Sunday, October 19, 2008

Read-a-thon: End of the Event

Well, the Read-a-thon is over. It has actually been over four 4 hours. With about an hour and a half left, I got too frustrated and I went to bed. Nothing could hold my attention, which I understand, after reading for 22 + hours. I tried reading short stories on the internet, but that was even worse than the 2 books I had! I was very torn between trying to stick it out and just going to bed. After I went to bed, I couldn't go to sleep because I was thinking about how I could have made it the whole 24 hours! Anyways...I tend to obsess sometimes! I am really glad I participated this time. It was so much fun knowing lots of other people out there were reading at crazy times in the night. Thank you to everyone who stopped and left a comment! And thank you so much to the organizers of the read-a-thon! What a lot of work it must have been, but what fun it was to participate!! :)

My totals:
Total number of pages read:823
Total time spent reading: 825 minutes (13.75 hours)
Number of books completed: I completed 3, but I was almost half way through one of them when the event started. I now am partway through 2 more.

End of the Event Survey
1. Which hour was most daunting for you? hour 23--I couldn't concentrate on anything!
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Rebecca was really great!
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I am just so impressed with the organization and the hard work of the hosts! The only suggestion I have would be to have a list of the mini-challenges ahead of time, so we know which ones we want to participate in a what time they start and end.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? all the main posting on Dewey's blog...It was nice to have one source for everything.
5. How many books did you read? I read 2 entire books, and parts of 3 books
6. What were the names of the books you read? Rebecca, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Anatomy of a Boyfriend, Cannery Row, The Historian
7. Which book did you enjoy most? Rebecca and The Scarlet Pimpernal
8. Which did you enjoy least? Anatomy of a Boyfriend, although Cannery Row was a TERRIBLE choice to be reading in the wee hours of the morning when I was tired.
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? n/a
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I would definitely consider participating again next time as a reader!

Read-a-thon update: hours 21 & 22

The sun hasn't started to rise yet, but I'm thinking it will pretty soon as it is 5 am here in San Antonio, TX (the above picture was found here). My reading has slowed down dramatically. I find that I am having to read the same paragraphs multiple times to try to comprehend. I really don't feel super tired, but I am tired of reading. I think I'm going to try to read a short story or two for this mini-challenge. Normally, I don't really like reading stories or books on the computer, but I need a change of pace!

In the last 2 hour period, I read 59 pages in 77 minutes, bringing my totals to:
Total number of pages read: 823
Total time spent reading: 810 minutes (13.5 hours)
Number of books completed: 3
Number of mini-challenges entered: 4--freerice, Walkin' and Snappin' and Library Cat Challenge, Carl's RIP challenge

Read-a-thon update: hours 19 & 20

(This picture has absolutely nothing to do with the read-a-thon. It just seems like a good random picture to post!)

With only 4 hours left, I can't decide what to do. I started reading The Historian, and after 55 pages, I had to put it down because the story was getting a little too scary. So, I began reading Cannery Row. I am now 13 pages into it, and I realize that this is not a good book to be reading at 3 am, when I have been reading for 20 hours. I had to re-read pretty much every paragraph! This is exactly what I was worried about! If I was at home, I would have lots of other books to choose from. I guess after taking a little break to update and blog, I'll try both books again. If neither of them work out, I may have to call it quits a few hours early. We'll see...

Total number of pages: 764

Total time spent reading: 733 minutes (12.22 hours)

Number of books completed: 3

Number of mini-challenges entered: 3--freerice, Walkin' and Snappin' and Library Cat Challenge

Read-a-thon update: hours 17 &18

So I just finished the most un-me book I've read in a long time. It wasn't all bad, but not a book I would ever pick up on my own, or recommend to anyone else to read. Now, I'm left with two books. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck or The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. If I read Cannery Row now, I'll probably still have time to start The Historian before the read-a-thon is over. However, if I read The Historian now, then I can join in Carl's mini-challenge. Hmmm...what should I do?

