Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon: Officially Unofficially Participating

I didn’t actually sign up officially to participate in the Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon. Though I had a blast with it when I’ve participated before, I wasn’t sure I was up for the challenge this time. However, as the opening hour approached, I found myself still awake. I decided what was the harm in trying? All it really means is reading as much as possible. Which is something I’d like to do anyway.

So, here I am, reading along again with countless other Dewey’s participants. I don’t have an official TBR. I’ll only read what I was already reading before making the decision to participate. That would be:

  • Mad Ship, by Robin Hobb (physical book) – currently on page 241
  • The Wednesday Wars, by Gary D. Schmidt (ebook) – currently at 11%
  • The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy (audio) – 9 hr 24 min remaining

There are always other random books and things I’ll read throughout the 24 hours. My day always starts with Bible reading and a short devotional. I have a separate book I’m currently reading with each of my three children. I will read emails, tweets and blogs about Dewey’s and other things.

As usual, life will intervene and I will be unable to read for an entire 24 hours. Soccer season opens today with the first games. With two playing this season, I’ll spend a good chunk of time on the field. In the rain. Without reading material.

I’ll get tired. And I’ll get hungry. My family will need things from me. I’m supposed to write 500 words today for my Camp NaNoWriMo project. I will do these other things, but I will also read. A lot. But unofficially, because I’m not really signed up for this.

Are you participating in Dewey’s Readathon? What are you planning to read?

The Color of February

It’s February 14th – Valentine’s Day. A day of red heart boxes filled with chocolate, red roses, red balloons and red cards filled with sappy sentiments. Red is the color of February. Right?

Well, it turns out, red is the color of my reading list this month. It wasn’t intentional, but I’m really loving the red this month.

Shadowheart, by Tad Williams – the one I should be reading, but haven’t started yet
Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – the library book I’m actively reading
Ship of Magic, by Robin Hobb – the one I just can’t leave alone
Bloodwitch, by Susan Dennard – the brand new release I couldn’t wait to get my hands on

It’s the perfect line-up for February, don’t you think? (Yes, I added the sappy decorations to the already gorgeous covers.) Red really is the color of February.

What have you “red” so far this month?

Happy Valentine’s Day! And happy reading!

Fantastic February – Fantasy Reading Challenge

Thanks to Kathy over at Books & Munches, for hosting this mini reading challenge! The plan is to read anything fantasy or paranormal while working to whittle away at the TBR. Good news for me, my TBR is full of fantasy fiction!

I’m currently working my way through Tad Williams’s Shadowmarch series. I’m on book three at the moment, hoping to finish it soon. More than likely, book four, Shadowheart, will carry over into February.

I’ve also been reading the Realm of the Elderlings series, by Robin Hobb, along with a Goodreads group I’m part of. I’ve fallen behind the rest of the group, but I’m still working my way through the books. I’ve fallen hard for Robin Hobb, and I have no doubt I’ll keep reading no matter how far behind I get. I’ve just started the second trilogy, The Liveship Traders, so I expect I’ll still be reading Ship of Magic in February. Hopefully, I’ll manage to move on to Mad Ship before the month ends.

I will also continue reading Eragon, by Christopher Paolini. I’m reading this with my youngest son who is completely in love with dragons right now. It’s possible I’ve encouraged this obsession just a little.

Some other fantasy books I am super excited about, though I may not get to them in February, are:

Bloodwitch, by Susan Dennard (due for release February 12!)
Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi

If I need a break from the massive series books above, I can pick up one of these for a bit instead.

Hooray for fantasy fiction!

The Year of Finishing: 2019 Reading Challenge List, Part Two – Popsugar

Though the ATY Reading Challenge caught my attention for 2019, the Popsugar Reading Challenge captured by interest first. And so, I couldn’t set it aside completely in favor of the ATY. As it turns out, the two lists work pretty well together in helping me to complete or continue several of the book series I’ve started in recent years. Between the two, I will be able to read many books I’ve been looking forward to for awhile.

