Well, thanks to Ryan (SpecFic Junkie), looks like I’m joining in with MotherReader’s 48 Hour Book Challenge. My 48 hours will run from 6pm Belgian time 11pm on Friday to 6pm 11pm Belgian time on Sunday, and I’m not aiming too high in terms of participation — I know I’ve got a chemistry assignment to finish, prep for a trip to Canada, and also, you know, time to spend with my partner. And sleep. And the bunny. Obviously 12 hours is the minimum bracket, so I’m aiming for at least that.
Watch this space for updates! I have no particular stack, but the books will come from my June TBR, or fill one of my three remaining wildcard spots.
Blogging stuff: 4 hours. Talking about books: 2 hours.
Reading: 6 hours. Finished Ancillary Justice; started The Philosopher Kings; read a couple of short stories. Reading for assignment: pretty much 12 hours, no kidding. So much science.
I am hesitant to count the blogging stuff because yeesh, self, that is a lot of time noodling around on blogs. And the assignment stuff also includes doing math and rearranging equations, so it doesn’t count really.
Okay, so there’s no progress yet, because there’s still about two hours to go. But this is where I will put all updates on my progress, responses to mini-challenges, etc. My stack is here, but really I’ll be choosing anything from my vast backlog. I’ll start with finishing off Voyage of the Basilisk, by Marie Brennan, and The Secret Museum, by Molly Oldfield, since that will get me off to a flying start and I didn’t quite manage to finish them up yesterday. Reviews will go into the queue, which means you won’t see them until a few weeks into May… sorry!
Looking forward to it! Here’s me and my Captain America bear, still in our jammies for now…
13.45: Nearly finished with my first book, The Secret Museum. Here’s the opening meme:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Cardiff, Wales. 2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? All of them? Maybe A Darker Shade of Magic (V.E. Schwab). I’ve wanted to read it for months. 3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? My sweet n’ salt popcorn! 4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I’m 25, and I can’t literally ‘breathe books’, but close enough. 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? I’m planning to be pretty relaxed about it. Rather than forcing myself to stay awake to read, I’ll just read; if I get too tired, I’ll sleep. But I’ve always found that when I purposefully stay awake to read, I can’t, and when I just pick a book up and get absorbed, I don’t get sleepy at all. We’ll see how it goes!
14.08: First book finished. I’m going to jot down my initial thoughts for a review, and then go see a couple of blogs to say hi!
15.01: I seem to have developed one of my headaches just as soon as it knew it’d be inconvenient for me. Sigh. Anyway, I’m now reading Voyage of the Basilisk; my reading tracker estimates it’ll take me another hour to finish it. I love it.
Oh, and me and Steve-bear are suited up now, including one of my book necklaces (made by Paper Fury!). Do you recognise that cover?
16.40: Just finished Voyage of the Basilisk. Not sure what to go with next — maybe Batgirl, for a change of pace?
17.33: Owww, my head. But I just finished Batgirl: Death of the Family! Crap, I forgot how dark DC comics are.
19.24: Headache somewhat better now. Currently rereading Touch Not The Cat (Mary Stewart), because I felt the need for something familiar. I’ve forgotten the resolution of the mystery entirely…
20.10: ReadMore reckons I’ve got about an hour and a half to go with Touch Not The Cat, and whether it was my anti-anxiety meds or the paracetamol finally kicking in, my headache has abated. Now I’m gonna go check out some blogs again for a little break.
21:44: Still working on Touch Not The Cat, though I have remembered pretty much all the resolution now. 25% to go. I’m pondering having a bath once my partner’s gone to bed and isn’t about to keep me awake anymore.
22.16: Definitely going to bath. Once I’ve finished Touch Not The Cat, I think it’ll be Shades of Milk and Honey (Mary Robinette Kowal) or The Winter Sea (Susanna Kearsley). But we’ll see how my whimsy takes me (which now makes me think I might just read Strong Poison).
