Thoughts on “The Gracekeepers” by Kirsty Logan

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan came to me through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program.

About the Book:

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan cover (erinreads.com)

Sometime in the unspecified future, the seas of Earth have risen. Great cities are now completely under water, and all that remains of the land are tiny islands scattered throughout the vast oceans. Earth’s population has sorted itself into damplings (who live in perpetual motion on the sea) and landlockers (who make their homes on the precious remains of the land). The two groups are wary of one another at best, and customs have evolved to keep them separate from one another.

We meet North, the bear girl in a ramshackle dampling circus, as she tries to keep a secret that threatens to upend her life. We meet Callanish, a private and mysterious landlocker who lives alone in a sea-bound house along the Equator, carefully concealing her own secret and struggling to face her past. She earns her meager living as a gracekeeper, laying to rest in the sea the dead who are brought to her. North and Callanish are worlds apart — but there is something that binds them together, too.

My Thoughts:

I had high hopes for The Gracekeepers. There’s a quote on the back of the ARC from The Independent that claims Logan “brings to mind Angela Carter, or Atwood or Winterson at their best.” I have not read Carter or Winterson, but I have read plenty of Atwood. My thoughts were along the lines of: Really? Margaret Atwood? And not just any old Margaret Atwood, but Atwood at her best? Behold, my skeptical face:

Erin's skeptical face (erinreads.com)

It’s possible these lofty claims ruined the book for me from the start, but I don’t think so.

When Margaret Atwood writes a novel — and I am thinking here of her dystopian MaddAdam trilogy in particular, of which I am very much a fan — the society in which it is set is complete: history, culture, belief system, the works. Its tendrils reach far and wide, pulling together the context necessary to create a stunningly believable world. By comparison, Logan’s world felt thin — a meager broth instead of a rich and intricate stew. I kept waiting to hear more about how things had gotten to be the way they were. Planet covered in water? People living on boats? Ancient rituals of the landlockers? Logan would drop a hint, then never return to the topic, and I found this flavor of omission to be frustrating. The world of The Gracekeepers is bleak enough that it’s not a place I wanted to spend time if I wasn’t also either watching the plot unfold (more on that in a moment) or learning about this world of Logan’s.

Along with the lack of sufficient explanation, I had a major gripe with the pacing. The book was slooooow until about 90% of the way through. There was a lot of subtle tension-building going on that didn’t really get us anywhere. Things stayed largely the same until, near the end, they sprang into motion. Then they happened almost too quickly — suddenly everything was completely different, the seemingly unsolvable problems had been solved, and I found myself sitting there thinking, Wait…what?? In a way, most of the book felt like introduction to me…and then it was over, the messiness swept away and the remains tied neatly into a bright tableau.

Also? I got tired of hearing about circus people’s relationship to glitter (in their veins, under their skin, etc. etc.). Cool imagery the first couple of times, but eventually one needs to find a new image.

The book certainly wasn’t all bad. In fact, there were a lot of promising aspects. For instance, the premise is pretty cool. The fact that the novel didn’t do enough to satisfy my curiosity about the history and cultures of this new world and its inhabitants means the premise piqued my curiosity in the first place. The story is imaginative, too, and unlike anything else I’ve read; I particularly appreciated the way in which Logan described what various permanently floating existences might look like. And though many of the characters seemed a little flat and I didn’t care what happened to most of them, I did like North. She was, to me, the most human of the lot, and I wanted to see her happy.

The Verdict: Mediocre

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan certainly had its redeeming qualities, but overall I found it dissatisfying on several points. I’m sure there are many readers out there who will love it, but it won’t be making it onto any favorite lists of mine. I will, however, be curious to see what Logan comes up with next and hope to see her develop as an author.

Your Turn!

What books have you read that had the potential to be fascinating, but that failed (in your eyes) to sufficiently build enough context around the story to really succeed?

Monthly Musings: March 2015

Monthly Musings: March 2015 (Erin Reads)A year and change ago, shortly after I’d returned to blogging (the time before this one, heh), I instituted something called Monthly Musings. It was meant — as you might imagine — to be a sort of end-of-month summary and reflection. Sadly, I only did one of them.

I like the format, though. Individual reviews help me remember specific books, but zooming out a bit to look at a month (or more) at once gives a different sort of perspective. So I’m giving them another go!

