Oct. 2014 Readathon: Finish Line!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-A-Thon is a bi-annual readathon, hosted at 24hourreadathon.com, where readers and bloggers get together and read for 24 hours, sharing their experience with others.

Well, guys, how did everyone do?  I failed, miserably. I think this was my worst readathon!  But I'll be back!  I have to make sure this doesn't happen again!

Here are my answers to the End of Event Meme:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
Hour 16.  That's when I was falling asleep while reading, and decided to go ahead and take a nap in hour 17.  But that was a mistake.  I should have had some tea and tried to stay up a little longer!  Instead, I woke back up right at the start of hour 18, and then went right back to sleep.  When I woke up again, readathon was over!  :(

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I think the shorter the book, or the quicker the read, the better for readathon. You'll feel more accomplished when you get that first book read and move on to the next.  At least, that was my theory this time, and it didn't quite work out for me, seeing as I didn't even finish one book! :(

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Nope!  I think it's great the way it is!

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
Everything!  Except for my participation, that is.  I just really failed at readathon this time!

5. How many books did you read?
I didn't finish any. :(

6. What were the names of the books you read?
The Battle for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi.  A great book, but unfortunately I only got through page 175.  I'm hanging my head in shame...

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
Well, that would be The Battle for WondLa, since that was the only one I read. But I love that series, so even if I read a few other books during readathon, it probably would have still been my favorite.

8. Which did you enjoy least?

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
I was not a cheerleader this year, but I hope to be able to do it sometime!

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I'll be participating each time, as long as I can.  With another baby on the way, I don't know if I'll be able to participate in the one next April, but maybe I'll be able to be back for the October one next year!  I'll always be a reader, but one day I'd like to be a cheerleader, and also host a mini challenge.

Thanks again to all the organizers and volunteers!  You guys rock!  And great job to all the readers!  I may have failed this year, but I'm still glad I participated.  It was still lots of fun!

Oct. 2014 Readathon: Updates & Mini-Challenges

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-A-Thon is a bi-annual readathon, hosted at 24hourreadathon.com, where readers and bloggers get together and read for 24 hours, sharing their experience with others.

Instead of writing several posts, I thought I'd just keep all my updates and mini challenges on one page, with separate posts for the Opening Meme and the End of Event Meme.

Hours 1-6

Book(s) read: None yet
Thoughts on current read: Haven't started anything yet! Eek!
Total books read so far:  None
Pages read:  None
Total pages read so far:  None  
Amount of time spent reading:  None  
Total time spent reading so far:  None

Notes:  I woke up at 5 am, which is the kickoff time for the readathon in my time zone. Tried to go back to sleep. Finally got up around 6. Wrote my starting line post, messed around on the internet, took a shower and went to breakfast. The diner where we went is always packed so we were there for about an hour and a half.  Came home and hour 6 was already over!  I need to get going on this!!

Hours 7-12

Book(s) read:  None finished yet
Thoughts on current read:   I'm loving The Battle for WondLa so far, but I wish I hadn't waited to read this one for so long, because I don't remember a lot of book 2 in the series.
Total books read so far:  None finished 
Pages read:  136
Total pages read so far:  136  
Amount of time spent reading:  2.5 hours  
Total time spent reading so far:  2.5 hours

Notes:  Why, oh why did the blogger/author drama have to happen today? I swear I've spent way more time on Twitter than I have actually reading.  I did also take a nap during this 6-hour block and also had some snacks and things. But I need to really start reading if I'm going to finish this book today!

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?
The Battle for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi

2. How many books have you read so far?
I haven't finished any today.  I've only read 136 pages so far!  Yikes!

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
I just hope I can stay up and that I can get this book finished.  I wanted to finish two books today but now I'm just hoping I can get the one finished.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Yes.  I didn't read at all for the first 6 hours because I was still half asleep, and because I went to breakfast with my family, and because of the blogger/author drama I saw on Twitter in like hour 2 of the readathon.  And I've gone back to Twitter and gotten re-wrapped up in the drama a couple of times, so I'm apparently not handling the interruptions well. But I hope I can have a bit more discipline for the rest of the readathon.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
Well, there's not much really different about the readathon from the previous ones I've done, but it surprises me that even on a day devoted to reading, I can always manage to find other things to do instead of read!  One of these readathons I'm going to be able to ignore the distractions and just read the whole time!  One day!! 

Hours 13-18

Book(s) read:  None finished
Thoughts on current read:  Still loving The Battle for WondLa!
Total books read so far:  None finished
Pages read:  39
Total pages read so far:  175  
Amount of time spent reading:  1 hour
Total time spent reading so far:  3.5 hours

Notes:  During this block, I read for 30 minutes, took a break to make dinner, eat dinner, and put the kiddo to bed, and then I read for another 30 minutes. Then I fell asleep, during the 17th hour.  Woke up right at the start of hour 18, and then went back to sleep.  When I woke up, readathon was over! So I basically totally failed this readathon.

Hours 19-24

Book(s) read: None finished
Thoughts on current read:  I was asleep during these hours...  
Total books read so far: None finished
Pages read:  None
Total pages read so far:  175  
Amount of time spent reading:  None  
Total time spent reading so far:  3.5 hours

Notes:  I wish I had been able to stay up into this block, but it just didn't happen this year.

Mini Challenges  

I only did the Opening Meme and Mid Event Survey (see above).  Will do the End of Event Meme on a new post.