In the last 2 hours, I read 138 pages in 85 minutes (thanks to reading YA lit), bringing my totals to:
Total number of pages: 697
Total time spent reading: 654 minutes (almost 11)
Number of books completed: 3
Number of mini-challenges entered: 3--freerice, Walkin' and Snappin' and Library Cat Challenge:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Read-a-thon update: hour 16

I am posting after only one hour instead of my normal 2 hour posts for 2 reasons: 1. I'm having a hard time sitting still and 2. I want my posts to be ending on an even numbered hour. Does that make me weird? Maybe I'm just getting loopy! Hubby just went to bed, and even though I'm not very tired (yet), the soft bed does sound a bit inviting. Eight more hours sounds like a long time right now, but the first part went by so quickly, I'm thinking the last part will too!

My book is making me highly uncomfortable right now. I've blushed more than once, and I'm sitting in the living room all by myself. Why am I still reading it? Because I'm halfway through now, and I am able to read so quickly that I want to feel that nice sense of accomplishment when I'm finished. I have a feeling the uncomfortablness (I don't think that's a word) is going to get worse though.

Total number of pages: 559
Total time spent reading: 569 minutes (about 9.5 hours)
Number of books completed: 2
Number of mini-challenges entered: 3--freerice, Walkin' and Snappin' and Library Cat Challenge:

Read-a-thon update: hours 14 & 15

The entire 14th hour was spend at dinner with my husband, so no reading or blogging was done. It felt really nice to get out of the house and go somewhere different for a little while. I started Anatomy of a Boyfriend, and I don't think I could have picked a more opposite book from the one I just finished. It is a little shocking to me, but I'm going to keep reading it for the time being, since the author sent me the book herself. Since it is YA, it is pretty fast reading, which is nice! In 50 minutes, I read 69 pages, bringing my total stats to:

Total number of pages: 511

Total time spent reading: 526 minutes

Number of books completed: 2

Number of mini-challenges entered: 3--freerice, Walkin' and Snappin' and Library Cat Challenge

Read-a-thon update: hours 12 & 13

I can't believe the half-way mark has already passed! I'm posting a little early, as I just finished a book, and am about to go to dinner. I missed the window to be entered for the drawing for the survey, but it's still fun to participate!

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? I just finished The Scarlet Pimpernel, I think I'll start Anatomy of a Boyfriend next
2. How many books have you read so far? 2
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? probably The Historian--if I am awake enough to comprehend what I'm reading
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? nope! My hubby had to work all day, so it was easy. This evening will be a little more difficult to read/blog.
5. Have you had many interruptions? a few--lunch and football How did you deal with those? I enjoyed them!
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? The time is FLYING by! I am handling sitting and laying down for hours on end way better than I thought!
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Everything is very well organized. It might ruin the surprise, but it would be nice to see a list of mini-challenges and what times they will be held before the read-a-thon begins. That way, I could plan ahead better about when I'm going to get online.
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I think I would prefer to be at my own house, and maybe make a more detailed spreadsheet.
9. Are you getting tired yet? Not yet, but it is only 7:45 pm here right now. I am ready to get out of the apartment for a little while.
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? I don't think so, but going outside every once in a while sure is nice, even if it is just for a minute or two.

Since my last post, I read 67 pages in 63 minutes. It is funny how I read much faster at the middle and end of the book than at the beginning. I almost put the book down at first because it seemed slow. As things started happening in the book--I read faster and faster!

Total pages read: 442

Total time spent reading: 476 minutes (almost 8 hours)

Books completed: 2

Mini-challenges entered: 2 (freerice) and Walkin' and Snappin'

Read-a-thon update: hours 10 & 11

Since I am not at home this weekend, I don't have the cozy companianship of my cat, Pumpkin, while I read. This is a picture of her last Thanksgiving. Her eyes look a bit scary, but most of the pictures of her have scary eyes!

I'm still reading The Scarlet Pimpernel, and I should finish it pretty soon. Hubby just got back from work, so I might take a few hours off to hang out with him, get dinner, etc. However, he is watching football right now, so maybe I can sneak in a little reading!

