my count. So, drum roll, please…

In total, my Readathon of April 2014 raised $123.50 for The Jimmy Fund, which I will round to $125. I have NO idea how this stacks up against other readers’ totals, and I’m not going to go digging to find out, because this isn’t about competing, it’s about giving. And while I give to charities, non-profits, and individual ventures on a regular basis, it feels really great to have gone into this day with a purpose beyond my enjoyment of reading and connecting with other readers. It also gives me an idea of how my reading time earning compares to listening compares to time not doing either, as well as what I can use for a base goal. Think we can make it to $150 in October? I bet we can!

Thank you to each person who commented, cheered, engaged in conversation, shared videos and recommendations and hugs and overall Readathon love. This is one of my favorite days of the year, and every time I participate, I’m reminded why.

 

First Editions

Written by Kirsten on April 26th, 2014

girlreading

I didn’t really think about it when I read the challenge, but it makes sense that my Advance Reader’s Copy of Anton and Cecil would be a first edition :) My entry for the challenge over at The Bluestockings (a name I’d also found years ago and tried to use for a book club in SF!). Thanks for hosting!

(ETA the picture. That helps.)

Anton & Cecil, Cats at Sea by Lisa and Valerie Martin

Anton & Cecil, Cats at Sea by Lisa and Valerie Martin

 

Mid-Readathon Survey

Written by Kirsten on April 26th, 2014

girlreading

So I’m home, having gotten back to The Maze Runner in the car on the way back from the Ryan Montbleau concert at One Longfellow. The show was fantastic; I swear I fall more in love with that man and his music every time I see him perform live. His opening duet, Tall Heights, was also wonderful. All in all, a very satisfying three hours of musical enchantment. A sneak peek:

Tall Heights

Tall Heights

Ryan Montbleau

Ryan Montbleau

Ryan Montbleau and Tall Heights performing Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car"

Ryan Montbleau and Tall Heights performing Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car”

And now, back to the readathon! Here’s the mid-event survey I missed at 8p:

1. What are you reading right now? I’m listening to The Maze Runner and reading Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea
2. How many books have you read so far? I finished the last 35 pages of Inkheart and read The Fault in Our Stars in its entirety
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? So hard to say! Maybe Stargirl, but I’ve been hearing so much praise for Patchett that I may suck it up and let Bel Canto carry me through the wee hours
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Nope!
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? I went to a concert, obviously, but I listened to my audiobook on the way to and from, and used the “missed hours” fee for the fundraising side of the day
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How much reading I can actually get done if I’m really super into the book and not looking at Hootsuite
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope, just keep doin’ what you’re doin’!
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Check the dates before buying concert tickets :-P No, really, I’d have gone tonight anyhow. I think I’ve found a good comfy place for Readathon and don’t feel like I need to make any big changes
9. Are you getting tired yet? I did crash at 4p (start of hour 9) and took about a 40 minute nap. Woke up feeling good, though, and am wide awake now!
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Just being easy on yourself about “goals” with regard to pages read or books finished. That part is fun, sure, but the books will be there tomorrow, and next week, and next month – next week, all of the awesome people participating in #readathon on Twitter and across blogs and social networks won’t all be in this one place on the internet, so take advantage! Meet awesome readers! Seeing familiar faces in October will be worth it :)

Okay, time to order our ritual weekend Chinese food, and get back to bookin’!

 

Update

Written by Kirsten on April 26th, 2014

girlreading

Here we are, a quarter of the way through Readathon. It was time for me to stand for a while, so I’m listening to The Maze Runner while updating here, then I’ll do some stretching and barre exercises to get the blood flowing.

So, I read The Fault in Our Stars. As expected, it was devastating and beautiful, and John Green has a new fan in me. Next up, I think I’ll go with Anton and Cecil, Cats at Sea – it looks fun, light, and like a simple, swift read, which are all perfect for Readathon (and necessary after the heaviness of TFiOS). I’m pretty certain I can finish that in short order, and then I’ll switch to audio to shower and get ready for my evening out. I really, REALLY wish the concert was any other night, but it’ll be a lot of fun, give my eyes a break, and boost my fundraising total. AND, it’s not like the books are going anywhere! Hope you’re all having a great Saturday, whether you’re reading, cheering, or going about other fun weekend business :)

Oh, and here are my in-home cheerleaders. Their energy is contagious. Which means I’m sleepy just looking at their lazy bones :)

kittehs

 

Checking in

Written by Kirsten on April 26th, 2014

Going into hour 4, I just hit the first bit of BIG SAD in The Fault in our Stars, so figured it was a good time for a quick break to kill the momentum. Wasn’t really thinking about the whole “book about death and dying” thing when I chose it, but, what are ya gonna do? I’m really enjoying the characters (though Hazel kinda bugs me sometimes), and officially fell in love with Gus at this moment:

photo1 (7)

What literary characters have made you swoon?