Other participants I've visited:
None!  I really didn't get ANYTHING done this readathon!  Sorry guys!  I wanted to visit lots of you!

Prizes I've won:
None.  But that's okay!

Official Read-a-Thon page

I adapted this template from Irish at Ticket to Anywhere.  Thanks, Irish!

Oct. 2014 Readathon: Starting Line!

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-A-Thon is a bi-annual readathon, hosted at 24hourreadathon.com, where readers and bloggers get together and read for 24 hours, sharing their experience with others.

Good morning, everyone! (Or good afternoon or night, whatever time it might be where you are!)  I'm starting late, but I think this might be the earliest I've ever started readathon!  I found myself awake at 5 this morning (which is the readathon start time for my time zone), and I tried my hardest to get back to sleep but it just didn't happen. So I finally got up around 6 and have been doing a few things online, but now I'm ready to get down to this readathon business!

So here is my book pile for this readathon:

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
The One by Kiera Cass
Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter
The Battle for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi

I really wanted to stick with short books and/or quick reads this year.  Most of the times I've done readathon, I've been in the middle of a book or I've had to focus on review books, and this time I'm glad I've been able to choose which books I'd like to read.

My main goal is to read all of The Battle for WondLa and A Wrinkle in Time. I think these two books will be my quickest reads, and I'm hoping I can get both of them read and then start a third book today.  But I'm such a slow reader that I just really hope I can get both of them read.

And here are my answers to the Opening Meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Washington State, USA

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
The Battle for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi.  I LOVED the first two books in the series and I can't wait to read this one!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
I'm actually most looking forward to my breakfast.  Last year during readathon, I talked the hubs into going to this local diner for breakfast, and it was so good and gave me such great energy for the day.  And today we're going back!  But it's currently around 7 am here and the hubs and kiddo are still asleep.  So it'll be a little while until we go out for breakfast!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
If you don't follow me regularly (and even if you do--I've been kind of slacking in my posts lately), you might not know that I'm pregnant with my second child! I'm currently 20 weeks (halfway there!) and we're having a boy.  I have a 5 year old boy who is very excited to meet his little brother in March!  This is the first time I've done readathon while being pregnant, so I'm hoping it won't affect me too much!

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 didn't participate in the April readathon, but I have participated in several previous readathons.  Today I've started things off with a different type of reading pile--one that isn't review books or big books that will be hard to tackle!  I think small, quick reads will really help me get a lot accomplished today!

Good luck to everyone who's participating!  I hope to visit lots of people who are participating today, and I will try to respond to every comment that I receive!

Mini Review: Jackaby by William Ritter

Monday, October 13, 2014
Title:  Jackaby
Author:  William Ritter
Series:  Jackaby #1
Publisher:  Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date:  September 16, 2014
Pages:  299
Format/Source:  ARC/From publisher, via BEA
Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery
“Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion--and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)

It took me a long time to read Jackaby.  Granted, I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and it was not a fun first trimester, so I wasn't reading much of anything.  But for several reasons, Jackaby took me FOREVER to read.  Overall I enjoyed it, but I had some issues as well.  So I just wanted to write a mini review where I share what I liked and what I didn't like about the book.

What I Liked:

  • I LOVE both of the TV shows referenced in the synopsis (Doctor Who and Sherlock), so I did enjoy that this book was like a mashup of the two. However, I did have my issues with that fact as well (see below).
  • I like how, when Abigail had tried to disguise herself as a boy, no one was buying it.  Too often in fiction women disguise themselves as men and no one notices obvious things.
  • I liked learning more about mythical creatures, like the banshee. I, like some of the characters in the book, thought it was like a siren, but it's not.
  • I thought it was funny that Chapter 13 was omitted.
  • There were some nice twists, even though I did know who the main bad guy was from very early on.
  • I think the story started getting good in the middle, and kept getting better. 

What I Didn't Like:

  • Like I said above, I LOVE Doctor Who and Sherlock, so I did like that this book was similar to those stories.  But at times I felt like Jackaby was TOO much like the Doctor, or TOO much like Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock. I also pictured Abigail as Clara, the Doctor's current companion, whom I HATE, so I really didn't like Abigail at times.  And I pictured Jenny as Jenny from Doctor Who (Madam Vastra's wife), but that didn't really bother me, because I liked both of the Jennys.
  • At times the writing seemed forced and stilted, and therefore hard to read. And in the beginning it seemed like there was way too much detail.
  • And like I said above, there were some nice twists, but I felt like it was way too easy to figure out who the main culprit was.

My rating for Jackaby by William Ritter:

More like 3.75 stars.  The story was interesting and it did get better, but I felt like Jackaby was a bit TOO much like the Doctor and Sherlock at times and it bothered me.  I might pick up the sequel, I might not.
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Algonquin

Disclaimer:  I received this ARC from the publisher, via Book Expo America, in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way for this review.

Stacking the Shelves (57)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme, hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews, where bloggers can share the books and bookish items that we've bought, borrowed, or received each week.

This StS is for the past two weeks.

Kindle Freebie
Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
I can't remember who posted online that this was free on Amazon, or even where I saw the post, but thanks to whoever it was!

What did you guys get this week?  Let me know, or leave a link to your StS post (or IMM or any other alternative) in the comments and I'll try to stop by your blog!
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