Reading

Here’s what happens when I stop blogging: I forget what I’ve read. Books pass through my awareness without making much of an impression. Or at least, their titles don’t stick. Sad, really. (One of the many reasons I’m back to blogging!) But let’s see if I can remember what got read in March. (Hopefully April will see proper reviews of all of these written up and posted.)

Prodigal Summer and The Gracekeepers (erinreads.com)

I started with Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver. I was partway through when March began, and it was a slow (albeit incredibly enjoyable) read for me. I’ve found I can’t rush Kingsolver’s writing. I was a little surprised by how much I liked this novel — though I should’t have been, given how much I liked Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and The Poisonwood Bible (also by her).

Eventually, Prodigal Summer took up residence on my nightstand and my daytime book became The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan, an Early Reviewers ARC from LibraryThing. Review to come, but suffice it to say I was not a huge fan. It was a quick read, though, and therefore a nice complement to the Kingsolver.

Runaway and Desirable Daughters (erinreads.com)

I’ve been trying hard to read from my own shelves, so next I picked up Runaway, a collection of longish short stories by Alice Munro that crossed my path at a semi-recent library sale. It was my first by Munro, and honestly…not my favorite thing. (Why do I feel like I’m supposed to love Alice Munro? Isn’t it weird how we get these ideas stuck in our heads? Or am I the only one??)

I finished Runaway just a couple of days ago and have since been tearing my way through Desirable Daughters by Bharati Mukherjee. I didn’t love her later novel Miss New India so much, but I’m liking Desirable Daughters. Lots of culture and family dynamics, plus a bit of a mystery nestled in among all the other bits.

Listening

Audiobooks suffer the same fate as their printed counterparts when I stop blogging. But here are at least a couple of the audiobooks I spent time with in March!

Driving the King & The Count of Monte Cristo (erinreads.com)

I started Driving the King by Ravi Howard on our trip to Hawaii in the first week of March. Actually, to be honest, I drifted off to sleep with it playing in my headphones on the plane — not because the book was boring (far from it) but because I was exhausted (up at 3am for an early flight)! I restarted it when I got home and really enjoyed it. The main character is solid, and the reader is fantastic. Another LibraryThing Early Reviewers book, still to be reviewed.

Then, because my digital hold came in at the library, I started the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo, written by Alexandre Dumas (who apparently had crazy hair) and read by John Lee — all 45+ hours of it! I think I’ve made it a third of the way, perhaps. It’s very good — surprisingly good — but I’ve run out of time on the hold, which for some unknown reason is only two weeks for digital titles. Back on the list I go.

Writing

There hasn’t been much writing on this site lately. The only thing I’ve posted in 2015 was a recent Sunday Salon entitled Why Blog? in which I talked through my own blogging journey and my reasons for blogging. I’d love to hear about yours, if you’d care to share.

I did, however, spend a few days (during Bloggiesta, though I didn’t realize it at the time!) redoing this site. Goodbye, blue and orange. Hello, purple and red and grey!

Miscellany

I love book bloggers and readers. You guys are the best. Thank you for still being awesome, despite my recent blogging flakiness.

Your Turn!

That was my March. How was yours?

Sunday Salon: Why Blog?

The Sunday Salon (badge)

Today, in my first post of 2015 — first in a good five months, actually — I’d like to tell a bit of a story.

A Tale of Three Blogs

Erin Reads was the very first blog I started, way back in 2008. I mean, I’d done the LiveJournal thing and all, but this was my first proper for-public-consumption site.

And I had no idea what I was doing.

Fortunately, this awesome community of ours is ridiculously welcoming, and I gradually found a style, a rhythm, and a place in the broader constellation of book blogs. I made friends, participated in events (speaking of which, Readathon sign-ups are live!!), even managed to secure a few advanced reader copies to review. I loved it so much. And blogging for pleasure was all I’d known.

Laptop and mouse on a table (erinreads.com, photo by markus spiske via Flickr)

Fast-forward to 2012, when I started my second “real” site: Remade By Hand (RBH). I started it at a point when things felt like they were shifting, and I wanted a new place to follow that feeling as it unfolded. As I felt my way along, the posts started to get more personal, to feel more vulnerable. It’s hard, finding the line between what you’re ok with sharing and what’s too much. It’s a very individual thing. And when your whole life is up for inclusion, you have to make the decision over and over again.