Here is my list for the 2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge:

A book becoming a movie in 2019: Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer
A book that makes you nostalgic: The Black Stallion, by Walter Farley
A book written by a musician: The Reptile Room, by Lemony Snicket
A book you think should be made into a movie: Firefight, by Brandon Sanderson
A book with at least one million ratings on Goodreads: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J. K. Rowling
A book with a plant in the title or on the cover: The Witchwood Crown, by Tad Williams
A reread of a favorite book: The Dragonbone Chair, by Tad Williams
A book about a hobby: Otherland: City of Golden Shadow, by Tad Williams
A book you meant to read in 2018: Ship of Magic, by Robin Hobb
A book with “pop,” “sugar,” or “challenge” in the title: Pawn of Prophecy, by David Eddings
A book with an item of clothing or an accessory on the cover: Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer
A book inspired by mythology, legend or folklore: Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth, by Rick Riordan
A book published posthumously: The Girl Who Played With Fire, by Steig Larsson
A book you see someone reading on TV or in a movie: Red Mist, by Patricia Cornwell
A retelling of a classic: Second Star, by J. M. Sullivan
A book with a question in the title: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick
A book set on a college or university campus: A Slow Regard of Silent Things, by Patrick Rothfuss
A book about someone with a superpower: Calamity, by Brandon Sanderson
A book told from multiple character POVs: A Storm of Swords, by George R. R. Martin
A book set in space: A Soldier’s Duty, by Jean Johnson
A book by two female authors: Marked, by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast
A book with a title that contains “sweet,” “bitter,” “salty,” or “spicy”: Sweet Myth-tery of Life, by Robert Asprin
A book set in Scandinavia: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, by Steig Larsson
A book that takes place in a single day: The Sun is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon
A debut novel: Elantris, by Brandon Sanderson
A book that’s published in 2019: Bloodwitch, by Susan Dennard
A book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J. K. Rowling
A book recommended by a celebrity you admire: Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh
A book with “love” in the title: Love That Dog, by Sharon Creech
A book featuring an amateur detective: The Mystery of Ghost Island, Paul Moxham
A book about a family: A Dance with Dragons, by George R. R. Martin
A book written by an author from Asia, Africa or South America: Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A book with a Zodiac sign or astrology term in the title: The Well of Ascension, by Brandon Sanderson
A book that includes a wedding: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling
A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter: Cress, by Marissa Meyer
A ghost story: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J. K. Rowling
A book with a two word title: Grave Peril, by Jim Butcher
A novel based on a true story: A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
A book revolving around a puzzle or a game: Warcross, by Marie Lu
Your favorite prompt from a past PS Reading Challenge – 2015: A book with magic: Legacy of Kings, by C. S. Friedman
Y
our favorite prompt from a past PS Reading Challenge – 2016: A book that’s more than 600 pages: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J. K. Rowling
Your favorite prompt from a past PS Reading Challenge – 2017: A book with a red spine: Mad Ship, by Robin Hobb
Your favorite prompt from a past PS Reading Challenge – 2018: A book set at sea: Ship of Destiny, by Robin Hobb
A “cli-fi” book: Parable of the Talents, by Octavia Butler
A “choose your own adventure” book: Space and Beyond, by R. A. Montgomery
An “own voices” book: Aru Shah and the End of Time, by Roshani Chokshi
Read a book in the season it is set in: Summer Knight, by Jim Butcher
A LitRPG book: Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
A book with no chapters / unusual chapter headings / unconventionally numbered chapters: Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman
Two books that share the same title: The Gunslinger, by Stephen King and Gunslinger Girl, by Lindsay Ely
A book that has inspired a common phrase or idiom: A Clash of Kings, by George R. R. Martin
A book set in an abbey, cloister, monastery, vicarage or convent: The Red Sister, by Mark Lawrence

The Year of Finishing: 2019 Reading Challenge List, Part One – ATY

The Popsugar Reading Challenge grabbed my attention toward the end of 2017 as I was finishing up my second year of reading challenges. I decided to give it a go and had a blast with it in 2018. So, when the time approached for the new list of prompts to be released, I waited anxiously along with thousands of other readers who follow the Popsugar group on Goodreads. I didn’t wait patiently, however, and I got drawn away by the 2019 Around the Year in 52 Books (ATY) reading list that had already been released. I told myself I would just take a look, see what the fuss is about. Well, I didn’t “just take a look” and I ended up signing on to do both reading challenges in 2019.

