Read-a-Thon Updates (October 2014)

Welcome to my read-a-thon update post! I shared my bookstack and read-a-thon plans this past Wednesday. Today, I’ll be using this post as my main site to update cheerleaders and readers on my progress, but I will also be doing quick updates on twitter. Scroll down for updates!

Updates:

Hour 1 (8:00 am EST): In my excitement over the read-a-thon, I started reading Jar City by Arnaldur Indriðason on Wednesday. I thought I’d get ahead start on the novel and make it easy to jump right in this morning. Alas, the crime thriller sucked me and I ended up finishing Indriðason’s novel that night. Whoops! I do have two more novels by Indriðason on my shelf — Hypothermia and Strange Shores — so I might add one those to my stack. For now, though, I’m headed out the door to get myself moving this morning. If I lay down, I’m afraid I might fall back asleep. Since I finished Drood by Dan Simmons yesterday, I will be listening to Matilda by Roald Dahl on audio during my walk and plan to pick up Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan when I return. Happy reading to all!

Hour 4 (11:35 am EST): I’m back from my walk — ten miles, including the quick trip to the grocery store on the way back — and I’ve finished the first seventeen tracks (out of twenty-one) of Matilda. I’ll finish the audiobook as I unpack my groceries and prepare lunch. Afterwards, I’ll be picking up Homeless Bird.

Hour 8 (3:00 pm EST): I’ve finished two books since my last update — Matilda by Roald Dahl and Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan! Highly recommend both of them. I started reading The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane but started to nod off so I grabbed a cappuccino at Starbucks to get my energy levels back up and am now on page 60 of What Would Mr. Darcy Do? by Abigail Reynolds. During Hours 5 and 8, I participated in the #shelfie and 140 Character Cheering mini-challenges (see my answers below).

Hour 11 (6:25 pm EST): I finished another book! I also decided to pick up Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll on audio so I could get some cooking, cleaning, and cheering done, and I am now utterly convinced audiobooks are the way to go when it comes to the read-a-thon, especially for cheering. I’ve been able to leave comments on participants’ blogs and randomly tweet people encouragement while continuing to “read”. Two birds, one stone.

Hour 15 (10:00 pm EST): Fourth book is finished! I’m listening to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as I write this update — about twenty minutes or so left. I also started In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pinott, a murder-mystery that should keep me awake until I turn the last page, which I’ll dive back into just as soon as I finish this update and folding my laundry. Three hours late, but I finally answered the Mid-Event Survey below. I also participated in Dose of Darcy on the main read-a-thon page.

Hour 16 (11:45 pm EST): Big yawns here. I am a little over 100 pages away from finishing In the Shadow of Gotham, but the desire for sleep is getting stronger than the desire to find out whodunit. So I’m tucking myself into bed and maybe, just maybe I’ll wake up in time to join back in for the last hour or so. Happy reading to those who are continuing on!

Hour 22 (6:15 am EST): I’m awake! Albeit, a little bleary eyed. I’m going to try to finish In the Shadow of Gotham in the last hour and 45 minutes of the read-a-thon.

Hour 24 (8:00 am EST): I squeaked by the hair on my chiny-chin-chin and finished In the Shadow of Gotham. That means I finished six books — a very, very successful read-a-thon! (Not being in university certainly helped.) I’ve answered the End of Event Survey below. Thank you to all the organizers, hosts, and cheerleaders for making this a great event!

Where I stand overall:

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Caroll) – Finished!
  • Anne Frank and Me (Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld) — Finished!
  • Homeless Bird (Gloria Whelan) — Finished!
  • In the Shadow of Gotham (Stefanie Pinott) — Finished!
  • Matilda (Roald Dahl) — Finished!
  • The Night Quest (Fiona McFarlane) — 5/241 pages
  • What Would Mr. Darcy Do? (Abigail Reynolds) — Finished!

