my master post for Dewey’s Readathon April 2018…

Pregame:

–The Pool. As usual, it’s far larger than it has any need to be. But, options. And I’m thinking about approaching things a little differently. Instead of working my way through entire books, I may be a bit more of a dipper this go round. I *love* the “read a million pages” goal for this installment of Dewey’s Readathon! And I think Dewey would have loved this idea, which makes it sound even more special. And counting pages over counting books finished makes dipping sound all the more enticing.

  • The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science by Natalie Angier. Have this one on the go already, and would like to read the next-up chapter, the one on chemistry.
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin. While I’m not as terrified of classics as I once was, I know myself well enough to realize that I still tend to take them slowly. So I’d like to at least get a start on this one, with the hope that I will finish it up in May.
  • Pandemic by Sonia Shah. Another non-fiction selection, but one I haven’t yet started. I likely won’t read this entire book during the readathon, but I suppose it’s not out of the question. I’ve previously read Shah’s The Fever, and found her writing very accessible and compelling, so it’s possible I won’t want to put it down.
  • Good Bones and Simple Murders by Margaret Atwood. I currently have this checked out from the library. It’s a collection of short pieces, and should be perfect for slipping in between other books.
  • Stargirl by Jerry Spinneli. Something about Dewey’s Readathon tends to make me crave middle grade and YA fiction. Should that craving strike, I’ll be prepared.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling. Rich and I are currently rereading this one on audiobook, so there’s a chance we could find some time for this. Since we have a physical copy, it will be easy enough to keep track of the number of pages.
  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara. I’m also listening to this on audiobook, and should I spend any time with it this readathon, I think I can figure out the page count by looking at the table of contents on Amazon.
  • The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang. I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina, Stacey Robinson, and John Jennings. SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki. The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks. Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani. Comics for the win. Of course.
  • The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey. I threw this one in the pile because I get the impression that it is gripping reading, and thus may work well to keep me awake for a bit longer before giving in to that inevitable call of the slumber gods. Back during the first couple readathons with Dewey at the helm, I fought to actually read the entire time, but these days…yeah, just doesn’t happen.

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–Cozy clothes are set out. Including socks. And backup socks.

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–Foodstuffs. I don’t think it needs to be said that this is pretty much as important as the books. Variety is key as we want to make sure we’re prepared for any mood. Rich is running out in the morning to stock us up so no picture yet, but these are some of the possibles/probables:

  • fruit salad
  • donuts
  • cheese and crackers
  • chips, rotel dip, salsa
  • nuts
  • pizza
  • coffee
  • tea
  • pop
  • lots and lots of ice water

–My reading buddies this year include both Rich and Max. Yay Max! This is akin to a miracle, if we’re being honest here. And of the non-human variety, the most likely lap buddies include one wild hound, one needy cat, and one sweet/mischievous guinea pig (not all at once, as the wild hound considers all others “lunch”).

–And finally, I’ve got my bullet journal pages set up.

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Wrap up:

–Books read in full or part:

  • Finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban reread with Rich. But we only had one chapter left to finish…
  • Finished The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. Was a little less than halfway through before readathon began.
  • Started and finished Good Bones and Simple Murders by Margaret Atwood. A short story collection.
  • Started and finished I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina, Stacey Robinson, and John Jennings. The best graphic novel I’ve read this year. I cried through much of it.
  • Read one small chapter of The Canon by Natalie Angier. Despite the fact that her writing is accessible and humorous, it was still incredibly slow reading for me. Not the best choice for readathon.
  • Started The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey.

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–Notes:

  • I am still and forever the slowest reader on the planet, clocking in only 648 pages, despite only sleeping for 4 hours (2:30-6:30am).
  • Unsurprisingly, I have fucked with the improvement I was starting to feel with this flare up. I knew it would happen, and I’m not going to stress about it. Also thinking I managed to catch the boys’ cold.
  • Loved having a fire for most of the day.

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  • And really loved having Rich and Max reading with me much of the time!

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  • I feel enormous amounts of gratitude to Andi and Heather for all the hard work they put into keeping Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon alive and thriving! And am grateful too, to all those who generously donate their time to help Andi and Heather. I don’t doubt for a second that Dewey would be proud of what it’s become.
  • And finally, my heart feels simultaneously full to the brim for having had Dewey as a dear friend and missing a vital piece in her absence. I will love you and miss you forever.

my tbrs for upcoming readathons and beyond

It’s just plain fun to put together reading piles, despite the fact that I have a horrible record of actually sticking to them.

So first up, is the Spookathon, hosted by three new-to-me book tubers: Books and Lala, Paige’s Pages, and Bookerly. It runs from October 16–October 22. Very laid-back, non-stressout-able. They have 5 challenges this year, but overlapping of books for more than one challenge is not just acceptable, but even encouraged. And interpretation of challenges is flexible, so everyone can somehow make the challenges work for them.

