For some reason, while I was getting my books together for the Readathon yesterday, I had “The Final Countdown” stuck in my head. Remember that? And now it’s probably stuck in your head too. (Sorry.)


Just about 24 hours left before the Readathon! I spent yesterday choosing my go-to pile of books. Inadvertently, I seem to have chosen a color theme:

Readathon 10-10

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster: I’ve never read this childhood classic! It’ll go quickly, plus it has pictures. And then I won’t get any more “You haven’t read The Phantom Tollbooth??” comments.

The Reader by Bernard Schlink: This one’s denser fiction, but it’s short, with not a lot of text on each page. Plus, I’ve been meaning to read it forever.

A Most Improper Magick by Stephanie Burgis: This newish YA title has been waiting for me since I picked up an advance copy through work a year ago. From what I’ve heard, it’s quick historical fiction with some magic and romance mixed in.

The Report by Jessica Francis Kane: Fresh from the library, this new historical fiction title was so highly recommended by Jen from Devourer of Books that I must read it soon!

Something Missing by Matthew Dicks: A recommendation from trusted coworkers at my old bookstore job, this novel follows an OCD criminal who only steals little things from his clients (like, a few Advil and a can of soup) that no one will notice are missing. It sounds light and fun, which I think are probably good when you’re reading for 16+ hours straight!

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri: I’ve been wanting to read this collection of short stories ever since I read Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth. And I’m thinking short stories will be a nice break.

Housekeeping vs. the Dirt by Nick Hornby: I read and absolutely adored The Polysyllabic Spree (seriously…adored), and this is the next in the series of Hornby’s compiled Believer articles. I found Housekeeping vs. the Dirt at Half Price Books last weekend and just about yelped with glee. The articles are short, intelligent, and witty. I will be taking breaks as needed for a good dose of Nick Hornby.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green: This is another YA novel, but more contemporary. Another quicker read, without the fantsy / magic / etc. elements of my other two YA-ish novels.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini: I needed a book set in Afghanistan for October’s World Party Reading Challenge theme. Since I just picked this one up at a fantastic library sale, I thought I’d give it a go.

Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko (audiobook): This one isn’t pictured above, but ironically, its cover is also blue. If I need a break from reading, I’ll be listening to this. I’m already halfway through it, though, so if I need another audiobook, I’ll be turning to…

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (audiobook): I’ve meant to read this classic forever, so when Sheila at Book Journey recommended the audio version read by Christopher Hurt, I immediately requested it from the library. If I don’t get to this one during the Readathon, I’ll be listening to it soon after. (If you’re wondering, it’s box is black plastic, but the label is all red and orange. Good thing it’s not pictured, because it would totally throw off my color scheme.)


Whew! So that’s it. There’s no way I’ll get through even half of those, but I’d rather have options than be underprepared. Have you read any of these? Are they good choices? Should I make last-minute emergency switches?

I’ll be posting short updates throughout the day, though I haven’t figured out yet at what interval. Probably when I need breaks! I’ll also be cheering others on as part of Team Hyperbole for at least an hour. Blogs named “I…” thru “Jenn…” — I’ll be seeing extra of you on Saturday! I’ve already written you a limerick, heh heh heh…

Have fun everyone…I’m looking forward to readathon-ing with you!

Join the Conversation


  1. So many posts about Readathon, I’m thinking I should really getting planning for tomorrow – I forgot it was so soon! I’ve now got The Final Countdown in my head too…

    I haven’t read any of the books on your list but I’m interested in reading John Green’s work sometime, in particular the one you’ll be reading. Best of luck!

    1. I’m guessing I’ll get to the John Green, since I’ll probably end up wanting lots of YA. I’ve heard good things!

      I wasn’t planning to do much planning, and then all these Readathon posts kept popping up with book choices, strategies, etc. laid out in detail. I figured I’d better plan something!

  2. You’ve got few books on my tbr pile in that stack. I’ll be interested to hear how you liked A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Reader, and Interpreter of Maladies.

    1. Those are three I’ve really been hoping to get to. I doubt I’ll get through all of them tomorrow, but going through my books for the Readathon reminded me which ones I’d like to prioritize!

    1. Ooh! What time is your mini-challenge? I’m supposed to go to bed around midnight, but if your event isn’t too late, I could probably get away with staying up 🙂

      The mini-challenges are the one piece of the Readathon I still don’t quite get. I’m guessing I’ll figure it out once they start happening!

  3. Nice choices, I loved Unaccustomed Earth so i’m looking forward to see what you thing about Interpreter of Maladies. Hope you enjoy the read-a-thon, happy reading!

    1. Lahiri has such a lovely style, doesn’t she? Thanks…I’m really looking forward to a day devoted to reading!

    1. Have fun cheering! I’ll be doing that for an hour or so, at least. I think it’ll be fun. See you tomorrow!

  4. Looks like a great list! I have only read A Thousand Splendid Suns and it’s quite sad and made me angry too. I think it’s one to read towards the beginning of the read-at-thon.

    Good luck tomorrow, I’ll hopefully see you around. I wonder who’s cheering the “L”s. 🙂

    1. Hmm, sad and angry…maybe I should read it just after the readathon instead of during! I don’t want to be depressed for the rest of the day…

      Thanks, you too! I’m not sure, but I know someone is 🙂

    1. Excellent! I was thinking of opening with that one…it’ll go the fastest, I think, which will be inspiring!

  5. Great choices! I’ve never read Phantom Tollbooth. There are lots of children’s classics that I missed. I loved Thousand Splendid Suns. Better than Kite-Runner. I’ve always wanted to read Abundance of Katherines.

    1. I didn’t much care for The Kite Runner, so I’m definitely hoping A Thousand Splendid Suns is better! Everyone — and women especially — has told me it was their favorite of the two. I’ll be sure to report back about Phantom Tollbooth and Abundance of Katherines!

  6. I liked “A Thousand Splendid Suns” better than “the Kite Runner”, although they are both very good.

    And I love, love, love Nick Hornby! perfect read-a-thon material. Definitely his essay collections would be– so far I’ve only read one of his novels (About a Boy).

    1. Oh check out his nonfiction…the three collections of Believer essays. AMAZING!! I really need to check out his fiction. Just as soon as I finish savoring these essays!

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