At the same time that I launched RBH, I found myself connecting with a different sort of community: one of online small business owners. Terms like “content strategy” and “call to action” worked their way into my vocabulary and my thoughts. I started to think about the audience I was writing for, to learn the best way to format a blog post for readability, to pick up tricks for writing snappy headlines that would get people to click on my posts. I explored the art of writing sales pages and web copy. Most of it felt fake to me, disingenuous — and luckily, since I wasn’t selling anything, I really had no reason to worry about all that stuff.

But it was there. It’s hard to unlearn something once you’ve learned it, isn’t it?

Then, later that year, I finally had a reason to implement all this new knowledge: I launched my editing services, adding them to RBH. Now that I had something to sell, I started trying to be a little more intentional, to take tiny stabs at doing things the way I was “supposed” to do them according to the world of internet marketing. I attempted to make a plan, a schedule, to try various techniques and tactics.

Bleh.

I hated it. I hated having to wrap my thoughts in a veneer of salesmanship, to make sure everything I did had an ulterior motive, to think twelve steps ahead and lock myself into a plan. I hated it so much that I stopped blogging, unable to reconcile my personal blog with the professional stuff I’d tacked on to it. I hated it so much that I finally split my services off onto their own website and let RBH revert back to its own quiet self.

RBH was never about selling. It was about self-expression and spanning the miles between people in a way only the internet can do. And trying to give it a different goal backfired in a big way.

But with the new site, I had a place that was all commerce from the start. I wrote a few posts that served double duty: helping readers and furthering my own commercial interests. I had a posting schedule. I had a series of articles mapped out and partly drafted. I was doing it RIGHT, dang it.

Until, very quickly, I wasn’t.

Notebook, pen, and laptop (erinreads.com, photo by derya via Flickr)

It turns out there’s no love for me in writing articles to particular specifications. I know people who quite happily only do that. I know others who flip comfortably between writing for themselves and writing to teach and sell. I can do the latter when I have to, but I don’t like it.

To me, writing is an act of self expression. Plenty of people write to persuade, or sell, or disclose, or contradict, and why shouldn’t they? Those are perfectly legitimate uses. But that’s not me. I write to process and organize my thoughts, and I write to connect with other people in a genuine way. (Even when I work with clients, these whys are at the heart of what I do.) I say what I want to say, in the way I want to say it. It’s an art, of sorts, and even the simplest sentences can feel like soul craft. Writing has never been a tool to me, to be wielded one way or another depending on the desired outcome. And when I forced it to become one, I lost my love for it.

What Became of Them?

The blog on that third site is gone now, replaced by a list of articles (once posts). Maybe I’ll add to it. Maybe I won’t. Here’s the thing: I finally realized I don’t need to produce “content” to run my business. I have a handful of wonderful clients I love working with. They know where to find me. And if a friend of theirs gets into writing a book or needs help with website copy, my clients are quick to bring up my name. I lucked out with them. They don’t need “content” from me. And I finally realized I needed to adjust my actions accordingly.

And RBH? I haven’t written on it since the day I unveiled the new services-based site. It’s dormant, for now. There’s too much ick still there for me to know what to do with it. The muck has to settle, and then maybe then I’ll be able to see more clearly.

Which brings me back to Erin Reads.

Heart-shaped book pages (erinreads.com, photo by Kate Ter Haar via Flickr)

Yes, I’ve had my bouts of burnout here. I’ve pushed myself too hard, posted for no good reason, slipped into trying a thing or two to achieve an end I didn’t actually want. It’s had its dormant spells, too — once when I turned my attention to starting RBH and again more recently, when I simply fell out of the habit of reviewing the books I’d read. And sometimes now I find myself falling into marketing habits, looking at this blog the way I learned to look at writing meant to sell.

But really, this site is pure. It’s never been a commercial enterprise. It lets me bare one part of my soul without grappling with how much to reveal in this ever-more-public age we live in. And it allows me to talk books with other readers — one of the things I love to do most.

I need to keep reminding myself of that.

There is a point to all this, I promise.

Here it is: Know your intentions, your why. When you sit down to write a post (or anything else, for that matter), know why you’re doing it. Is it to share your opinion? To connect with other people? To grow your blog readership? To make a name for yourself? To sell something? Some combination of those, or something completely different?

