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April, 2012

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Readathon Wrap.

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

So, I woke up an hour late, started reading an hour later due to tech issues, and crashed an hour and a half before the end, but the Readathon was still a huge success in that I did not let anything (besides Joshua, and only a couple of times, briefly) take me away from my Readathon experience. Here are a few stats:

Books started: 6

Bo0ks finished: 3, and they are as follows –

A Summer to Die, Lois Lowry – YA fiction

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess) – Memoir

Th1rteen R3asons Why, Jay Asher – YA fiction

Books abandoned cuz I couldn’t get into them: 2. Which were –

I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President

Girl Parts

I may or may not get back to each of them. The former felt too juvenile and I quit 10 pages in, and the latter was just bizarrely written, with a strange premise that was a combination of “Weird Science” and Siri. Got 57 pages in, and granted, this was in the last few hours, so I really needed something engaging and that just wasn’t doin’ it for me.

Which leaves the 6th book, Michael Scott’s The Sorceress, on my “to be completed” list.

Pages read: 686. This is a little disappointing, but I also went into the day knowing that I would spend probably a quarter to half of each hour reading tweets, checking out other book blogs, completing mini-challenges, checking in with Joshua, and grabbing snacks and drinks. So, it is what it is.

Mini-challenges participated in: 10. I haven’t checked, but I’m pretty sure that’s way more than I’ve done before; I didn’t do a blog entry for each one, which made it quicker and easier. Of course, I didn’t win any, but they were all fun :)

So in the aftermath of Readathon, I’m about a third of the way into the book I was reading before it started (Rick Riordan’s The Last Olympian) and have gone back to that for now, and about a quarter of the way into The Sorceress, and will head there next. I’m glad that I have given myself permission to abandon books I don’t love in order to give others a chance, and am wholly glad to have read each book I did during Readathon.

I hope you other Readathoners had a great time, and while I won’t make any promises, I’ve missed this ol’ blog and would like to spend more time here, so let’s see what I can do about that, shall we? Back to the Underworld I go….

Mini-challenge – Me and my book

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

I’ve gotta say, hosting a mini-challenge asking us to post a picture of ourselves at this point in the night is kinda cruel, especially on a day when I had no reason to beautify myself :-P

I’m reading on my Nook, so I went to the cover page of Thirteen Reasons Why. Joshua is practically begging me to re-read Ready Player One for Readathon, but I’m compromising by letting him pick my next book from a selection of ones I’ve not read before. After all, he did make me coffee… Granted, he spilled a bunch of grounds and I had to walk him through the whole process, but still. He’s a good kid, and I think he’s feeling a bit neglected, since now he’s standing over my shoulder reading me the entire wiki about the new Resident Evil movie coming out in November. Now I’m just rambling, so, on to the picture, then back to my book!

Rereading mini-challenge

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

I try not to reread during Readathons, but I am a notorious rereader in general. Most of my favorites are series: Orson Scott Card’s Ender saga; Harry Potter; Mercedes Lackey’s Heralds of Valdemar and Magic’s Pawn series. I’m really trying to reread less these days, but sometimes I need the comfort of old friends and don’t have the emotional energy to make new ones – this applies to “real” life and my reading life, as the relationships I have with characters in great books are every bit as real to me as the ones I have with the people around me, they’re just easier to maintain :)

One other book I have reread many times and likely will many more is Les Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues. It was life-changing for me the first time, and has had a different and still profound effect on me each time since. It’s always interesting to me how my personal growth and evolution influences the interpretation of books I’ve read at different times in my life.

I finished Let’s Pretend This Never Happened and want to be Jenny Lawson’s BFF forever. I’m currently flying through Thirteen Reasons Why – it’s raw, intriguing, and compelling, making it a perfect Readathon book. Only eight and a half hours to go; we’re nearly two thirds of the way through!