In the last 2 hours, I read 80 pages in 81 minutes. I did go on a short walk, which was very refreshing, and I just went outside again for a little while to participate in the mini-challenge at Page after Page. This is a picture of the golf course that hubby's apartment overlooks. The sun is just starting to go down, so I am hoping to experience a pretty sunset soon!

Total pages read: 375
Total time spent reading: 413
Books completed: 1
Mini-challenges entered: 2 (freerice) and Walkin' and Snappin'

Read-a-thon update: hours 8 & 9

What a cute mouse, huh? I just finished a llloooong span of reading The Scarlet Pimpernel. This book is taking a little longer to read than I expected, but I am enjoying it. I can't believe the read-a-thon is already more than 1/3 of the way over! In case you are wondering, the Texas Tech Red Raiders won, bringing their overall record to 7-0! Woo hoo!

I am starting to feel a little restless in the apartment, so I think I'll take a little walk. It is sunny and 84 degrees, so the fresh air will feel nice! After my giant lunch of a Freebirds burrito, chips, queso and a diet coke, I think I NEED to take a walk to burn off a few calories!

In the last 2 hours, I read for 95 minutes and 63 pages, bringing my totals to:
Total pages read: 295
Total time spent reading: 332 minutes (about 5 1/2 hours)
Books completed: 1
Mini-challenges entered: 1 (freerice)

Read-a-thon update: hours 6 & 7

Like Trish (except for the opposing team), I have donned my "Wreck 'Em Tech" shirt in support of my Texas Tech Red Raiders, who are playing the Aggies from A & M. It is a pretty close game, and not much time left...

In the last two hours, I haven't done much reading. In between watching football, eating lunch, taking a shower, and doing some laundry, I only managed to read for 35 minutes and 26 pages. Here are my new totals:

Total pages read: 232
Total time spent reading: 237 minutes
Books completed: 1
Mini-challenges entered: 1 (freerice)

Read-a-thon update: hours 4 & 5

I just finished Rebecca, and it was excellent! I definitely would recommend it as a good read-a-thon read, or an anytime read!

Total pages read: 206

Total time spent reading: 302 minutes

Books completed: 1 (but I had started reading this book before the read-a-thon began)

Mini-challenges entered: 0

Even though I ate cereal around 8, and I've already snacked on some of my delicious gummy bears...I'm starting to get hungry for some lunch. I guess that would make sense since it is noon! I'll have to see if hubby is going to take a break from working to eat with his weirdo wife! :)

Read-a-thon update: hours 1-3

So far so good! The first hour (7-8) was spent getting organized and participating in the introduction meme. Here are my totals so far:

Total pages read: 104

Total time spent reading: 1 hr. 52 min

Books completed: 0

Mini-challenges entered: 0

I drank a cup of hazelnut instant coffee and it was pretty good!

Ok--I'm off to play a vocabulary game and then back to reading!

Let the Read-a-thon begin!

I'm so happy the read-a-thon is here! I have been looking forward to this for weeks! Unfortunately, I am not at my own house this weekend. I am in San Antonio, at the apartment my husband has been living in for the last 13 months as he is working on a construction project (that is FINALLY almost over!). So...I could only bring a limited number of books, since I just bring one carry-on on the flight from Dallas to San Antonio. Hopefully, I made good selections! You might also notice that I have instant coffee. Not my first choice, but dear hubby isn't a coffee drinker, so he doesn't have a coffee maker--instant coffee will have to do! When I was spreading out my books and snacks for the above pictures, my husband was getting ready to leave for work and he looked at me and the table, then he patted me on the head and said with a smile, "Yep, I married a weirdo!" Anyways...since I don't see him during the week and the only time we can spend together is during the weekends, I will be taking a break from the read-a-thon this evening when he is home from work. I still have all day and lots of the night though! I'm off to a bit of a late start since it is almost a full hour into it, but I had to get organized and do my first post!