00.54: Bath done! Wow, was I that long in there? Oops. I finished Touch Not the Cat and read all of Shades of Milk and Honey. Not sure what’s next, but I think perhaps Jo Walton’s The Just City while I’m still awake enough to appreciate it.
01.11: Now I’ve caught up on some blogs and stuff, I think I’ll get back to reading, though I am yawning ominously. First, though, the mid-event meme:
1. What are you reading right now? I’ve just finished everything I had on the go, actually. 2. How many books have you read so far? Five. 3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I’m keeping my options open, really. Perhaps The Winter Sea (Susanna Kearsley). 4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? I have, but I just took them in my stride. I’ve learnt it’s no use fretting about them, and I certainly get enough read anyway! 5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? Nothing, really; I’m an old hand. Perhaps the sheer number of people this time!
02.25: I did start The Just City. I’m a little surprised; I thought it would be a quick read, but ReadMore reckons I’ve got three and a half hours left with it. Oh well; three and a half hours in company with Jo Walton is no bad thing.
03.20: ReadMore is being a little more optimistic now about how long it’ll take me to finish The Just City. But I might get sleepy now; I’m cold, so I’m going to cwtch up in bed with my electric blanket on. I might play a bit of chess too, to keep my brain awake!
04:07: Did play some chess, but kind of zoned out too — I haven’t read anything since my last update. I’m going to get some sleep and try to get up at my usual time (08.30) so I can finish The Just City and also read The Buried Life before the end of the ‘thon. That’ll be just four hours sleep, so it’s a compromise between knowing how much my mental health depends on sleep and how much I want to read!
09.15: I’m now up and I’ve had breakfast, so hopefully I can settle down to read again once I’ve caught up with comments and posts!
09.45: I’m not feeling the reading, so I’m going to do a bit of impromptu cheering and write up my reviews for the five books I did finish. Not bad, even if my brain isn’t cooperating this morning!
11.00: Still writing reviews, wow. Apparently I have lots of thoughts to share!
11.24: There, reviews done. Going to wander through some blogs now and try to say hi/encourage people still going. Or encourage people who need sleep to go ahead and sleep; I’m not so fond of the people urging other people to stay awake when they’re past their tolerance. Social pressure is no fun.
12.36: Time for the end of event meme!
Which hour was most daunting for you? None, really. I took it fairly easy this year.
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I like having a good mixture, with contrasts between the books; that’s the key for me, rather than a specific book. I enjoy Mary Stewart and Susanna Kearsley’s work when I’m tired and in need of something unchallenging and fun.
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No.
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I liked the cheerleading a lot more this time; it seemed more substantive and I saw the same people a few times.
How many books did you read? Five.
What were the names of the books you read? Let’s see: Voyage of the Basilisk, The Secret Museum, Batgirl: Death of the Family, Touch Not The Cat and Shades of Milk & Honey.
Which book did you enjoy most? Probably Voyage of the Basilisk, it’s the only one I five-starred.
Which did you enjoy least? Probably Batgirl; it was a bit too dark for me.
If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I wasn’t. I just randomly wandered and said hi. But my advice is always to engage with the post, rather than just copy/pasting something pre-prepared.
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I will, and most likely I’ll be a reader, maybe a mini-challenge host, and an informal cheerleader.
Yep, it’s that time again and for some reason I hadn’t got round to properly signing up, offering to run a mini-challenge, or even arranging a stack. Terrible, ain’t it? I’m in the middle of a month where I’m reading female authors only, so I’m assembling a quick list to give me something to grab no matter what — though goodness knows, I’ll grab anything from my backlog if that’s what I happen to be in the mood for.
I don’t know if I’m going to make it the full 24 hours this time; my anxiety tends to spike when I’m tired, I’ve been having a lot of headaches, and I’m just not that great at staying up all night anymore. But we’ll see how it goes.