Anti-hero challenge

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Quickie post for the latest challenge; will add images and formatting and such when I’m at the computer, but Xander is cozy and asleep on my hip, so I’m not going to disturb him :)

The first anti-hero that came to my mind is Peter Wiggin from the Ender saga and parallel novels by Orson Scott Card. He isn’t really fully developed until the second series, which starts with Ender’s Shadow, but if I remember correctly, Xenocide begins the task of making him a person and not only a memory of an evil, heartless older brother. I highly recommend both series, and actually should reread the shadow series myself sometime soon.

There are also some great anti-heroes/villains in Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven series, but as alliances and enemies aren’t all clear and without question, I don’t want to spoil for anyone – absolutely a must-read series if you love good YA fantasy, though!

Back to The Bloggess, now; exactly halfway through the book and love, love, loving it.

Mini-Challenge

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

For this challenge, you must turn to page 32 of the book you are currently reading (or the nearest page with text on it) and find the most entertaining phrase to complete the following sentence:

“I would rather read than ________ any day!”

I knew that Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened would be the PERFECT book for this challenge, and I needed something funny to follow my last read, so I saved this challenge for when I started this book. My submission:

“I would rather read than [feel] around the deep freeze for the Popsicles and instead [pull] out an enormous frozen rattlesnake that Charles had thrown in while it was still alive any day!”

Yep, I can honestly say that is true. Now back to page one :) Thanks to Alexis at Reflections of a Bookaholic for hosting!

Photo update

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

My readathon day is enjoyable, but I always forget that I don’t read as fast as I used to and it can get frustrating (refer to rule #9, Kirsten…!). The good thing about having slowed down my reading is that I truly read everything now, and have a much greater appreciation for skilled writers. Lois Lowry is one such writer, and I find myself experiencing really big emotions when I read even a simple sentence of hers. I just finished A Summer to Die, and while I knew it was going to be sad, I mean duh, I wasn’t expecting so much beauty and loveliness. Which also made me a little sad to read, but in a bittersweet way. Anyway, here are a few of the passages that stood out to me. It was hard to limit it to a reasonable number, honestly.

This last one in particular hit me hard today. The way it is written is reminiscent of a voice I hear speaking in my heart always, the fact that I have cried and laughed in the same breath more often than I care to think about in the past week, and the reminder of the friends who have wiped the tears and brought the laughter all make this a huge takeaway from this book.

 

Book puzzle!

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

This hour’s mini-challenge is a super fun one; thanks to Melissa at One Librarian’s Book Reviews for hosting!

The challenge is to create a rebus, essentially, for a book title. So the pictures below, when put together in order, will give you the title of a book. I saw The Vagina Monologues when I was browsing my shelf for a good title for this one, but man, “monologues” is a hard word to convey through imagery. ;) So, here we go – can you guess the book? Hint: it’s non-fiction.

Readathon is underway, sort of.

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

I’m pretty certain this morning exists just to prove to me that just by saying, “I will not lose my mind if something goes wrong,” does not mean that nothing will go wrong. Maybe everything will.

My alarm didn’t go off or didn’t wake me or whatever; this isn’t the first time this has happened since I got the new phone, and I’m glad I have a 14 year old who wakes at ungodly hours on weekends or else I would probably still be asleep.

My computer needed to be restarted because it was lagging like whoa.

Only two of the seven books I transferred to my Nook are showing up in my library, and I have NO idea why.

So, while Readathon is not exactly off to a rip-roaring start, I have 22 more hours to make up the two lost to a little extra sleep and technical difficulties.

Hour one questionnaire!

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? Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened; it’s the only one I purchased specifically for today.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Hmm, tough call. Probably my cheesy no-bean chili dip.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I’m late for everything! Today is no exception.
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? Not the last one, but previous ones, and I’m mostly just trying to let go of my feeling that I have to do every mini-challenge, read every tweet, and visit every blog. Stress is not part of the game plan :)

I’m not going to do the “Reading in Translation” mini-challenge because I’ve never really thought about the question and don’t want to spend a whole lot of time on it, but I will say that the best book I’ve read that was translated from the original Japanese where the translation stood out as being superb was Takami’s Battle Royale. All you Hunger Games fans, if you’ve not read it, get your hands on it ASAP – you’ll be blown away.