Here then, is the list of books I plan to read for the 2019 ATY Reading Challenge:

A book that was nominated for, or won an award in a genre you enjoy: The Amber Spyglass, by Philip Pullman
A book with one of the 5 W’s in the title: The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill
A book with an author whose name contains A, T and Y: Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi
A book with a criminal character: The Hero of Ages, by Brandon Sanderson
A book written or inspired by Shakespeare: The Wednesday Wars, by Gary D. Schmidt
A book with a dual time line: Dragon’s Triangle, by Christine Kling
Two books related to the same topic, genre or theme: Shadowrise and Shadowheart, by Tad Williams
A book from one of the top 5 money making genres: The Subtle Knife, by Philip Pullman
A book featuring a historical figure: Enchantée, by Gita Trelease
A book related to one of the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals: Eragon, by Christopher Paolini
A book about reading, books or an author/writer: The Clinic, by Jonathan Kellerman
A book from a New York Public Library’s Staff Picks list: The God of Small Things, by Arundati Roy
A book with a title, subtitle or cover related to an astronomical term: Time and Stars, by Poul Anderson
A book set in or by an author from a Mediterranean country: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne
A book told from multiple perspectives: The Stone of Farewell, by Tad Williams
A speculative fiction: Otherland: River of Blue Fire, by Tad Williams
A book related to one of the elements on the periodic table of elements: Iron Gold, by Pierce Brown
A book by an author who has more than one book on your TBR: Otherland: Mountain of Black Glass, by Tad Williams
A book featuring indigenous people: Akata Witch, by Nnedi Okorafor
A book for a suggestion from the ATY 2019 polls that was polarizing or a close call – A book where the protagonist enters another world: Otherland: Sea of Silver Light, by Tad Williams
A book with a number in the title or on the cover: Four, by Veronica Roth
A book inspired by the wedding rhyme #1 – something old: The Secret of the Old Clock, by Carolyn Keane
A book inspired by the wedding rhyme #2 – something new: New Spring, by Robert Jordan
A book inspired by the wedding rhyme #3 – something borrowed: The Borrowers, by Mary Norton
A book inspired by the wedding rhyme #4 – something blue: Something Blue, by Emily Griffin
A book from the 1001 books to read before you die list: War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy
A book related to something cold: Winter, by Marissa Meyer
A book published before 1950: The Aeneid, by Virgil
A book featuring an elderly character: Gallow’s Hill, by Charles F. French
A children’s classic you’ve never read: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry! by Mildred D. Taylor
A book with more than 500 pages: To Green Angel Tower, by Tad Williams
A book you’ve owned for at least a year but haven’t read: Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse, by Rick Riordan
A book with a person’s name in the title: Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine
A psychological thriller: Twisted, by Jonathan Kellerman
A book featured on the NPR Best Books of the Year list: Behold the Dreamers, by Imbolo Mbue
A book set in school or university: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J. K. Rowling
A book not written in traditional novel format: A Joyful Noise, by Paul Fleischman
A book with a strong sense of place or where the author brings the location/setting to life: The Rose and the Dagger, by Renee Ahdieh
A book you stumbled upon: The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula K. LeGuin
A book from the 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards: The Martian, by Andy Weir
A book with a monster or monstrous character: Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan
A book related to S.T.E.M.: I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
A book related in some way to a TV show/series or movie you enjoyed: The Black Panther Epic Collection, by Don McGregor
A multi-generational saga: There There, by Tommy Orange
A book with a (mostly) black cover: Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian, by Rick Riordan
A book related to food: A Feast for Crows, by George R. R. Martin
A National Book Award finalist or winner from any year: Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
A book written by a Far East Asian author or set in a Far East Asian country: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See
A book that includes a journey: Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne
A book published in 2019: The Empire of Grass, by Tad Williams
A book with a weird or intriguing title: The Last Innocent Man, Phillip Margolin

2019 Reading Challenge – The Year of Finishing!

Happy New Year!

It’s that time again when we review the year we’ve just finished and look forward to the year ahead. One thing that means for me, is setting new reading goals. I accomplished so much more than I ever thought possible in 2018. I’m really excited to see what I can do in 2019.