Reading apparatus: iPad Mini for books on Blloon/Scribd; Kobo Mini for ebooks; dead tree books aplenty. As usual, I’m gonna divide my stack up into a couple of categories and try to read at least one thing from each category.
–Shades of Milk & Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal
–Magic Study, Maria V. Snyder
–Graceling, Kristin Cashore
–Touch Not the Cat, Mary Stewart
–Gifts, Ursula Le Guin
Library: –Guardian of the Dead, Karen Healey
–Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson
–Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear
–Curtsies and Conspiracies, Gail Carriger
–The Winter Sea, Susanna Kearsley
–The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge
–The Burning Land, Victoria Strauss
–The Just City, Jo Walton
–Dark Triumph, Robin LaFevers
–A Court of Thorns & Roses, Sarah J. Maas
Some of these I need to refresh my memory on because oh, how I owe a review.
For this evening, I’m going to play enough Assassin’s Creed III to sate my current obsession with replaying the games, load my ereader, and try to finish Voyage of the Basilisk (Marie Brennan), so I have a fresh slate for tomorrow. I’ll put up a progress post tomorrow afternoon before we start, in lieu of my usual review post. Any regulars on the blog taking part?
Welcome to the fourth hour of the 24 hour readathon! Are you all having fun? This challenge is about just taking a minute to really appreciate what you’re reading — it can be really easy to get caught up in just getting as much read as possible, but there’s got to be stuff you want to remember. So to participate in this hour, here’s the rules:
Comment with a quotation from one of today’s reads.
Include your email address to make sure I can get in contact with you.
I will randomly select one of the people who comments.
And… that’s it! Your prize will be a book of your choice up to £10 in value from the Book Depository, depending only on being in a country that TBD ship to!
Yay! Soon the 24 hour readathon will start. To begin, have a photo of our bunny with some of my stack…
Isn’t she a darling? She’ll be keeping me company throughout, even when my partner abandons me to go shopping.
Anyway, here’s the opening meme:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Belgium. 2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Hmm, not really sure. All of them have their attractions. Maybe the comics? I don’t knooow. 3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Whenever I let myself have my chocolate with Speculoos! 4) Tell us a little something about yourself! It was my one year anniversary of book blogging yesterday! Normally I live in Wales, and this is the first time I’m doing the readathon while visiting my partner. 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? Last time, I had to sleep. This time, well, I’m insomniac at the moment, most of the time, so I’m thinking I’ll probably stay up for most of it. On the other hand, tomorrow morning we’ll be leaving the civilisation of the internet and going off to a convention, so I probably won’t see the last few hours.
Right, I’m going to assemble the rest of my stack and get comfortable, ready for the start!
15.07: It is occurring to me at this point that I might like to get dressed, on the grounds that I’d be warmer like that. Ah well, we’ll see. I’m nearly finished with Galapagos (Kurt Vonnegut), which I’ve read about 150 pages of.
15.38: Finished reading Galapagos. Gonna go update the books read database and then curl up with something else. What? I’m not sure yet. Maybe Loki: Agent of Asgard.
16.16: Yup, read Loki: Agent of Asgard. Also had some chocolate. In terms of the shelfie challenge, my whole webpage is one since my top banner has a rotation of three or four different views of my bookshelves.
17.18: My mini-challenge is up, and I’m battling a tide of comments to approve while also reading Shards of Honour, by Lois McMaster Bujold.
18.21: Current fuel: cola and candy bracelets. Still reading Shards of Honour. Amazed by the number of comments on my mini-challenge! Can’t take part in this hour’s challenge since most of the books I have here are ebooks.
19.02: Just finished Shards of Honour. It was a reread for me, and I liked it a lot more than I did the first time. Might have to wait until after the ‘thon to find the words to review it, though I normally review as I go. For the name-your-readathon challenge, hmm: Agents of Honour and The Old Ways. Because why not?
