Tag Archives: reading

Post-Readathon Recap

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So, I survived my first 24-hour Readathon! Courtesy of the questionnaire from the Dewey’s website, here are my post-Readathon recap thoughts. I’m a little slow on the update–it’s been another crazy week at work. But here goes!

Which hour was most daunting for you?

I wouldn’t really say that any were daunting, but I did cheat a bit. The Readathon started at 8 a.m. my time, and I’d been really sleep-deprived so I didn’t start until about 9:30. Also, again due to the sleep deprivation, I only lasted until about 2 a.m.
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

I thought that Carry On was a great readathon title, and I think that YA as a whole is an excellent genre for binge-reading. I think most of my best binge-reads have been YA, because it’s a format that’s written to be addicting. I recently binge-read Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows, which is one of my absolute favorite books of 2015, and I tend to binge-read Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series every few months. The emotions and high stakes of YA tend to suck you in and help you to forget about any stress you have going on in the real world, because no matter what kind of angst you’re currently feeling, any YA protagonist worth their salt will be feeling at least 1000x more angst at any given moment. It’s the book equivalent of watching Grey’s Anatomy.

Other books I’ve read in the past that seem very readathon-friendly to me would be books that are absorbing, fast-paced, and good quality without being overly cerebral: works like Ready Player One, The Martian, or Scott Hawkins’ The Library at Mount Char would be good picks. I also think that Urban Fantasy would be a good genre for the Readathon–some of my best binge reads have been with Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series.
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

I feel like I’m too new to the Readathon to offer critiques!
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

I really liked being a part of the Goodreads group during the readathon. They had different chat threads with interesting bookish topics posted every hour, places to post what we were currently reading and what we had finished, and mini-challenges. They also had threads in the weeks leading up to the challenge where you could ask questions and seek advice from Readathon veterans, talk about your favorite reading habits, and list what books you were planning to tackle. It made the Readathon into a group event that you could dip in and out of while still having solitary reading time.
How many books did you read?

I finished two books, read part of another book, and listened to a little of an audiobook.
What were the names of the books you read?

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell and The Wicked + The Divine, Volume I: The Faust Act. I also listened to a little of The Girl With All the Gifts on audio, and was able to sneak in 50 pages or so of A Red-Rose Chain, the ninth book in Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series. All in all, by my calculation I read about 712 pages (not counting audio).
Which book did you enjoy most?

I really loved Carry On. I intentionally didn’t buy it until the day before the Readathon and forced myself to wait until the morning to start it, because it’s one of those books where I can tell I’ll be hooked just by the description. It’s a great book for the Harry Potter generation, for people who love magic, and for people who tend to root for the seemingly least likely pairing to get together. It’s about a boy named Simon Snow who is fated to save the world of wizards from a mysterious being called the Insidious Humdrum, and about his roommate and nemesis, Baz, a boy from a wealthy and powerful wizarding family who was turned into a vampire during a childhood trauma. It’s about hope and friendship and love, and about courage and fate and growing up. It’s great. You should read it.
Which did you enjoy least?

I…wish I liked The Girl With All the Gifts more. I’m almost halfway through and I just…really don’t. It’s okay. It doesn’t feel fresh or unique to me. And I can’t get over how the zombies are referred to by fully-grown adults and seemingly intelligent scientists as “hungries.” Really? Hungries? No one could have thought of a better name? You can’t just call them zombies? Or literally anything else?
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I absolutely will be participating in the Readathon again! I’m already excited for the next one in April. I think that the main difference next time around is that I’ll start planning earlier, so look out for lots of book obsessing!

Carrying On with the Readathon

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I decided to start the Readathon with the book I was looking forward to the most–Carry On. And also some delicious pumpkin spice coffee in my Strand Bookstore mug, to keep to the Readathon theme. So far I’m really loving this bookish holiday. It has a really nice sense of community to it: I love looking at the Goodreads thread to see what other people are reading, and at everyone’s picture updates on Instagram, and at all the fun blog posts. And dedicating an entire day to books just has this wonderfully relaxing, warm feeling.