One thing I decided I wanted to do in 2019 is to finish up at least some of the series I’ve started in the last couple of years. Two years ago my focus was on series books, and everything I read was part of a series. Many of those remain unfinished, as do several that I started this year. It is time to finish them. Or at the very least, continue with them with the intention of eventually finishing them.

I also decided that I’m not crazy enough yet and have opted to participate in not one year-long reading challenge, but two. While waiting for the 2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge list to be released, I checked out the Around the Year in 52 Books (or ATY) 2019 Reading Challenge list. This may have been a mistake, because I discovered I could fit many of the books I already wanted to read into this list too.

So I now have a total of 105 books I plan to read in 2019. This will be a huge stretch for me, and not something I intended to do. The up side of this is that since most are series books, I can binge read the whole series without guilt, or worry that I will throw off my reading schedule.

Besides the two reading challenges, I set for myself three other reading goals for 2019. One, read at least one “classic” novel. Two, read at least three books from my backlog of “borrowed” books. Three, read at least three books from the Newbery Honors list. I think I’ve got these goals well covered:

Classics:

  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • War and Peace
  • I, Robot
  • Around the World in Eighty Days

Borrowed books:

  • Grave Peril
  • The Clinic
  • Time and Stars
  • Twisted
  • The Last Innocent Man

Newbery Honors:

  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon
  • The Wednesday Wars
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry!
  • Ella Enchanted
  • Joyful Noise
  • The Tombs of Atuan

My biggest reading goal for 2019 is to make a dent in the huge backlog of unread books on my own shelves, both print and digital. This is one reason why I think attempting two reading challenges might be doable. While I haven’t fully decided on all the books I will read, here’s the break down on what I have chosen so far.

  • 65% are off my physical bookshelves (in the interest of full disclosure, two are new books being released in 2019 that I will purchase)
  • 15% I own on ebook or audio
  • 19% I’ll borrow from the library
  • 1% remains undecided

So there it is, my reading goals for 2019. At 57%, the list is still skewed slightly toward men authors over women. It is predominantly books I already own, but I will still be frequenting my local library. I will finish fourteen series I’ve previously started and make progress on seven more. To be fair, I’ll start on another fifteen, but who’s counting?

I’ll be posting the full reading lists for the Around the Year and Popsugar reading challenges in the coming week. Though, because there are so many books to read, I think I’ll allow myself more flexibility this year with these lists. For my best chance at success, I need to be able to allow myself more freedom to change this plan as the year goes on and other books clamor for my attention.

What are your reading goals for 2019?

2019 ATY Reading Challenge list
2019 Popsugar Reading Challenge list

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, October 2018: The End Results

I participated in my second Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon this weekend. I did my best to read for as much of those 24 hours as I could, read as many pages as possible and have fun along the way! I followed along with the hourly blogs and tried to keep up on Goodreads. It was a lot of fun.

One thing I didn’t do was try to post my progress along the way. So, I’ll share my responses to the three surveys here. I also have my final stats for the event ready to share.

The highlight of the event for me was all the time I got to spend reading with my boys. My youngest read aloud to me a collection of Mo Willems Elephant and Piggie books – 300 pages of delightfully funny dialogue between unlikely friends. My eldest read Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat, by Bryan Langdo, to both myself and his youngest brother. Later, I allowed him to stay up late and read with me until he fell asleep.

Aren’t they adorable?

Boys reading

Opening Survey:
1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I did my reading from the beautiful state of Oregon on the West Coast of the United States. The morning dawned cold and foggy, but it warmed up nicely by mid-morning football/soccer games. My primary reading spot was the couch in my living room with my snugly blanket and surrounded by all my books.

2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I’m probably most excited about Assassin’s Quest, by Robin Hobb. I’ve been reading this series along with another group on Goodreads, but I’ve fallen behind because of other reading commitments (I’m looking at you, Popsugar!). I’m hoping to spend a little time with this book during the read-a-thon.

3. Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Coffee!

4. Tell us a little something about yourself!
I might have a book problem. Despite shelves overflowing with unread books, I can’t stay away from the library book sales, the half-off book sales, or any other place where books are sold.