There is no right or wrong answer, of course. We all have different goals. But if you’re working toward a goal that doesn’t really matter to you, you’re going to meet burnout, and frustration, and disappointment. I’ve done it — twice. Both times I fell hard out of love with what I was doing. And even now, as I think about coming back to Erin Reads, sometimes my plans and ideas run away from me.

Everyone else is doing readalongs…I should coordinate something! Maybe I should bring back Reading Buddies!!

Do I need a posting schedule? Without one, will I post enough?

Holy cow, there are so many new bloggers I haven’t met. I need to reorganize my Feedly AGAIN so I can keep up with everyone!

Is there anything wrong with these thoughts? Of course not. I’d love to get into readalongs again (and really enjoyed hosting Reading Buddies). Posting schedules have, at times, worked for me (though they’ve also accelerated burnout at times). And yeah, there are a LOT of bloggers I haven’t met! (If you’re one of them and you happen to stop by, introduce yourself, would you?) But my, how quickly the pressure edges in when I start to let my mind run its circles — all before I’ve even posted a review this year.

Remember, self:

You blog because you love it. You blog to have a record of what you read, to engage more deeply with books, to keep them from slipping away as soon as you’ve turned the last page. And you blog to talk about books you’ve read (or want to read) and related topics with fellow readers. Start there. Add and subtract as feels right. But never, ever lose sight of your core, your reason, your why.

(If you haven’t guessed it yet, this advice is at least as much for me as it is for you. Keep me honest, will you?)

Now let’s get back to talking books!

Your Turn!

What are your core reasons for blogging (or other writing), whether you write about books or something else?

Photos adapted from the CC-licensed work of markus spiske, derya, and Kate Ter Haar.

Dewey’s Readathon Updates: October 2014

ReadathonWell I said I wasn’t planning to be up for the start of the Readathon, but here I am! (Though I have to say, I miss my leisurely east coast start time…)

Update #1: 5am PST

Kickoff Meme

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

Bay Area, California. *yawn*

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Oh goodness. They all look so good. Probably The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, read by David Pittu, which will keep me company through cleaning, cooking, a walk, and possibly a few other audiobook activities throughout the day. (I’m already three discs in and hooked!)

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

I will be making myself a big bowl of homemade popcorn at some point, I have no doubt. YUM.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

Ack, open-ended question! Um, I like to read…a lot, heh. Fiction of most stripes is my favorite, and I love audiobooks. I’m a knitter and a quilter once the weather gets cold. I live outside of San Francisco with my husband and my cat (who is wondering why I’m up so early!), though I grew up in Ohio.

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?

Well, for starters, I’m up on time! I liked what I did last time — didn’t push myself too hard, took a long walk with an audiobook in the middle of the day, got lots of good reading done. I wish I’d been a little more social, though, so maybe this time I’ll try to be around more.

Updates to follow, once I’ve…you know…had a chance to read something.

And with that, The Goldfinch and I are off to make a hearty Readathon morning breakfast. Happy reading!

Update #2: 6:15am PST

Breakfast is done (buckwheat pancakes with strawberries, a cup of tea, and The Goldfinch on audio), and now I’m settling in to work on Not Fade Away by Rebecca Alexander.

Mini-challenges:

  • Usually I wait a bit and do a couple of mini-challenges at once (or else I get no reading done), but this time I couldn’t resist jumping in. I did the Coffee or Tea? challenge over at Fig and Thistle! I’m #TeamCSLewis all the way on this one. Here I am with my first big mug of rooibos of the day:

Erin with a big mug of tea

Update #3: 9:25am PST

I’ve been reading pretty solidly, and now it’s time to clean the house (BOO). Thank goodness for audiobooks!

Stats:

  • Currently reading: I just finished Not Fade Away by Rebecca Alexander, which I’d started before today’s event. I think I’ll be moving on to Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar next.
  • Currently listening to: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. This one will last me through the Readathon and beyond (26 discs!), but it’s excellent.
  • Running total of pages read: 122
  • Running total of time spent reading: 2 hours, 37 minutes
  • Running total of time spent listening: 55 minutes

Mini-challenges:

  • First up: Shelfie! Here’s the “novels to keep” section of my shelves:

Three shelves of a bookcase

  • My Quotable Quotes selection from my galley of Not Fade Away by Rebecca Alexander:

“People tend to get so stuck in the unhappiness of their lives because at least it’s familiar, and they find comfort in the discomfort because at least it’s predictable and what they know. Breaking that cycle requires you to face your fears, to explore the unknown and to let yourself be afraid and vulnerable.”