Where are you reading from today? See above pictures...I'll start with Rebecca, since I'm well into it already. The other books I plan to read are Cannery Row, Anatomy of a Boyfriend (YA), The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Historian.

3 facts about me …
1. I've never lived in any other state besides Texas.
2. I'm left handed for some activities (writing, eating), but right handed for everything else.
3. I have a MAJOR sweet tooth and love pretty much all baked goods--cookies, cake, brownies...

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?
hmmm...I would like to finish Rebecca, and 2 other books

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time?
This is my first time, so no advice! I like hearing tips from veterans though!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Book Meme and my trip to Colorado

This is from this week's Booking through Thursday. Yes, I am aware that it is Saturday, and I really should be writing reviews of the last 2 books I finished, but this seems more fun right now!

Book Meme
from Booking Through Thursday by --Deb

I’ve seen this series of questions floating around the ‘net the last few days, and thought it looked like a good one for us!

What was the last book you bought?
Bedlam South by Mark Grisham and David Donaldson

Name a book you have read MORE than once
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
There have been several books that have made me really think about how I view certain topics, but no book has actually changed the way I see life.

How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
These days, I am choosing more and more based on reviews and recommendations. I still will just randomly pick up a book at a bookstore and if I like the cover and summary on the back, I will sometimes buy and read it. So--all of the above!

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
I prefer fiction, but I have read more non-fiction this year than any other year, and I really have enjoyed it. I am definitely less scared of non-fiction that I used to be!

What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
Hmmm...I'm going to have to say a gripping plot, to choose between the two, but the characters are the most important to me. If there is beautiful writing, but no interesting characters or gripping plot, I probably won't enjoy the book.

Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
A tie between Laura Ingalls Wilder, Jo March (Little Women)--I don't know if either woman can be considered a "character" since Laura was a real person and Jo is based on a real person.

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
Ride The Wind, a book about Cynthia Ann Parker, who was kidnapped and raised by Comanches--I'm reading it for a book club
Bedlam South--I just purchased this book a few days ago, and the authors are going to be stopping in my town, so I'm excited about having my book signed!

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
Sweetsmoke--I finished it about a week ago. I really liked it, but I haven't been in a review-writing mood lately, so I'm procrastinating.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
About a year ago, I stopped reading The Road, but I recently read the entire book, and I'm really glad I did. I also stopped reading Catch-22 last year, and I'm not sure if I'll try reading it again or not. I generally keep reading a book, even if I don't like it very much. I feel really guilty if I give up in the middle.

Last weekend, I visited my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew in Colorado. The weather was PERFECT, and the fall leaves were beautiful! As I am training for a half marathon in early November, I went running with my sister several times, and that was really fun, even though the higher altitude made breathing while running a little more difficult than usual. Here are some pictures of my visit:

Friday, October 10, 2008


I'm happy to announce the winners of my giveaway!

Love Walked In goes to Alyce!

I Was Told There'd Be Cake goes to Literary Feline!

Then We Came to the End goes to Jeane!

(I was very excited to see both Jeane's and Literary Feline's names on the little slips of paper I drew, because I have won a book from both of these nice ladies. It is fun to return the favor!)

Please send me your snail mail addresses to lorla6 [at] yahoo [dot] com and I will mail out the books as soon as I can.

Friday, October 3, 2008


I just realized that I have been blogging for 6 months now! Many thanks to Trish for sharing her blog with me, and helping me with html and many other bloggy things. Also, this is my 50th post, so that's fun too! What better way to say yay for blogging and books than a giveaway?!

The following three books are up for grabs:
Love Walked In by Maria de los Santos

Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris

To be entered, just leave a comment say which book(s) interest you. I will do the drawing on Friday, October 10th. (I will try to get the books mailed out in time for the 24 hour read-a-thon).

Now I am off to Colorado for a few days to enjoy the beautiful fall weather and to see my sister, brother-in-law and cute little nephew. I'm sure I'll have to share at least one or two pictures when I get back!