5. If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?
This is my second read-a-thon, and the only thing I’m really doing different is that I have fewer books on my TBR. I didn’t choose books exclusively for the read-a-thon, but rather I’m just continuing with the books I’m already reading.

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?
After brief forays into Dune (audio) and Zenith (ebook) and reading with two of my sons, I am about to return to my primary reading goal of the day, Gone With the Wind.

2. How many books have you read so far?
I have read parts of three books so far (Gone With the Wind, Dune and Zenith) and my children read aloud to me six books: Today I Will Fly!, Watch Me Throw the Ball!, Can I Play Too?, Let’s Go For a Drive, I Really Like Slop! (by Mo Willems, read to me by my 6yr old) and Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat (by Bryan Langdo, read to me by my 8yr old.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
I’m still looking forward to Assassin’s Quest, by Robin Hobb. Maybe I will hold that in reserve for a few more hours and see if I can get further on Gone With the Wind before I switch it up.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
There are always interruptions in the life of a mom. Two of my sons had games today – one is playing flag football (his team lost) and the other is playing soccer (his team also lost). This outing took up four hours of read-a-thon time, and I just had to let it go. The kiddos will always be more important than the books. (Sorry, books!)

Once I returned home from the sports activities, I got to single parent two of the children while their father squired the third off to a classmate’s birthday party. I used this time to read with my boys (see the above answers!). Literacy is important to me, and I’m so proud of the progress my kids are making into their own reading success!

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
I can’t say that anything has surprised me thus far. Well, maybe this delightful quote I found on page 116 of Gone With the Wind:

The dim room with towering walls completely filled with dark books depressed her. Large numbers of books always depressed her, as did people who liked to read large numbers of books.

I couldn’t help laughing at this in light of large number of people reading a large number of books today! The only thing I find depressing about a large number of books is the lack of adequate time to read them all.

Closing Survey:
1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
I guess that would be hour 22 (2 a.m. my time). The words were swimming across the pages and my eyes no longer wanted to stay open.

2. Tell us ALLLLL the books you read!
I made progress on Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, Assassin’s Quest, by Robin Hobb, Dune, by Frank Herbert and Zenith, by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings. My 6yr old son read to me Today I Will Fly!, Watch Me Throw the Ball!, Can I Play Too?, Let’s Go For a Drive!, I Really Like Slop!, from an Elephant and Piggie Biggie combined book by Mo Willems. And my 8yr old son read aloud to me Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat, by Bryan Langdo. When I put my kiddos to bed, I also got to read aloud bits from Eragon, by Christopher Paolini and The Tiger Rising, by Kate DiCamillo.

3. Which books would you recommend to other Read-a-thoners?
Whether it’s the books I’ve listed here or something else, what I’d recommend to any read-a-thoner with children is to just dedicate an hour or two, more if there’s interest, in reading with or listening to your children read to you. It was my favorite part of the read-a-thon!

4. What’s a really rad thing we could do during the next Read-a-thon that would make you happy?
I don’t know that I have any suggestions. There is a great mix of activities and conversations so everyone can participate the way they want to. I love how flexible the event is.

5. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? Would you be interested in volunteering to help organize and prep?
There’s a very good chance I’ll participate again. I would still like to see more progress on my reading. But I need to just face it, I’m probably the slowest reader ever. As for volunteering, I love the energy that the hosts provide for this event, and to be honest, I don’t think I could offer that same level of enthusiasm. At least not at this time. But let me take this opportunity to give a HUGE thank you to all of those responsible for making this event so great!

Final Event Stats:

  • total time reading: 12 hrs
  • time spent on blog, Goodreads and Twitter: 2 hrs
  • real life interruptions: 5 hrs
  • sleeping: 5 hrs (started late, and quit early)
  • total pages: 184 (+ ebook and audio) + 6 pictures books
  • books read/listened to during readathon: 12

(Gone With the Wind, Assassin’s Quest, Dune, Zenith, Eragon, The Tiger Rising, Today I Will Fly!, Watch Me Throw the Ball!, Can I Play Too?, Let’s Go For a Drive!, I Really Like Slop!, by Mo Willems and Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat, by Bryan Langdo)

If you participated in the Read-a-Thon, how did you do? Did you meet your goals/expectations? What was your favorite book?