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  1. Read a thriller. For this I chose The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook. For the simple reason that I impulsively checked it out from the library.
  2. Read a book with a spooky word in its title. I’m going with See No Evil by Eleanor Taylor Bland. I adore the Marti MacAlister mystery series. And I actually started this book several months ago, but it got set by the wayside (likely because of school, though I don’t honestly remember). I will be starting it over from the beginning.
  3. Read a book inspired by a childhood fear. Well, the only two childhood fears I can remember having were fear of the dentist (and I sure as hell don’t want to read about dentists as that fear is still too strong…yeah, I’m being serious) and fear of rats (brought about when my cousin chased me with a dead rat). I’ve somewhat overcome this fear, though maybe not entirely. I’m also afraid of bridges and drop-offs, but I don’t remember being so as a child, so rats it will be. And thus my pick for this challenge is the non-fiction Rats: Observations on the History & Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants by Robert Sullivan. It is a bonus for me that I needed to read this book sometime in the coming months anyway for homeschooling.
  4. Read a book with orange on the cover. I could have doubled this one up with challenge 2, but I’m being extravagant and picking another book. My pick is Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo. Largely because I’ve been dying to read this book anyway, and my library hold on it just came in.
  5. Read a book with a spooky location. For this one, I’m going with The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton. I first heard of this book from Dewey…

Next up, and overlapping with Spookathon is Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon. This readathon is such a mix of emotions for me. Dewey was a much-loved friend. And you never stop missing people you love, no matter how many years its been. I participated in that very first readathon 10 years ago. To say I have fond memories of those first few 24-hour readathons when Dewey was alive would be an massive understatement. Our friendship grew well beyond books, but the 24-hour readathon always stirs up such a pile of overwhelming feelings. Yes, joy, in the fact that her “baby” still lives and thrives thanks to Andi and Heather. But also, the never-ending sadness of not having Dewey in my life always seems more acute around readathon times. My surprisingly small tbr pile (I usually make hugely extravagant piles to choose from) for Dewey’s Readathon this year features books that specifically are linked to Dewey in my mind.

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  1. The Maternal is Political edited by Shari MacDonald Strong is a book that Dewey sent me.
  2. Freak Show by James St. James is a book that I immediately went out and bought after Dewey reviewed it.
  3. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket is actually a book I’ve read before. In fact, I read the first six books in this series before giving up. But Dewey convinced me that I needed to give the rest of the series a chance, that the reasons for my quitting in the first place would soon be resolved. So I’ve long planned to start the series over and actually complete it.

Overlapping the tail end of Dewey’s Readation in the Autumn Readathon, hosted by book tuber Mercy’s Bookish Musings. The Autumn Readathon runs from October 22 to October 28. Mercy has come up with 4 main prompts, and 2 bonus prompts for this readathon.

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  1. Read a gothic/spooky book. I’ve chosen My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due. I started this book a while back haven’t gotten far. Not because I’m not enjoying it, but because this horrid reading slump I’ve been in for the past several months. Worst reading slump of my life…and I’m hoping so damn much that all this readathon fun will be the thing that finally pulls me out of it.
  2. Read a non-fiction book that has an autumnal feel to it. Going with Dark Banquet: Blood and the Curious Lives of Blood-Feeding Creatures by Bill Schutt. Another book I’ve previously started but that got set aside. Will be starting it over.
  3. Read a book set in a cold location. I’ve chosen The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas. Largely because I need to read this sometime soon anyway for homeschooling. And it does sound wonderful.
  4. Read a historical fiction novel. And for this one, I’ve chosen The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. A book I’ve been wanting to read for ages. Adored, adored, adored Fingersmith and loved The Night Watch even more. Definitely past time for some more Sarah Waters in my life.
  5. Read a short story collection. Going with The Migration of Ghosts by Pauline Melville. I honestly have no idea what these might be like, the blurbs on the book don’t give much of a clue. I just know that Eva really enjoyed Melville’s novel The Ventriloquist’s Tale.
  6. Read an adult novel featuring a young female protagonist. And for this prompt, I’ve chosen The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi.

And one last TBR list…books that aren’t included in my readathon picks, but that I would love to read/finish soon.

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  1. Zodiac by Robert Graysmith. I’ve owned this book for several years. Gray actually borrowed it and read it. But I hadn’t been compelled to pull it off the shelves and read it myself until I watched the movie last week. Usually I won’t watch a movie until I’ve read the book, but I’ve found that in a few instances it’s actually the movie that gets me off my ample bum to read the book. (Another example of this would The Lord of the Rings.)
  2. The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy by Raj Patel. Started this early this year…as much as I’ve been enjoying it, it’s been slow going…really would like to finally finish it.
  3. The Sibyl by Par LagerkvistCurrently reading this one for school. Not quite sure what I think of it yet, but I need to finish this one for later in the week.
  4. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Because I really need to read it before the movie comes out (am planning to visit Annie so we can go see it together).
  5. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. Because my audio hold came in from the library.
  6. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. Because this audio hold also came in at the library. It really does seem to be feast or famine, the way holds come in.

So yeah, lots and lots and lots of reading. Much of which I won’t actually get to over the next few weeks, but dreaming is always nice…