Stuff and Nonsense: read-a-thon

Showing posts with label read-a-thon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label read-a-thon. Show all posts


Readathon: Mid-Event Survey

What are you reading right now?
Tea, cake, and True Blood break right now! Probably pick up one of the Oz graphic novels after -- haven't read The Road to Oz or The Emerald City of Oz, but its been so long since I read the other four I'm not sure if I can just pick the series up again.

How many books have you read so far?
I've read eight books so far! Seven were graphic novels and while I'm always telling my library patrons that graphic novels (and audiobooks and ebooks) count as "real" books, I feel like I being a little bit of a Readathon lightweight.

What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
Sandi Toksvig's Valentine Grey, probably. The Boer War! Homosexuals! Cross-dressing! Empire! Injustice! Oo-de-lally.

Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Few interruptions. I usually just look balefully at The Husband until he goes away. I know he means well -- and a constant supply of tea is helpful -- but I just want to be alone with my books.

What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
    That I'm really disinterested in the social component this year. I just want to read with, yes, hourly(ish) tweets to track my reading. (Seriously, this could be just another weekend at my house).


      Read-a-Thon is Coming!

      It’s October and you know what that means! Or, maybe you don’t, since I haven’t actually blogged about Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon since 2011. Well, it’s time for Read-a-thon! Yes, commencing at 8 AM on October 17 I will read for 24 hours … or die trying.

      No. I kid. Commencing at 8 AM on Oct 17 I will make a concerted effort to read nonstop for 24 hours, fully realizing that it’s not going to happen, and I’ll actually lose a big chunk of the afternoon to napping. This is how Read-a-thon goes for me. There’s no point in fighting it. I’m also still recovering from surgery and pretty TIRED ALL THE TIME (pesky bodies and their need to rest as they heal) so I might be grossly underestimating the amount of napping I’ll be doing. Optimistically, I anticipate a day that looks a bit like this:


      But it may be more like this:


      What am I going to read? So many things! I’d love to catch up with the Victorian Bingo, Back to the Classics, and No Book Buying challenges ... but my shelves are also cluttered with a prodigious quantity of unread comics and graphic novels I should really take a crack at!

      Commonsense says to alternate between the two, but experience tells me to take the comic books as far as I can, because any one Victorian novel is likely to trigger the long nap. It’s not the Victorians fault. It’s merely that neither Mary Barton nor Great Expectations are the kind of literature I should be ingesting while staying up for 24 hours. I’m not as young as I used to be, you know.

      Books in my Read-a-thon pile:

      • Avengers Assemble: Science Bros
      • Gotham Academy, Volume 1
      • Marvel Emma
      • Breakfast at Tiffany’s
      • Marvel Sense & Sensibility
      • Ms Marvel Volume 1
      • Oz Emerald City of Oz
      • Travels of Lady Bulldog Burton
      • Rat Queens, Volume 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N'Rygoth
      • Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
      • She-Hulk, Volume 1: Law & Disorder
      • Texts from Jane Eyre
      • Thor, Volume 1
      • Valentine Grey


      Cats Hate Read-A-Thon

      funny pictures - The Butler did it....  Now get me fud!

      Seriously, my cats are not happy with the way I've neglected them today.


      Read-A-Thon: The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady by Elizabeth Stuckey-French

      Many years ago, Marylou Ahearns life was destroyed by the aftereffects of a government study she unwittingly participated in. Bent on avenging herself upon the doctor who oversaw the study, she has tracked him down to his Tallahassee home. Calling herself "Nancy Archer" after the heroine of "Attack of 50 Foot Woman" she sets out to infiltrate his family and destroy it from within. Much to her chagrin, she finds the good doctor is flirting with dementia and that his family is already tearing itself to pieces without any help from her. What to do? Be their friend!

      I have mixed feelings about this novel. Early reviews I read in Booklist and Publishers Weekly led me to expect a zany, madcap adventure whereas The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady actually reads like a slow-paced family problem novel (with backyard nuclear experiments thrown in for color). Oh, the novel was interesting and I never once wanted to stop reading it, but it just wasn't what I expected.