  • Here’s Book Staging for Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar, which is about the sisters Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell:

"Vanessa and Her Sister" galley on top of a notebook and "A Writer's Diary"

Update #4: 1:15pm PST

Cleaning is done, lunch has been eaten, and I made good headway on The Goldfinch, which is enthralling. I’ll be switching gears for the next chunk, going back to reading.

Stats:

  • Currently reading: I’m about to start Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar.
  • Currently listening to: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Running total of pages read: 122
  • Running total of time spent reading: 2 hours, 37 minutes
  • Running total of time spent listening: 3 hours, 5 minutes

Mini-challenges:

  • For the Show It Off mini-challenge, I’ve got my signed galley of Fire by Kristin Cashore. This series is hands-down one of my very favorites. I have the other two books in hardcover, though…so of course, I have two copies of Fire: one hardcover and one signed galley!

Signed galley of Fire by Kristin Cashore

  • My <140-character cheer for they day: Read the day clear away! Nighttime, too — read on through! Feeling tired? Let’s get wired! Books galore, read some more! <insert pompom shaking here>

Update #5: 4:25pm PST

After a short nap and an hour or so with Vanessa and Her Sister, I’m about to head out for a nice long walk, The Goldfinch playing on my iPod. It’s a lovely sunny day, and I’m looking forward to being outside!

Stats:

  • Currently reading: Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
  • Currently listening to: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Running total of pages read: 202
  • Running total of time spent reading: 4 hours, 34 minutes
  • Running total of time spent listening: 3 hours, 14 minutes

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now?

I’m about a hundred pages into Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar, about Virginia Woolf and her siblings.

2. How many books have you read so far?

I’ve only finished one, and it was one I’d started before the event: Not Fade Away by Rebecca Alexander. I’m definitely a slow reader!

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Snacks. For some reason, I’ve been saving the stuff I’m looking forward to — popcorn and mug cakes and Brussels sprouts (yep, I know I’m a weirdo with that last one!) — for the second half.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

No interruptions. I did clean, but I listened to an audiobook, so that counted as reading time. I also got super sleepy around 2pm, so I took a short nap. No sense in falling asleep every fourth word!

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

How quickly it’s going by! That always surprises me. The early morning hours stretch out so leisurely, and then suddenly the event is halfway over.

Mini-challenges:

  • I couldn’t resist doing the second half of the Beloved Books mini-challenge! Here are five of my absolute favorite kids’ books, mostly from my childhood. Can you name them?

Five kids' books with their titles covered up

Update #6: 7:15pm PST

Walk and a snack with The Goldfinch, and now I’m settling in to read again. I can feel the sleepiness hovering…another nap might be in order!

Stats:

  • Currently reading: Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
  • Currently listening to: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Running total of pages read: 202
  • Running total of time spent reading: 4 hours, 34 minutes
  • Running total of time spent listening: 5 hours, 44 minutes

Mini-challenges:

  • I went with red, black, and white for my Color Cover mini-challenge. Some of my favorites, too!

Red, black, and white book covers in a square

Update #8: 10:30pm PST

Losing steam…which means my reading pace is getting even sloooower… At some point, I’ll switch back to audio and work on a quilting project. But I have a little more reading in me, I think!

Stats:

  • Currently reading: Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
  • Currently listening to: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Running total of pages read: 296
  • Running total of time spent reading: 6 hours, 24 minutes
  • Running total of time spent listening: 6 hours, 19 minutes

Mini-challenges:

  • For the Pet Parade challenge, here’s my readathon buddy…totally conked out. At least she’s still keeping me company, sort of!

Cat sleeping next to a book

  • My Mad Lib comes from Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar:

I am hula-hooping in the postage-stamp garden behind this crumbly hotel drinking a margarita from a handle-less blue cracked bowl. John Travolta is painting on a bluff overlooking the harbour. I should be painting, or reading Dr. Seuss under a plane tree, but incriminatingly, I am doing our household accounts. They pass to the silliest woman in our family. Mother, Stella, and now me.

