Sunday, April 27, 2014

Read-a-Thon End of Event Meme

End of Event Meme:

Which hour was most daunting for you?
  I was closest to falling asleep at the end of hour 22.
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
 I'm too tired to think about it now, but I'll keep it in mind for later.
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
 Not sure. Some of the mini challenges were a bit time consuming.
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
 This is my first time so I can't compare it to a past one. Also I jumped in at the last minute so I wasn't prepared. The hourly challenges that got me out of my chair really helped.
How many books did you read?
What were the names of the books you read?
 The Train to Warsaw by Gwen Edelman
 The Vacationers by Straub, Emma
 This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash
 The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit
 Mr Darwin's Gardner by Kristina Carlson; Emily and FleurJeremiah (translators)

Which book did you enjoy most?
  No favorite
Which did you enjoy least?
  Mr Darwin's Gardner, I was really too tired to appreciate it. I'll re-read it when I've rested.
If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
 Highly likely as a reader. not sure about other roles, I need to think about it.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon



                                      Hour 19 Challenge Book Balancing
                                            Book 4, p 64

 Hour 15 Challenge. This picture reminds me of  The Golem and the Jinni
I'm sure they are both in it (in their human forms).

          Hour 14 Challenge - My Name in Titles
                                Challenge for hour 10  Shelfie April 26, 2014

Challenge for hour 11
First Edition

Mid-Event Survey
1. What are you reading right now?
    This dark road to mercy
2. How many books have you read so far?
    I'm on page 36 of my third book
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
   Mr Darwin's Gardener
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
  Yes, I had to switch my night to cook.  My daughter has been waiting on me all day.
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
  No serious interruptions.
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
  How much time I spend with the challenges. I skipped a couple of them.
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
  Not sure. This is my first time. Maybe I'll have suggestions when it's finished.
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
 I really jumped in at the last minute, next time I'll plan ahead.
9. Are you getting tired yet?
 Not really.
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?
 Not at this time.

7:36 am (EDT)
OK, I'm a last minute signer for this an I haven't the foggiest notion of what I'm doing other than reading for 24 hours straight. Well, I've done that before: for school, in airports, hospitals, insomnia night, etc.

I now have twenty minutes to decide what to read!

7:51 am:  Selections made, sort of. I'll alternate between the stacks displayed in my post of April 23, 2014 (One Step Forward, Two Steps Back). A good variety, nothing too taxing, and some short stuff for late in the day.

8:00 am:  Starting with The Train to Warsaw: A Novel
9:00 am:  Entered two hourly challenges.  Am on page 83. Sipping cold coffee.  House very quiet, housemate is not awake yet. Rain has stopped but it is very grey out there.  Perfect day for a read-a-thon.
10:00 am: Nice break to do jigsaw puzzles for challenge. Page 141.  Housemate moving about, mumbling goodmornings.
10:52 am Finished 1st book.  heavy, but beautifully written. need something lite. Snack on tangerine and off to check out Read-a-thon home page.

11:05 am: Starting 2nd book 
The Vacationers
The Vacationers 

11:14 am: housemate (daughter) wandered through.  She will do lunch AND dinner!
12:11 pm: lunch! turkey & Swiss on rye.  Cherry tomatoes, cranberry Italian soda. an apple. page 37. wondering if i want to do the hourly challenge.

4:50 pm: Lunch was great.  Read straight through after lunch. Just finished The Vacationers. A family vacation set on the island of Mallorca where my own family used to vacation.  Glad to say none of our trips to Mallorca were as traumatic as the one in this book! But it was a good read.
5:11 pm: Took a brief break, a shower, ate another tangerine.
Starting book 3  This Dark Road to Mercy 

9:51pm: p 155, 3rd book.  Took picture for hour 14 challenge.  Was shaky took 4 tries.  eating a trail mix bar.  (forgot to post dinner at 6pm but I did eat!)

12:25 am:  finished 3rd book.  starting  The Wives of Los Alamos moved to floor for a while

5:43 am: finished 4th book.  Really, really tired.  going to get ice water.  Next book  Mr Darwin's Gardener

Friday, April 25, 2014

Something To Hide

My old Kindle has a problem. I have a new Paperwhite, but the old reader has some things on it that I didn't buy from Amazon. I've been trying to figure out how to get them onto the new reader, but while doing it I became rather impatient so I went on reading in spite of the last few letters on the last few lines being hidden.
See, it's not too difficult--yet.  It's slowly growing worse. What I've started reading here is Paradises by Iosi Havilio, Beth Fowler (Translation); Open Letter Books.