      The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady by Elizabeth Stuckey-French (Doubleday, 2011)

      Read-A-Thon: Mid-Event Survey

      Halfway there! Not going to make it to the end -- we're supposed to meet my parents for breakfast tomorrow and I'll be a total bear if I don't get some sleep so I'm probably going to have to call it quits by one in the morning. Plan on having a lot of fun until then, though!
      1. What are you reading right now? I am trying to finish Joshilyn Jackson's Backyard Saints, a book I borrowed from my public library well over a month ago. I'm out of renewals and must finish it, yet my attention keeps slipping.
      2. How many books have you read so far? I have read six books so far (although they have all be graphic novels so The Husband says they aren't real books!)
      3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I reallyreally want to read China Mieville's Kraken, but it's such a chunkster that I fear I don't have the stamina.
      4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Happily for me, Read-a-Thon coincided with my day off.
      5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? The Husband occasionally tries to speak to me and I get a bit shushy. Also, the cats are not feeling the love.
      6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? That I don't know where the day went?
      7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Make is 36 hours and we all meet at a resort in the Caribbean?
      8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Have a smaller TBR pile. I'm a bit intimidated by how much of my library pile remains unread.
      9. Are you getting tired yet? No, but that will change when the sun goes down.
      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? It's good to have multiple reading areas set up -- whenever my attention starts to wander, I move to a chair in a different room.

      Read-A-Thon: Book The Sixth: Marvelous Land of Oz

      The Marvelous Land of Oz adapted by Eric Shanower & Skottie Young (Marvel, 2009)

      For as long a young Tip can remember, he has lived with old Mombi in Gillikin Country in the north of Oz. Tip doesn't like Mombi much, and one day as she is returning from town, he attempts to frighten her with a pumpkin-man he has made. Mombi is not scared and uses a magic powder to bring Jack Pumpkinhead to life. Later, after Mombi tells Tip she is going to turn him into a marble statue, the boy takes Jack and flees toward the Emerald City ...

      Oh, I thoroughly enjoyed The Marvelous Land of Oz! The full color illustrations are just gorgeous and capture the spirit of the story so well. It was tremendously fun to see what had befallen Glinda, Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman since Dorothy left Oz. The women's revolution and the genderbending transformation of Ozma really tickled me, too.

      I look forward to reading Ozma of Oz whenever it is released in hardcover.

      Read-A-Thon: Book The Fifth

      Seven Sons by Alexander Grecian & Riley Rossmo (AiT/Planet Lar, 2006)

      In 1850, seven sons immigrate with their mother from China to California to make a better life for themselves. Their homeland has become an uncomfortable place for the sons as their special abilities have attracted unwelcome attention. In California, the sons hope to blend it with all the other immigrants streaming in to make their fortune from the Gold Rush. They build a home for their mother, work their claim, and are largely ignored my their white neighbors until tragedy befalls two small children. Outraged, some of the townspeople turn against the sons ...

      Seven Sons is a skillful retelling of a classic folktale and I enjoyed it immensely. Grecian tells well-crafted, compelling story and Rossmo's illustrations are certainly nice to look at.

      Unfortunately, I now have REM's "Seven Chinese Brothers" stuck in my head.

      Read-A-Thon: Book The Fourth

      A Friendly Game by Joe Pimienta, Lindsay Hornsby, & Laurie Affe (SLG, 2010)

      A pair of disturbed boys play a secret game in which they torture and kill small animals. They turn this game into a kind-of contest where they each accrue points for their kills. Kevin is ahead of Todd, but Todd has what he thinks is an awesome kill planned. Except Kevin ruins it by refusing to play. Todd, angered and unbalanced, escalates the game by involving some of their classmates ...

      The grey scale illustrations are simple and the layout is clean and easy to follow. Despite the violence of the story, the illustrations manage to portray the horror of it all without being gratuitous or exploitative.

      However, this graphic novel made me feel unclean. It was dark. Chilling. Creepy. I won't go so far as to say I regret reading it, but I don't know who I could possibly recommend it to. (The Husband read it and he also found it weird and disturbing, but likeable in some ways. That said, he doesn't know who he could recommend it to, either).