20.30: I’m now reading The Old Ways, by Robert MacFarlane, since I don’t think I want to be reading non-fiction much later in the ‘thon! My partner’s been napping, already, tsk. Can’t do this hour’s challenge, as I have no physical books here, and I don’t want to mess up my partner’s books or the library books, or expose them to the dangers of the bunny. Even if it is the bunny’s naptime.
21.37: Paused for dinner, which was nachos and cheese and chilli and noms. Partner’s cooking always the best except maybe my dad’s. Still on The Old Ways. Bunny still napping. Here’s my signed book picture for the mini-challenge — Lifelode, by Jo Walton. Among Others is marginally more precious to me, but Lifelode is signed to me and my partner, which is why I took a picture of it to show her after spending the day with Jo out on the moorland near Swansea. We’re both big fans.
22.56: Finished reading The Old Ways, and reviewed everything so far. Not sure what I’m going to read next; partner’s going to be going to bed soon, but she’s letting me keep the main light on, whew. Otherwise I’m sure I would end up sleepy.
Even still, I can imagine getting tempted in the chill of 5am to squirm into bed next to her. Let’s hope the bunny can keep me awake!
00.07: I’m now reading Rose Daughter, by Robin McKinley. Partner’s gone to bed, so now I’ve got her chair. Not sure I won’t sleep, but I do want to at least finish Rose Daughter.
01.13: Nearly finished with Rose Daughter, and then I think I am going to curl up with my partner. If I can’t sleep, I’ll get up and read more; if I can, well, I have a con to go to and quite a bit of work to do, tomorrow, so I should get rest if I can.
1. What are you reading right now? Robin McKinley’s Rose Daughter. 2. How many books have you read so far? Four. 3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I think I was looking forward to Rose Daughter most! But perhaps A Song for Arbonne, on the train tomorrow or if I can’t sleep. 4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Not really. My partner’s understanding of the readathon, and the bunny can be pet while I’m still reading. 5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? Perhaps how print-orientated the challenges are. It’s not the only way to go, guys! Some book lovers don’t collect; some book lovers aren’t at home. It makes me feel a little left out, honestly.
01.46: Finished reading Rose Daughter, now. I’m not so tired I have to go to bed, but five books is a good amount and I do have a busy day tomorrow, so I’m going to have a quick shower and then scurry to bed. If I can’t sleep, it’ll be A Song for Arbonne keeping me company.
09.56: About to go to the con! Reading A Song for Arbonne on the train, I think. Or maybe The Crystal Cave.
19.04: Back from the con and settled down after doing some work. I started my rereads of both A Song for Arbonne and The Crystal Cave; I’m getting on better with the latter now than I did before, though Misogynistic Merlin is my least favourite flavour.
I’ll do a draw for the winner of my mini-challenge tomorrow morning and send them an email ASAP. For now, thanks to everyone in and running the readathon!
Which hour was most daunting for you? None, I just did what I could and then chose to go to bed.
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Honestly, it’s different for everyone. But maybe Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce books would suit a pretty wide audience: they’re fun, but not too heavy.
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Fewer challenges focused on physical books.
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Everything seemed to run pretty smoothly.
How many books did you read? I finished five and read a bit of two more.
What were the names of the books you read?Galapagos, by Kurt Vonnegut; Loki: Agent of Asgard by Al Ewing; Shards of Honour, by Lois McMaster Bujold; The Old Ways, by Robert Macfarlane; Rose Daughter, by Robin McKinley. And part of The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart, and A Song for Arbonne by Guy Gavriel Kay.
Which book did you enjoy most? Probably Rose Daughter; it’s a familiar favourite.
Which did you enjoy least? I didn’t really dislike any of them.
If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? N/a.
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Reader, along with running a mini-challenge, methinks.
