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Spring into Summer Read-a-Thon: Updates & Minichallenges

Sorry for the double post today! If you’re looking for the Reading Buddies wrap-up for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, just scroll down a bit…it’s the next post in line.

Today at 10am EST I start the Spring into Summer Read-a-Thon! Hosted by Enna Isilee of Squeaky Books, the event lasts for 36 hours and involves, of course lots of reading! I’m participating this year as a mid-semester reward. I just passed the half-way mark in my summer classes, which included turning in a big paper, and I feel I’ve earned a day and a half of immersion in books.

This post is where I’ll keep track of my progress and participate in minichallenges. I’ll update it throughout the event.

And now the ever-important question…what will I be reading?? Well. I have a couple of books I’ve been saving just for this weekend:

  • Spring-into-Summer Readathon BooksWhen She Woke by Hillary Jordan: I cannot wait to start this new novel from the author of Mudbound. It has been calling to me ever since the kind people at Algonquin sent a copy my way! I’m tingling with anticipation.
  • Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon van Booy: I requested this one through NetGalley. Van Booy is the author who made me realize I do actually like some short stories. His collection Love Begins in Winter is one of the loveliest things I’ve read. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with a novel!

I also have a few Reading Buddies books to work on:

  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese: We’re wrapping this one up a week from today.
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell: My book group chose this one for July, and a few people were interested in reading along with me!

Then there’s my current audiobook, which is Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. I love audiobooks during readathons because they give you the flexibility to get up and move around while continuing to read.

I know those are all pretty heavy books, but I don’t plan to stay up reading into the wee hours of the morning. I can’t afford to, with class awaiting me next week! But I do plan to spend most of my waking hours reading, and it shall be glorious.

And with that, I’m off to start reading!


Friday:

Update #1: 10am EST

Total Books Read: 0
Total Pages Read: 0
Books Read Since Last Update: 0
Pages Read Since Last Update: 0
Total Time Read: 0

Update #2: 3pm EST

Total Books Read: 0
Total Pages Read: 121
Books Read Since Last Update: Working on Cutting for Stone. Loving it, but it’s not one to hurry through. So…my stats look sad!
Pages Read Since Last Update: 121
Total Time Read: 2:54
Total Time Listened: 0:33

Update #3: 8pm EST

Total Books Read: 1 (well, I’d started it before the readathon, but I just finished it!)
Total Pages Read: 295
Books Read Since Last Update: Cutting for Stone. Fantastic book.
Pages Read Since Last Update: 174
Total Time Read: 7:07
Total Time Listened: 0:33

Update #4: 11pm EST

Total Books Read: 1
Total Pages Read: 414
Books Read Since Last Update: Started When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
Pages Read Since Last Update: 119
Total Time Read: 9:16
Total Time Listened: 0:33

Report #1:

  1. What is the favorite thing you have read today?Cutting for Stone was amazing. When She Woke is shaping up to be really good too, though…I think I picked some winners!
  2. Which mini-challenge was your favorite? I didn’t participate in any of them (too distracted by my books!), but I loved looking at the Wordles. Those are always fun.
  3. What has been your favorite thing about the read-a-thon? I like that it’s a little longer than some of the others. It feels more relaxed to me. As fun as it is to read all night, it’s also nice not to feel guilty going to sleep!
  4. What has been your LEAST favorite thing about the read-a-thon? Hmm, nothing so far!
  5. Are you on track to meet your goals? I didn’t really set any, except to read some configuration of the books I picked out. So, by that standard, yep.
  6. Will you be participating tomorrow? Do you have any new goals? I will be participating, though I’m not sure for how long. I’m going to a used book sale in the morning, and then I’ll probably at least try to finish my current book and maybe start another. Specific goals stress me out, though, so I’m resisting the urge to set them.

And with that, I’m off to bed!

Saturday:

Update #5: 10am EST

Total Books Read: 1
Total Pages Read: 455
Books Read Since Last Update: working on When She Woke by Hillary Jordan (which is SO. GOOD.)
Pages Read Since Last Update: 41
Total Time Read: 10:01
Total Time Listened: 0:33

In other news, I’m off to a used book sale with my husband. Back to reading this afternoon!

Update #6: 3:30pm EST

Total Books Read: 1
Total Pages Read: 565
Books Read Since Last Update: still working on When She Woke by Hillary Jordan (still SO. GOOD.)
Pages Read Since Last Update: 110
Total Time Read: 12:01
Total Time Listened: 0:33

Minichallenge: Name one book you think should be taught in school, grade of your choice.

Answer: Okay, I hate to copy Enna Isilee, but I have to choose The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It would be a high school book, definitely. I think it’s an amazing book, one that shows the horrors of the Holocaust as well as the perspective of a German family struggling with what was happening around them. It also has a unique narrator, which could make for interesting discussion. I think it’s one of those rare books that could be approached from a few different angles, plus it’s absorbing, unlike some books you end up reading in high school!