      Read-A-Thon: Book The Third

      Gotham City Sirens: Union (DC Comics, 2010)

      In a post-Final Crisis Gotham unsettled by the "death" of Batman, three supervillianesses have banded together for mutual protection. Of course, this attracts some undesired attention and the three have to kick some ass.

      Overall, I thought Gotham City Sirens was a fun romp through the seamy underside of Gotham. The graphic novel doesn't take itself too seriously, but the writing is still quite good and the story takes some interesting twists.

      But, oh my god, the fan service! Is the fan service in Gotham City Sirens supposed to be tongue in cheek or does DC just think teh boyz won't read a girl-driven comic unless it's full of T&A? The costumes sure deliver it! Is Harley Quinn's sprayed on or does she just walk around with a fantastic wedgie all day?

      Read-A-Thon: Hour Four Mini Challenge

      One of this hour's mini challenges is being hosted by Melissa @ One Librarian’s Book Reviews. She says:
      For this challenge, you will be creating a Book Puzzle. Essentially, this is a series of pictures, graphics, or photos that you put together that will describe a book title.
      I did this for Jane of Lantern Hill during the last Read-A-Thon and it was a lot of fun!

      number 3

      Series 4 Musketeer

      Can you guess the title? Highlight to see the answer: sreeteksuM eerhT ehT

      Read-A-Thon: Book The Second

      H-E-R-O: Powers & Abilities by Will Pfeifer & Kano (DC Comics, 2003)

      Collects H-E-R-O issues #1-6. H-E-R-O tells the stories of three ordinary people who each come into contact with a mysterious device that, when activated, imbues them with superpowers. Alas, they are a bit slow to realise that super powers cannot fix simple human problems.
      • In the first story, Jerry, a soda jerk in a failed fictional Pennsylvania city, uses the device to impress a co-worker with disastrous results.
      •  In the second story, Matt, a successful young executive from Cleveland, becomes addicted to using the device and loses his family. 
      • In the third story, Matt's young daughter Andrea, must use the device to avert disaster after her new schoolmates have too much fun fooling around with it.
      Overall, H-E-R-O was an enjoyable read. The writing is smart and darkly humorous and the art work is excellent -- crisp, yet fluid, and well mapped to the story.

      Read-A-Thon: Book The First

      Return of the Dapper Men by Jim McCann & Janet Lee (Archaia Comics, 2010)

      Time has stopped in Anorev, a world populated only by robots and children under the age of 11. Thanks to the time-stoppage, the children never age, it's always day, and everyone lives in a perpetual present incapable of remembering yesterday or imagining tomorrow. Then along come 314 dapper gentlemen to restart the world's clockwork ...

      This graphic novel is beautifully packaged and the illustrations are exquisite -- full of clever little details and a great sense of fun. There are pages I would happily hang on a wall and look at every day.

      Alas, the same does not hold true for the story. I had great difficulty following it and, even when I knew what was going on, the story frustrated me. I felt like I was wandering in a thicket of vague metaphor and half-familiar symbols.

      Also, I would like to have seen more female characters in the story. All the action characters (aside from bossy, shouty Harmony) are male. The only other female characters we meet are Zoe -- a mute robot who seems to exist to inspire everyone with her beauty -- and the character I thought of as Zoe's Jewish Robot Grandma.

      Read-A-Thon: Hour One Meme

      It's April and you know what that means, right? It means it's time for another Read-a-thon! I can't believe it's been a year since my first read-a-thon.

      Hour One Meme!

      Where are you reading from today?
      I'm reading from a comfy chair by a sunny window in Connecticut.

      3 facts about me …
      This is my third consecutive read-a-thon, I own four cats, I am attracted to books the way magpies are attracted to shiny things.

      How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?
      Right now? About twenty-three graphic novels and ten "regular" books. I don't expect to get through all of them, but I tried to make the pile big enough that I would have a lot of variation in what I read.

      Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?
      Once again, I would really like to get through my embarrassingly ginormous backlog of library books. Bad book-hoarding librarian, bad.