Update #9: 2:15am PST

I’ve been listening to The Goldfinch (thank goodness it’s so long!) and working on a quilt for the past chunk of time. I’ve pretty much switched to audio from now until I collapse in a sleeping heap, I think — too tired to process written words! This is waaaaay later than I’d planned to participate, though, so yay there. Three more hours to go…

Stats:

  • Currently reading: Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
  • Currently listening to: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Running total of pages read: 331
  • Running total of time spent reading: 7 hours, 6 minutes
  • Running total of time spent listening: 8 hours, 49 minutes

Update #10: 3:15am PST

Aaaaaand I’m done. I could make myself stay up, quilting and listening for another two hours, but then I might not wake up in time to watch football. Tradeoffs! Such an awesome event — thank you to the organizers and cheerleaders and prize donors and hosts and all my fellow readers. You all rock, seriously!

Final Stats:

  • Reading: Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
  • Listening to: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Total number of pages read: 331
  • Total of time spent reading: 7 hours, 6 minutes
  • Total of time spent listening: 9 hours, 39 minutes

Update #11: The Day After

End of Event Meme

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Probably 2-3pm PST, actually, so…hour 10? I had to take a nap…couldn’t keep my eyes open.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

I found The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt on audio to be really engaging, and the reader is excellent. I listened more than I read this time around, I think in part because I was so absorbed in the story. And I was glad I didn’t have to keep finding new audiobooks — I had plenty of listening with The Goldfinch to last me through the event and beyond.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Not off the top of my head. It’s an awesome event, and I’m so grateful to everyone who participates!

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

I know it’s not a new thing, but I love the hourly post format: a little text, a video or gif, a list of active mini-challenges, and door prize winners. The consistency makes it super easy to pop in, see what’s going on, and then jump back into reading.

5. How many books did you read?

I finished one that I’d started before the event and got through about two thirds of another. I also listened to half of The Goldfinch (which is 26 discs long!).

6. What were the names of the books you read?

Not Fade Away by Rebecca Alexander, Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar, and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, read by David Pittu

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

Honestly, they’re all excellent. I think this is the first readathon where I haven’t had a clear favorite or least favorite.

8. Which did you enjoy least?

See previous question!

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

I wasn’t. I used to cheer every time, but lately I’ve just wanted to curl up on my couch and read the day away. But I so appreciate the wonderful cheerleaders!

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

Very, as long as my schedule works out. I love this event. I’ll probably just be a reader again next time. We’ll see.

Sunday Salon: Readathon Excitement!

The Sunday Salon (badge)How is it possible that Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon is happening this Saturday already? It caught me off guard, but still, I’m thrilled. The Readathon is one of my favorite events of the year.

The Plan

In April, I did a few things I plan to repeat this time around:

  • I have zero things scheduled for the day (other than reading, of course!). That means I’ll be reading or listening as much as I can, with a little socializing thrown in as needed.
  • I most likely won’t be up and reading at 5am. Last time was my first Readathon from the west coast, where start time is…well, three hours earlier than the leisurely 8am it was when I lived on the opposite side of the country! Getting a full night’s rest means I’m more alert throughout the day, which (I discovered last time) is a good thing.
  • I’ll use a single updates post that I’ll…uh…update (surprise!) throughout the event. That way no one gets bombarded by a million posts, and everything is together in one place. (Here’s last time’s updates post, if you’re curious.)
  • I’m keeping my book list short. I used to collect a whole pile of books so I’d have options. Last time, though, I had just a handful I really wanted to make progress on. I’m doing that again — see below!

I know plenty of people get special snacks and such for the day, but I never quite manage to think that far in advance. I do know, however, that I’ll be doing most of my reading from my favorite spot on the couch. It’s about as perfect for reading as it could be. I have a couple of quilting projects going as well, so I’m sure I’ll do plenty of listening.

The Books

I always make sure I have at least one audiobook (for walks, cleaning, cooking, etc.) and a few print books of various difficulties pre-selected. Here are my selections for this round:

My October 2014 Readathon Stack

  • Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
  • Delancey by Molly Wizenberg
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (on my TBR Pile Challenge list… #11 of 12!)
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, read by David Pittu

I may also read one of the ebooks I’ve been accumulating on my tablet. I don’t love digital reading, especially for long periods of time, but…we’ll see.

The more I look at these picks, the more excited I am to dig in. All four of these intrigue me!

What about you?

Will you be participating in this Readathon? What do your plans for the day look like?