Readathon time! It doesn’t seem like it’s been long since the last readathon, but here we are again with the event coming up on Saturday-Sunday of this weekend. Naturally I’ve been working on my stack and trying to decide what to read. For once, I’m actually at my partner’s flat in Belgium for the readathon, which means a) I’ll probably be up for the whole thing because I have chronic insomnia here, and b) I only brought my ereader with me, no dead tree books. On the other hand, I have comics to borrow and a whole stack of library books too, so it’s not as though I’m short of reading material.
-Robin McKinley, Rose Daughter.
–Lois McMaster Bujold, Shards of Honour.
-Guy Gavriel Kay, A Song for Arbonne.
–Mary Stewart, The Crystal Cave.
–Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park.
–Keri Hulme, The Bone People.
-Robert MacFarlane, The Old Ways.
–Kurt Vonnegut, Galapagos.
-James Morrow, This is the Way The World Ends.
Comics: -Loki: Agent of Asgard.
What have you recently finished reading? Mindstar Rising, by Peter F. Hamilton. I think it was his first novel, according to the back of it, so I might try something from his later stuff, but this didn’t impress me that much. It was aaaaall about the male gaze, as well: the first thing we know about female characters is whether they’ve “let themselves go” or how young and nubile they are. Ugh. So in the end, not impressed.
What are you currently reading?
Some of the things I’ve been featuring on this list for a while are quite big books, so they don’t go on the bus with me, etc. So The Vanishing Witch (Karen Maitland) and Tomorrow and Tomorrow (Thomas Sweterlitsch) are still in progress…
My reading in the clinic is currently Gwenda Bond’s Blackwood, which works for the Strange Chem reading month, and which I’ve had for a while. Because of it, I ended up on Wikipedia last night reading up about Roanoke, Croatoan, and then all sorts of missing persons stuff — though I did also read about the genetic testing being done to see if the lost colonists actually assimilated with the local Native American tribes, which is more plausible than some theories, and quite interesting. I want to know what they find!
At home, for ARC August, along with the others I’ve also picked up Marcus Sedgwick’s A Love Like Blood. I’ve been slightly spoilered for the ending by an injudicious review, but I don’t have a great problem with spoilers, so I don’t mind too much. It’s interesting, though very similar in tone to other books in the genre in many ways.
Aaaand from my epic library clean-up, I’m reading Jurassic Mary: Mary Anning and the Primeval Monsters (Patricia Pierce), which is very interesting, although there’s a lot about the various men in the profession who overshadowed Mary Anning, which I regret a little in a book that wants to cast light on her.
What will you be reading next?
As usual, heaven knows, but Strange Chem-wise, I think I’m going to fiiiiinally read Stolen Songbird, and that also covers ARC August as well. Even if the “advance” part is kind of dead in the water, I still received it as an ARC and I feel obligated to get round to it.
Library-wise, I think it’ll be Sarah Canary (Karen Joy Fowler), which will also cover my ten-new-to-me SF Masterworks goal.
Today’s Thursday Thoughts, as hosted by Ok, Let’s Read, is on the topic of “readathons”.
Have you ever participated in a read-a-thon? If so, which one was it and what was your experience? If not, do you want to participate in one? Do you like the idea of read-a-thons? What’s your strategy going into a read-a-thon or a period of time where you just plan to make yourself read more than normal? Are there any tricks you use to encourage yourself during read-a-thons?
I love doing readathons, actually. I’ve already hosted one hourly challenge for Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon, and I always look forward to that event coming back round. Invariably, I read more than usual on that day, though I’m not quite sure why that does the trick, but planting myself firmly with books just for fun doesn’t (most of the time). I mean, it’s an activity I enjoy, so… brains, who understands ’em?
My problem in recent years has been that between my medication and my anxiety, it’s both hard to stay up and usually inadvisable. Quite often I’ll end up with intrusive thoughts, scared of random noises, etc. So lately I just read until I’m sleepy and then sleep, despite how much I’d like to keep participating.