Mini-challenges/Memes:

Opening Meme

  1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Massachusetts in the United States.
  2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan, a book I first read many years ago and loved. I’m curious to see if it lives up to my memories.
  3. Which snack are you most looking forward to? I made these delicious chicken tacos in my crockpot the other day. So easy to make, too. Is it lunchtime yet?
  4. Tell us a little something about yourself! Uh, the dreaded about me question. I graduated from grad school in August and now work as a computer programmer and data analyst.
  5. If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? I wasn’t able to participate back in April. Although this is my fifth read-a-thon overall, this is my first since October 2012. So I guess participating is what I’ll do differently today.

Shelfie

DSC_0009-001

On the left, you have the two shelves of books I own. It’s a small collection as the rest, unfortunately, did not make the move to Massachusetts with me in July. On the right are all the books I’ve checked out of the library. I promise I left some behind for the other patrons! As you can see, I’m running out of room — the stack on the top left is my read-a-thon stack but those on the right are library books I picked up yesterday. And, yes, that’s me using television as a mirror and trying to get myself in the picture without having to bust out the tripod.

140 Character Cheering

Oh, hey look, now we are all at hour eight! Ain’t reading great? Now keep up the reading steam and I’ll see you in hour eighteen!

Mid-Event Survey

  1. What are you reading right now? Currently reading In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff and currently listening to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
  2. How many books have you read so far? I have finished reading three novels — Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan, What Would Mr. Darcy Do? by Abigail Reynolds, and Anne Frank and Me by Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld — and finished listening Matilda by Roald Dahl on audio.
  3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Looking forward to reading more of In the Shadow of Gotham. The novel mentions an unproven hypothesis in mathematics and my brother has been patiently explaining it to via text messaging. Apparently, it’s one of those solve it and win a million dollars mathematical hypothesis.
  4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Not really. I listened to an audiobook while at the grocery store stopping only to interact with the cashier and while cleaning and cooking this afternoon. I suppose you could say the fifteen minutes or so I spent getting a cappuccino were an interruption since I didn’t bring an audiobook along on that trip.
  5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? This is my first read-a-thon listening to audiobooks and I’m definitely having a ‘why didn’t I think of this before?!?’ moment. I’ve been able to participate in the read-a-thon while finishing up all the chores — grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, etc — that I normally do on Saturday mornings. No need to rush around the night before or push everything off to Sunday now that I’ve discovered audiobooks.

End of Event Survey

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Hours 15 and 16 were the most daunting for me. I had hoped to make to midnight (the start of Hour 17) but I could barely keep my eyes open and ended up falling asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I would certainly recommend either Anne Frank and Me by Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld or In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pinott. Both have a suspenseful element and a quickly moving plot.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? As more people transition to twitter (myself included), I think blog commenting is falling through the cracks. People were kind enough to comment on my blog and cheer me on, but I found more than a few blogs (and no corresponding twitter account) with two to no comments. Maybe divide the cheering teams into blogs-only teams? Or encourage cheerleaders to comment on blogs more than once?
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Overall, the cheering teams seem to work much better this time around. During my last read-a-thon the teams were so confusing that I didn’t sign up to officially cheer this time around.
  5. How many books did you read? Six — four printed novels and two audiobooks!
  6. What were the names of the books you read? 
    • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Caroll)
    • Anne Frank and Me (Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld)
    • Matilda (Roald Dahl)
    • Homeless Bird (Gloria Whelan)
    • In the Shadow of Gotham (Stefanie Pinott)
    • What Would Mr. Darcy Do? (Abigail Reynolds)
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? I loved Matilda! Reading about her love for books was the perfect way to begin the read-a-thon.
  8. Which did you enjoy least? Surprisingly, Abigail Reynolds’ What Would Mr. Darcy Do? the least. I’ll have a full review up later, but I did not enjoy how focused the book was on Darcy’s self-control, or lack thereof.
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I did not officially cheer this year. Go #teamrogue!
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I will definitely participate in April! And now that I’ve seen how improved cheering teams are and discovered audiobooks, I will be signing up to read and (officially) cheer.
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18 thoughts on “Read-a-Thon Updates (October 2014)

  1. You are having an amazing Readathon! I love short audiobooks during readathon too- I listened to Sleepy Hollow this morning while I was shopping and driving to my friends house, and it’s nice starting off readathon with some success. Good luck making it to Hour 24- not that you need to since you’ve rocked readathon already!

    #TeamHughes

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