Now to crack open a cantaloupe and refill my coffee!

 

Aaaaaaand, here we go!

Written by Kirsten on April 26th, 2014

girlreading

One of the benefits of the Great Library Update of 2014 is that I’ve discovered a few books that needed to move up the TBR stack just in time for Readathon. Combining that knowledge with past Readathon experience and knowledge of my own reading habits, I came up with this book stack:

readathon april 2014

Additionally, I have Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus on my Nook (the latter of which I’ve been more anxious to read since discovering Morgenstern’s beautiful, and unavailable, Tarot deck). I’m also listening to The Maze Runner by James Dashner, narrated by Mark Deakins.

So, I have a pretty large selection, a bit of diversity, but mostly books I think I’ll enjoy and find easy to read, because I really want to get through a ton of pages and donate a good sum to The Jimmy Fund for my Mamau.

ETA this year’s intro meme, since I actually scheduled this post for 8am – first time I’ve ever been THAT on the ball for Readathon!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Portland, Maine
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? That’s really hard to say, but The Fault in our Stars was my most recent acquisition; I’ve been meaning to pick that one up for over a year.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Ooh, another tough call! Probably the fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes, basil, and assorted Italian deli meats I’ll throw together with a little fresh ground pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I recently became the newest Assistant Librarian for LibraryThing for Libraries, and I could not be more thrilled about it. I adore my team, and love being “at work” (which, as often as not, means being at home with my colleagues on Skype and my cats curled up on either side of me and my laptop).
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 reading to raise funds for charity this time around, which is a real motivator! And I’m most looking forward to meeting new people – most of my Tweeps are from Readathon adds :)

Okay, back to reading – remember, every comment here is money toward the grand total, so if you’ve read this far, don’t leave without at least saying HI – help me give my money away for a good cause!

 

Readathon Time!

Written by Kirsten on April 25th, 2014

Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon comes around twice a year, in October and April, but something always seems to come up during one or the other to keep me from participating. Last October, Readathon was the weekend before my Mamau passed away, and I spent it watching the Red Sox with her. Wouldn’t change that for anything.

Watching the Sox with my Mamau

Watching the Sox with my Mamau

Inspired by Felicia the Geeky Blogger, my Readathon tomorrow will raise money for The Jimmy Fund, a longtime partner with the Red Sox in support of cancer research. Here’s the math:

$0.05 per page read: this works out to $20 for a 400 page book, but I have two books in progress and want to build my donation even if I start a book and am not really feeling itafter 20 pages.

$5.00 per hour listened: I have an audiobook in progress, and this will make it easier to continue to participate while cooking/preparing snacks, and getting to and from the Ryan Montbleau concert. Which leads me to…

$5.00 per hour missed: I know I’m going to miss at least 3 hours for the concert, but this covers hours slept, too. Any hour in which I do not read or listen to a book, that’s five bucks. And finally…

$1.00 per comment left on my blog posts during the readathon. Official Readathon Cheerleaders will be assigned to stop by and root for me as a reader, but this is an easy way for family and friends to contribute to the grand total.

On Sunday, whenever I wake up from my epic post-readathon sleep, I will do a roundup and calculate the total, which will be donated to the Jimmy Fund in memory of the Reverend Lucille Richard, my favorite reader and fellow nerd.

Mamau the Nerd

Mamau the Nerd

So, happy reading and cheering, those of you participating, and for those of you who aren’t, please stop by and say hi anytime tomorrow; I’ll post links to the blog throughout the day. 24 hours from now, it starts!

 

Mid-readathon survey

Written by Kirsten on April 27th, 2013

dewey

So, the readathon is halfway over, and I am failing at the reading part, lol… But that’s okay because really? Many a Saturday is much like this one, except I don’t have the excuse!

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?

I’ve had a few moments of sleepiness, but really this is about when I hit my actual reading stride.

2) What have you finished reading?

…a lot of tweets? LoL

3) What is your favorite read so far?

Still working on The Red Pyramid, though I did listen to some of the LA theatre Works audio production of Twelve Angry Men while I cooked and am looking forward to returning to it.

4) What about your favorite snacks?

my kiwi and cantaloupe and bacon breakfast still wins so far, I think.

5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!

Back to the book; hope you’re all having a lovely Saturday, whether you’re readathon-ing, or just putting up with those of us who are!

 

 

 

 

 

Book appetit!

Written by Kirsten on April 27th, 2013

For this mini-challenge, Sheila from Continuing Adventures of a True Bookaholic invited us to create a menu based on one of our Readathon books. There’s a baboon named Khufu in The Red Pyramid who only eats foods that end in “O,” so that’s what I decided my menu would look like. I crowdsourced and got a great list of items, and whipped a lil cocktail recipe up for the bonus. Here’s the end result – enjoy!

image