Now, off to tinker with technology and maybe read a few pages!

Readathon prep.

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Welcome to FolioFiles, home of the most erratic, sporadic, idiosyncratic book blogger pretty much ever. I’m really glad to be participating in the readathon this weekend, having missed the last two.

Some rules I set for myself, after reviewing my experiences the times I’ve participated in the past:

1. Set a Twitter Timer. Unless I want to convert #readathon tweets to pages read, I will not actually get any reading done. But I *do* want to spend some time each hour on Twitter, since that’s one of my favorite things about readathon – making new bookish friends!

2. Move. Whether it’s a walk with an audiobook (not likely given the forecast), doing some stretches on my yoga ball with my Nook, or pacing the apartment, book in hand, I know I need to break up the cozy times or else I get sleepy much faster than I would on a regular day of reading interspersed with other activities.

3. Start with a guaranteed quick and easy read. Or three. The sense of accomplishment from being able to say I’ve finished a book in my first hour is good motivation; beginning with a tome makes hour three feel really, really late into the day.

4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Caffeine is great for keeping the alertness factor, but I keep a water bottle full and don’t reach for another coffee, soda, or energy drink until I’ve downed two bottles of water to one caffeinated bevvy.

5. Make a quick and easy blog template. This year, I’m just going to do “what I’ve read in the last hour,” and a snapshot of a page where I found a passage, quote, or illustration that really resonated with me.

6. Visit people’s blogs. You get what you give, and if you want blog love from anyone other than the cheerleader assigned to your number/letter/etc, put some comment love out there!

7. Create a special folder or whatever format your feed reader offers for blogs you choose to follow during Readathon. Follow all, follow a few, but designate a way to know what’s what so you have a memory trigger and can cull later if need be. Hate to say it, but I’ve added literally hundreds of book bloggers to my reader only to find that the majority of their blog is either of no interest or is even actively offensive to me.

8. Switch it up. If you have the option to read in various formats, do. Book, ebook, audio, have someone read out loud to you – it’s good for your eyes and your brain.

9. Don’t get frustrated. About anything. Interruptions, internet outages, hating a book you’re reading and feeling like you have to stick it out for your numbers’ sake – this is supposed to be fun, y’all, and if at any point it isn’t, you’re doin’ it wrong.

10. Ignore any and all rules above if it strikes your fancy to do so. Read ALL THE TWEETS and three pages of your book in an hour. Hop up on caffeine and sugar early and lovingly embrace the crash. Promise yourself that, in this 24 hours, you WILL read that 1,972 page novel if it kills you. This is all about you and your reading nerdy awesomeness. Love it up.

My book list so far:

Girl Parts, John M Cusick

Graceling, Kristin Cashore

I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President, Josh Lieb

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson (I just typed “Jenny Lawsome,” and I kind of think she should change her name to that.)

The Sorceress, Michael Scott

Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher

Crank, Ellen Hopkins

The Egypt Game, Zilpha Keatley Snyder

A Summer to Die, Lois Lowry

Many of my selections are ebooks that were available in YA fiction in the San Francisco Public Library. Most of them I’d at least heard of, if they weren’t already on my wish list. I’ve not read any of the titles above, and while I’m in the middle of The Last Olympian, I do like to start new books during Readathon, so I’ll see how far I get in that one tonight and set it aside for tomorrow.

I’m off to change the sheets and fluff the pillows and make a lil nest for the times when I am not observing “rule” number two, and to cut fruit and prep food to pop in the oven and other such things that will save me from unnecessary readingless moments. I look forward to meeting other readathon-ers, and happy reading to all!