So a little is hidden which is perhaps appropriate since the three books I just read with this handicap concerned people with something to hide.

They are Sworn Virgin by Elvira Dones, Clarissa Botsford (Translation); And Other Stories; The Combover by Adrián N. Bravi, Richard Dixon (Translator); Frisch & Co.; and  Happiness is Possible  by Oleg Zaionchkovsky, Олег Зайончковский, Andrew Bromfield (Translator), A.D. Miller (Introduction); And Other Stories.

In The Combover what is being hidden is a bald spot. Our hero goes to great lengths to cover the spot without resorting to a toupee. This is a family tradition. After an agonizing expose in a classroom (he's a professor in Italy) he decides to run away to Lapland.  He gets on the wrong bus and ends up trying to be a hermit in the hills of Italy.  I was briefly reminded of a Monty Python sketch about hermits organizing themselves into bridge clubs, but this takes a different track, though one also lacking the longed for seclusion. A delightful story.

Sworn Virgin deals with a different kind of solitude. At the age of nineteen, Hana, for reasons of social necessity, becomes Mark in a rare rural ritual of the northern Albanian mountain villages.  If she stays in the village there is no returning to being Hana.  After seventeen years, when she has no family left in Albania, she goes to the United States. With the help of a cousin and her family, Hana struggles to live once again as a woman while hiding her prior male identity from all but her family. An intriguing story.

In Happiness is Possible many things are hidden, but that's the way it is when dealing with life in post Soviet Moscow, where people marry and divorce in order to obtain decent housing and/or employment. This is told with gentle humor and has stories within the main story (the protagonist is a writer). Another good read.

All three books were well worth the effort and I got so into the stories that I read right over the missing letters. I just mentally filled in the blanks.

The Kindle in trouble is a refurbished one that Amazon gave me as a replacement for my old keyboard Kindle that died last summer. It went in a way that made it impossible for me to read or save anything on it that didn't come from Amazon. Fortunately the only non-Amazon stuff was from Gutenberg so it was easy to get again.

I don't know if Amazon will replace a replacement, but I really like the Paperwhite better so I really don't care. And I've figured out how to get some of the books onto the new reader.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I finished seven books this week.  A book a day, not bad.  The joys of retirement.
But it didn't make a dent in the TBR stacks because the mail came.  Four purchased, one gift, three ARCs.


And I went to the library.  Actually, I went to two libraries.

And I downloaded a couple of things. No pictures of those.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Weather good, got out of house, bought books, got autographs

It's been nice--weather-wise and health-wise.  I've actually been able to get out and about a bit. One outing was totally non-book related.  Down to the shore for a seafood lunch.

The book related outings were both lectures.  On the bottom of the stack is the Oxford Harriet Beecher Stowe Reader, edited by Joan D. Hedrick. Hedrick won  the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Biography for her biography of Stowe. On Friday I attended a talk by her (Hedrick, not Stowe). She spoke about both Stowe and also about her current work in progress: Nineteenth Century American Women and the Holiness Movement. She is a Connecticut author on the faculty of Trinity College in Hartford. The program was sponsored by Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Education (MILE).  Time to read something by Stowe other than Uncle Tom's Cabin.

On the top of the stack is another book by a local author.  Richard Freund is on the faculty of the University of Hartford.  He spoke at another MILE program on Monday. He spoke about his part in searching in Southern Spain for  the lost city of Atlantis which was covered in the National Geographic documentary “Finding Atlantis.”  I bought his book Digging through History: Religion and Archaeology from Atlantis to the Holocaust to learn more about his work, which is somewhat controversial in archaeological circles.  This is most likely going to lead me to further reading. 

Sandwiched in between the Hedrick and Freund books is another book by several local authors.  The editor, Matthew Warshauer, teaches at Central Connecticut State University. The nine essays in Inside Connecticut and the Civil War: Essays on One State's Struggles focus on various aspects of the state's involvement in the Civil War and its commemoration. I was unable to attend a talk by the editor and two of the essayists yesterday at the Old State House. (I did watch a video of the presentation on CT-N Connecticut Network )However, I know this group and my copy of the book has one author autograph. This is a gift copy. So far I've read one of the essays.