Also, I’m loving my first book choice. Rainbow Rowell has this very cozy writing style; everything feels intimate and relatable, even when it’s about magic and monsters. Simon Snow is the Chosen One, like Harry Potter–but unlike Harry, he’s very self-aware and open to admitting his flaws and shortcomings. His Hermione-esque best friend, Penelope, is a wonderful character, and I’m glad to see that there’s no Ron substitute in the story (I was never a fan of Ron. Sorry.). So far the book is about growing up, and things not turning out the way that they’re supposed to, and I like that. It’s funny but also touching. It’s also strange because I’ve been making comparisons to both Harry Potter and The Magicians while reading it, but Carry On still manages to stand really well on its own. It’s a book that’s an adaptation of the fanfiction of a fictional book based on a different book within a fictional book, but it still feels fresh and creative and new.

I really love the Readathon so far. I’m thinking I need to make this a tradition.

Hope everyone else is enjoying the Readathon as much as I am!

 

Readathon Time!

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As you can see, I have my wardrobe all picked out to start off my first Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon! In the spirit of the readathon, here’s my introduction, courtesy of the questions posted on the Dewey’s site:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I’m reading from the eastern U.S., and it’s chilly this morning! In addition to my Read Harder shirt (I got it from Book Riot!), I have on very warm clothes and fuzzy purple socks.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

By far, I’m most looking forward to reading Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I can’t resist anything that references Harry Potter, that critiques aspects of it while retaining a deep love of the source material (The Magicians by Lev Grossman is one of my all-time favorites, and the fact that Grossman wrote a very positive blurb on the cover of Carry On is promising).
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Um, all the snacks? But especially the spiced cider I got from Trader Joe’s. And also the chocolate I got from Trader Joe’s, because books and chocolate pair very well together.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I have an unabashed love of pumpkin-flavored things. I know that the popularity of pumpkin and pumpkin spice has gotten really out of control, but it’s so delicious that I think everyone needs to just get over it. Also, although I do love beaches passionately, there’s something about cold-weather reading that is very special.
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?

This is my first time! I love the idea of dedicating an entire day to books, and I think it’ll be a great stress reliever for me. My plan is to update on my blog and on my instagram (I used to hate instagram until I realized all of its bookish uses, and now it’s so much fun) and spend the day switching between books. Although, I may get so absorbed in one book that I spend most of the day on it. That’s an unavoidable possibility.

Hope everyone is having a great readathon so far!

Ready for the Readathon

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Tomorrow will be my first time participating in Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon, and I think I’m ready.

I loaded up on delicious and at least semi-healthy snacks at Trader Joe’s. I hit both the library and Barnes & Noble this week to replenish my reading stash. I have copious amounts of both coffee and spiced cider to keep me warm during the cold weather predicted for tomorrow. And I’ve spent the past week considering which books will serve me best during the reading marathon. I’ve accumulated a big stack, since I’m a moody reader and plan on switching between books a lot, if not necessarily finishing them. What books will I be tackling during the challenge? I’m glad you asked…

The Wicked + the Divine: this graphic novel came out this year, and supposedly deals with gods that continuously reincarnate as pop stars. Since it’s short, I figure that this is the book I have the greatest chance of actually finishing tomorrow.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: I’ve been anxiously awaiting this fantasy YA release since I finished Rowell’s Fangirl earlier this year. Fangirl was about a socially anxious college freshman named Cath whose refuge is fanfiction, specifically fanfiction chronicling the romantic lives of Simon Snow (a pseudo-Harry Potter) and his roommate/enemy, Baz (pseudo-Draco Malfoy, but a vampire). This is definitely the book I’m most excited about getting into during the readathon.

The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey: this is an audiobook I started a few weeks ago for a science fiction/fantasy reading challenge. I’m about a third of the way through, and it’s okay, but not great. I figure that an audiobook will be a good way to keep reading if I need to take a break and do some cleaning or drive somewhere.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: I’m about a third of the way through this magical book, and I read that third in a sort of trance at an airport. Trance reading seems like a good way to get through the readathon.

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah: I’ve had this book on my list for years; it’s written by a former child soldier about his experiences. It’s also fairly short, so I might be able to finish it during the challenge if I’m in the mood for some nonfiction.

The Passion by Jeanette Winterson: I probably won’t read this during the challenge, but I like having the option. It sounds very good, but I’m not sure the readathon is the right time for it.

A Red-Rose Chain by Seanan McGuire: this is book 9 in McGuire’s October Daye series. I started it last night and I find this series really comforting, although it’s not my favorite.

Wish me luck! I’ll be posting updates tomorrow with my challenge progress.

Are any of you doing the reading challenge? What are your planned reads?