Update #7: 8pm EST

Total Books Read: 1, plus finished two I’d already started
Total Pages Read: 615
Books Read Since Last Update: Finished When She Woke by Hillary Jordan (it was AMAZING, now I need to reread The Scarlet Letter) and The Snow Whale by John Minichillo (which I’d started pre-readathon…now I need to read Moby Dick!) and started Feed by M.T. Anderson
Pages Read Since Last Update: 154
Total Time Read: 14:53
Total Time Listened: 0:33

Update #8: 10pm EST (The End!)

Total Books Read: 1, plus finished two I’d already started
Total Pages Read: 656
Books Read Since Last Update: listened to some Brooklyn while cleaning up after dinner, then read more of Feed by M.T. Anderson
Pages Read Since Last Update: 41
Total Time Read: 15:40
Total Time Listened: 0:58

Report #2:

  1. Stats are above!
  2. What is your favorite book you read during the read-a-thon? The only full book I read was When She Woke by Hillary Jordan, which was fantastic. I also finished Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, which was excellent as well.
  3. Did you participate in any mini-challenges? Which ones? Only one, about a book I’d like to see read in high schools
  4. Which mini-challenge was your favorite? The Wordle, alias, and book title sentences, even though I didn’t do them!
  5. What has been your favorite thing about the read-a-thon? As I said in the last report, I loved that it was a little longer than most readathons. It felt less rushed.
  6. Are you satisfied with how much reading you got done? Did you do more than you expected? Less? About what I’d expected. I’m satisfied. I had some books I’d been wanting to read, and a couple of them weren’t really good readathon material (dense, slow to get through, requiring lots of thought and concentration), but that’s ok.
  7. What did you think of the updates? Too close together? Didn’t like the time limit? I liked the every-two-hours updates, though I didn’t check every two hours. It was nice that, any time I did check in, there was a new post.
  8. If you could change one thing about the read-a-thon, what would it be? Probably the starting time. My schedule now allows it, but in the future it won’t. It’d be easier to have an event start on a Friday evening.
  9. Would you participate in another read-a-thon hosted by Squeaky Books? Why or why not? Yes! I like readathons, and I had fun and got lots done during this one, so I’d participate again (schedule permitting, of course).
  10. Any last comments on the read-a-thon? Thank you, Enna Isilee, for organizing! You did a fantastic job!
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  • http://www.knittingandsundries.com Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

    Cutting for Stone – I can’t believe I haven’t bought it yet. Mudbound is one that I have on my to-buy list for next month, since a reading group is reading it, and everyone seems to love it, so her next book should be just as great! You have some awesome books in your list; good luck!

    • Erin

      It’s definitely worth having! Mudbound was phenomenal, and the new one (When She Woke) from Hillary Jordan is completely different but also amazing. She’s extremely talented! I hope your book group finds Mudbound is a good one for discussion. I bet you will.

  • http://loveyalit.com Em (Love YA Lit)

    I’m really curious to hear what you think of When She Woke. Sounds interesting. Do report back!

    • Erin

      Oh, oh, oh, SO good. Still trying to figure out what I want to say in my review, and considering rereading The Scarlet Letter and reviewing them together. Definitely one for the wishlist!

  • http://www.elle-lit.blogspot.com JP

    Glad to see you enjoyed Cutting for Stone! I haven’t read it yet, but I want to!

    I’m also excited for Mudbound… I should have my wish granted on PBS.com for it this week! Can’t wait to see what you think :) Happy reading!

    • Erin

      I did, very much! I’m glad I finally got around to it. Mudbound is an excellent book. When She Woke is very different, but also very good. Jordan is such a versatile writer, it’s amazing!

  • http://www.knittingandsundries.com Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

    Like you, the books I picked for the readathon were not quick reads, but books that I’ve been wanting to read for some time, and that totally kept my interest. You did a great job, and your reading list added to my wishlist! :)

    • Erin

      It’s completely opposite from how I normally do readathons, but it worked! Glad it worked for you, too. And, I’m always happy to contribute to others’ reading lists! :-)

  • http://perduedansleslivres.blogspot.com virginie

    I’m looking forward to reading your review on Hillary Jordan’s book! I am still reading Cutting for Stone (150 pages to go!), which is really an interesting and gripping novel!

    • Erin

      It was excellent, I’m just trying to figure out now what I want to say about it, how to express how wonderful it was in words! I’m very glad you’ve enjoyed Cutting for Stone. I’m so glad we ended up doing it for Reading Buddies or else it’d still be on my to-read shelf!

  • http://booksnyc.blogspot.com Colleen

    uh oh – for some reason I have the Cutting for Stone readalong on my calendar for August. Maybe I can squeak it in before you finish the readalong – I already have the book on my iPad.

    • Erin

      Oh, no! I’m sorry! When I first started Reading Buddies I did have to tweak the schedule a bit, and Cutting for Stone might have been one of the books that got reshuffled. I’m going to try to be better about reminders. I started out not wanting to pester people, but it seems like maybe reminders will help keep everyone up to date. I hope you do read Cutting for Stone, and soon — it was excellent! And I’d be happy to discuss it with you whenever you get to it :-)

  • http://sophisticateddorkiness.com Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

    Looks like you had a good time. I’ve wanted to read Cutting for Stone, but I ran out of time to do it this month with Reading Buddies — bummer!

    • Erin

      I did! Do read Cutting for Stone anyway, it was excellent. :-)