      If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?
      Don't force yourself to read. If a book can't hold your interest, pick a new book. If your endurance starts fading, go do something else for a little while.


      Read-A-Thon: Book The Ninth

      It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi (Fantagraphics, 2010)

      A collection of vignettes portraying the grinding horror of trench warfare. Unfortunately, Tardi tells the same story over and over again (soldier who can no longer stand life in the trenches dies) thus eventually hardening me to the point I felt well removed from the horror of it all.

      Only one more war graphic novel to get through -- Mills & Colquhoun's Charley's War: 2 June 1916 to 1 August 1916 -- and then I shall need something light and comforting. Seriously, I've read only one graphic novel today that did not in anyway touch upon a world war. It's too much.

      Read-A-Thon: Book The Eighth

      The Plot: The Secret Story of the Protocols of the Elders Zion by Will Eisner (W.W. Norton, 2005)

      Traces the history of the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion from its 1903 creation at the behest of the Russian Secret Police to its continuing publication in the present day. Yes, even thought the Protocols have, time and time again, been proven to be nothing but the grossest fabrications, people still want to believe them.

      Why? Perhaps Eisner is right -- people believe it "because they need to justify the conduct they may later be ashamed of! And of course, their reaction to social change!"

      I'd been meaning to read The Plot for several years now, but kept putting it off because I knew it would be hard going. And it was very hard going, but it is one of those books that must be read.

      Read-A-Thon, Hour Thirteen Mini Challenge

      This hour's mini challenge is a book title word jumble by Sheery @ Sheery's Place which makes me very excited as I love word jumbles (even if I am not always very good at them). Sheery says:
      Unscramble the twenty book titles and then leave a link to your post. I will choose two winners to receive bookish favor bags as prizes. Which means, each winner will get one book and other book-related items. I will ship the prizes anywhere. As far as I know, the challenge is open for three hours. If that is not the case, I will find out and pass on the correct information.
      1. yfferil enal (Firefly Lane)
      2. aste fo eend (Taste of Eden)
      3. retwa orf pntshleea (Water for Elephants)
      4. ot lkli a ckomgnrbdii (To Kill a Mockingbird)
      5. het gtaer ysbtag (The Great Gatsby)
      6. yrhra tetrpo dna eth lyhdtea wollsah (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)
      7. ht e rat fo nrgcai ni eht nair (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
      8. eth mite reslveart efwi (The Time Traveler's Wife)
      9. eht rlig iehw eht gnodar ooattt (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo)
      10. ydira fo a mypiw idk (Diary of a Wimpy Kid)
      11. a kwrlnei ni emit (A Wrinkle in Time)
      12. het rpoal sxprese  (The Polar Express)
      13. vole dewlak ni (Love Walked In)
      14. reehw eth dwli hingts rea (Where the Wild Things Are)
      15. eht ginnhsi  (The Shining)
      16. dnohogigt oonm  (Goodnight Moon)
      17. vwtienrie hwti a pvmarie (Interview With a Vampire)
      18. eht cretse file fo eesb  (The Secret Life of Bees)
      19. eht raesch  (The Search)
      20. het pelh (The Help)

      Read-A-Thon: Books The Sixth & Seventh

      Pandora's Box, Volume One: Pride by Pagot & Alcante (Cinebook, 2008)
      Pandora's Box, Volume Two: Sloth by Radovanovic & Alcante (Cinebook, 2009)

      These two graphic novels are part of an eighth volume series with each novel in the series linked to a deadly sin. There is a poem at the beginning of each volume, forecasting what will follow:
      Of Pride, like Narcissus, you will pay the heavy price.
      Of Sloth, like Paris, you will succumb to the slow venom.
      Of Gluttony, like Theseus, you will know the foul torment.
      Of Lust, like Orpheus, you will bite the bitter fruit.
      Of Greed, like Prometheus, you will suffer the eternal punishment.
      Of Wrath, like Pandora, you will be the fatal instrument.
      I presume the eighth volume will tie everything together and explain the mysterious homeless woman who appears in each story?