When we’re talking less concentrated readathons, e.g. the Strange Chem one that’s coming up or ARC August, I… intend very strongly to do it, and then get distracted, usually. I need more intensive poking and prompting to keep to the goal. It helps for a week or two, but then I spot a new shiny and get distracted.
I’m already signed up for one readathon this August, but hey, what’s one more…
I know that there’s a couple I must get to, because they’re being released soon or have already been released.
Carrie Patel, The Buried Life. Mostly I just need to get round to reviewing this, but I do have a bit to finish up and I want to read back over it a bit.
Kameron Hurley, The Mirror Empire. I need to give this one some serious time, I think from what I’m told!
Joe Abercrombie, Half a King. I’m just gonna make an awkward guilty face here, ‘kay?
Karen Maitland, The Vanishing Witch. I may finish this before August, but I do have a busy couple of days ahead.
Thomas Sweterlitsch, Tomorrow and Tomorrow. Ditto.
Felicity Pullman, I, Morgana. Because Arthuriana!
José Alaniz, Death, Disability and the Superhero. I already have this started, but I know I wouldn’t finish it before the start of August. It’s tough going in that it’s very academic.
Jen Williams, The Copper Promise. This is a somewhat random pick from my teetering piles, on the grounds that I’ve seen it around.
Edgar Cantero, The Supernatural Enhancements. Random pick based on it being one of the most recent e-ARCs I’ve received.
W.B.J. Williams, The Garden at the Roof of the World. Because this is the ARC I’ve had longest, and I’ve been finding the look of it somewhat daunting.
I will probably not stick solely to this list, especially since I’m doing Strange Chemistry reading month too and I still have books they gave me to read, but it’s a start. In fact, I’m gonna make this list a to-do goal on HabitRPG, just to give me that bit more of a kick in the butt. (HabitRPG is great. Addiction, I have it. Check it out if gamifying your life, including small tasks, sounds good.)
Hey everyone, and welcome to the hour 16 mini challenge! I hosted one last time before I had this blog, and now I’ve got a permanent bookish home it’s great to welcome you all back. Last time we had a guessing game, but this time I thought I’d do something a bit more interactive to give you all a bit more of a change from reading.
It’s pretty simple:
Turn to page 35 in your current read.
Find sentence #3.
That’s the first sentence of a little piece of writing! It doesn’t matter if that’s a short story, a poem, the introduction to something bigger… anything creative counts. Bonus points if you make it a totally different genre to your original read!
Leave the piece of writing in a comment here, or link to it in the comments here.
I’ll pick someone at random to pick a book up to £10 in value from The Book Depository. So make sure you leave your email for me so I can get in contact with you, or you won’t be able to pick your book!
So, for example, I’ll just grab the closest book… The Bone Season (Samantha Shannon). And the sentence is: “I realised with a start that I was naked.” So here’s my little piece of writing:
I realised with a start that I was naked. That was the first thing — the fact that I was naked under the light sheet, and the quality of the light was somehow different to my own room back at home. I could hear someone moving around, careful and quiet. My chest tightened a little, and I turned my face further into the pillow, feigning a sleepy mutter.
“I know you’re awake,” he said. I knew his voice.
“It’s me, sunshine.”
It was, too. It was his voice, and his nickname for me. The only trouble was, Sam had been dead three years. I didn’t open my eyes, just burrowed deeper into the pillow, trying to figure things out. He was waiting, just standing there, waiting for me to say something. If I hadn’t said anything… But hindsight, you know what they say about that. “Why are you here?”
He came across the room, and a cold hand touched my shoulder. “I’m here for you.”
Which takes a sentence completely out of context from a fantasy book I haven’t yet read and turns it into what is the beginning, or maybe the entirety, of a horror story.
So hey, whatever your writing skills, give it a go! It’ll give your brain a nice change from all the reading. This challenge will run for five hours, to give everyone a good chance to join in. I hope the rest of the ‘thon treats you well!