      The first volume, Pride, is about a the fall of a U.S. president. Narcissus Shimmer is running for re-election and is pretty much neck-and-neck in the polls with his opponent. His opponent, wanting to win, hires a private investigator to dig up some really destructive dirt Shimmer. The PI almost immediately strikes pay dirt -- it looks like Shimmer might have an illegitimate child hidden away in a maternity ward somewhere. Of course, the truth turns out to be much more interesting than that.

      The second volume, Sloth, tells the story of the fall of a great athlete. Paris Troy is a undefeated sprinter whose record has remained undefeated for nearly a decade. He has never tried performance enhancing drugs before, but after sustaining an injury during training and dogged by the success of a rising (doped) star, he begins injecting himself. There is no doubt he can win the day and retire with full glory, but at what cost?

      Overall, I thought these graphic novels were a bit too simple -- many of the characters feel a bit under-developed and the endings, which feel rushed, come as no great surprise. Some of this may be a translation issue (the novels are translated from French) and the brevity of each novel certainly doesn't allow for too much character development or many plot complications. Regardless, I'm not desperate to track down the other six volumes.

      Read-A-Thon, Mid-Event Survey

      Halfway there! Can I go the distance? Don't know! Have a terrible feeling I'm going to crash around two in the morning.
      1. What are you reading right now?  Nothing right now. I am taking a little break while I wait for The Husband to bring me vegetable lo mein.
      2. How many books have you read so far?  Seven graphic novels so far.
      3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? The Ask & The Answer and Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, Volumes Two and Three) -- don't expect to get through both of them, but you never know ...
      4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? No, today was my day off and my parents are happy to go to the Connecticut Garlic Festival tomorrow, instead.
      5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?  Oh, The Husband and our cats have engaged in attention-seeking behavior, but kisses and belly rubs don't take up a lot of time. 
      6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How much I'm getting read, actually.  Last Read-A-Thon, I took a lot of unscheduled naps and didn't read nearly as much as I'd hoped!
      7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No ...
      8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Select more varied titles -- many of my graphic novels are about WWI or WWII and, while well done, are grim going when read back-to-back.
      9. Are you getting tired yet?  Yes, but that is what pie and walkies are for.
      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? Don't look at the clock -- take your time and don't rush reading.  

      Read-A-Thon, Hour Ten Mini Challenge

      This hour's mini challenges is being hosted by Lynne @ Lynne's Book Reviews. She says:
      1. Post a picture on your blog of a current or past pet.
      2. Tell us your favorite animal book and then write a sentence using the name of the main character and only the first letter of that name. For example: If my favorite animal book was Wesley the Owl, I could write - Wesley works wildly with witches who wander. You could also use the "O" instead...Owls overestimate overeating. Make it short and sweet or challenge yourself and make it as long as you can.

      These photos are of my Hedwig kitty. She normally enjoys books a lot -- doesn't read them, obviously, but likes to snuggle up next to or sprawl across them and look fetching. In these pictures, she is a little peeved because not only are all my book piles hogging her afternoon sun spot, but they are also too high to lie on. Given enough time, she will just shove them over and nap on the bed she's made.

      My favorite animal book is Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. I guess I might say,"Maurice masterfully manages much mayhem?" (and I wouldn't be lying).

      Read-A-Thon: Book The Fifth

      Parade (With Fireworks) by Mike Cavallaro (Image Comics, 2008)

      From the publisher:
      PARADE (WITH FIREWORKS) opens in 1923, as Italy is pulling itself from the wreckage of the first World War while unknowingly plummeting toward another. The nation seemed to be holding its breath, and the slightest perceived transgression could result in violence. On the evening of the Feast of the Epiphany, it did, causing one man to choose between political standing and his very own family. The YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens nomination is in of itself a prestigious accolade for a very deserving title.
      Overall, I thought Parade (With Fireworks) was very well done. It's overly talky in places, yes, but it's interesting, relevant talk. The illustrative style is a bit cartoony, but does a good job conveying the action of the story. I especially liked the last four pages, which say everything that needs to be said about Paolo's future without undue explication.

      [I think I'm starting to burnout, so I'm going to go for a walkie with my kitties and then I'm going to have some more pie].