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#24in48: Hour 12 Update

3 Aug

We are a quarter of the way through! Huzzah!

How’s everyone holding up so far?

I was up at 8am this morning and so far I’ve finished one book and have started on a second, Defending Jacob by William Landay.

Let me know where you’re at!

Pages: 154
Books Completed: Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall
Hours: 3.5
My View:



Welcome to the #24in48 Readathon!

11 Aug

It’s midnight which means it is the official start of the inaugural “24 in 48 Readathon” and I could not be more excited!!

I’m a bit handicapped at the moment – my Internet access is spotty and I’m writing this on my iPad. So we’ll do the best we can until I’ve got more to work with.

As I said in the initial post, this is going to be super casual. Read what you can when you can and try to track your time. I’ll be updating here periodically and will likely be more active over on Twitter. I’ll be using the hashtag #24in48 and I encourage you all to track your progress there too.

As I said in my First Line Friday post earlier today, I’m starting with Ender’s Game. And after that, I’ve got a whole stack of books to choose from for tomorrow too:


Plus, since I’m dog sitting for my boss, I’ve discovered a bunch of books on her shelves I’m dying to read as well. There very well might be some shuffling this weekend!

But since this is the Readathon for #readerswithlives as zeteticat so aptly called it, I’m headed to bed to get a fresh start for the morning. See you in the a.m.

End of Read-a-thon Wrap-up

22 Apr

Sooo how did you guys do yesterday??

I have to say, I think this was my most productive read-a-thon ever. I really made an effort to read the whole time, and I’m happy with the progress I made, especially over the later half of the day. I was able to stay up until 3am, which I think is close to a new record for me during a read-a-thon. Only during my first one was I up later. I think I probably could’ve stayed up later but I have plans today that involve being outside and craft beer and food trucks and I need to be functional for that.

I also got some books crossed off my TBR list that had been lurking, and according to Goodreads, I’m now two books ahead of schedule for my goal of 52 for the year.

Here’s the final end-of-event meme:

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? The last one, hour 19. I was definitely feeling sleepy by that point.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? The Masque of the Red Death was really a fast read and I tore through that right when it counted and I needed a high-interest book to keep me motivated.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Honestly, I was kind of disappointed in the lack of cheerleader comments I got. I don’t think there were any official cheerleaders until the very end, and I had to ask for it. I didn’t realized how much I rely on that motivation, when I get an email notification that someone’s commented on the blog.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? This is a personal thing, but I think having one blog post and updating it throughout the day worked great for me. Its been tough for me to figure out a system that works best for regular updating, and that doesn’t clog people’s feed readers. I think this might be the way to go from here on out. I also liked that I set out 3-hour intervals to stop and post updates. It wasn’t always right at 3 hours, but it seemed to work well enough. I didn’t feel like I was missing out on something by reading too much, and I also felt okay about putting the book down and taking a break because I’d planning it out.
  5. How many books did you read? I read 3 full books, and almost half of a fourth.
  6. What were the names of the books you read? Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?, The Masque of the Red Death, Home and Gold.
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? Surprisingly, I think I liked Home the best.
  8. Which did you enjoy least? There wasn’t a single book in my stack that I didn’t love, but Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? was probably the slowest of all the books I read. It was still a wonderful read though.
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? I wasn’t a cheerleader.
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Very likely, and one of these days I’d like host a mini-challenge.

Read-a-thon – Let’s Do This!

21 Apr

Note: I’ll be updating this same post all day so as to not create more posts in people’s readers. New updates will be on top!

Hour 20 – UPDATE #6

Well, it’s 3am and I think I’ve had it. I have to admit though, book #4 – Gold by Chris Cleave – is so good that I’ve been fighting sleep for the last half hour because I just want to read a little bit more. I do actually need to be functional tomorrow, so with that, I’m shutting down my read-a-thon for the night. Hopefully I’ll be back before 8am to do one final update, but considering that’s only 5 hours from now, I’m not holding my breath. I hope everyone had as successful a read-a-thon as I did.

Here’s my last update before I hit the sack:

Books: Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?, The Masque of the Red Death, Home and Gold (and some Angela’s Ashes on audio)
Pages: 764 + 45 minutes of audio
Update: I’m cooked. See everyone in the a.m.


Hour 16 UPDATE #5 + Rereading Mini-Challenge

I love this pace I’m keeping up, but the sleepiness is starting to hit me. But I’m back because I’ve finished book #3, Toni Morrison’s Home. Wow, what an incredibly powerful and utterly quiet book. I’m definitely going to need some time to process that one.

My mom has officially called it quits for the night, but even though I’ve finished my third book of the day, I’m feeling great, and I’m tempted to start my fourth, rather than pack it in.

Here’s where I’m at:

Books: Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?, The Masque of the Red Death, and Home (with a little bit of Angela’s Ashes on audio thrown in.
Pages: 622 + 45 minutes of audio
Update: I’ve decided to do a mini-challenge as a way to wake myself up a bit!

The Blue Stocking Society is hosting this hour’s mini-challenge and they’re asking about books we most enjoy rereading. I have to admit, I’m not a huge rereader. I always have so many new books on my TBR list that sometimes it feels like a waste of time to go back to books I’m already familiar with. That being said, rereads do have a cozy blanket-like feel to them, and wrapping yourself in something familiar like that can be so comforting. Which is probably why all my favorite rereads are books I loved as a kid: Matilda or The BFG by Roald Dahl, the Alice books by Phillis Reynolds Naylor, Jason and Marceline or Who Put That Hair In My Toothbrush? by Jerry Spinelli. It’s also probably why, at some point in the near future, I’ve got a reread of all seven Harry Potter novels planned. Sometimes you just need that cozy blanket feeling, right?


Hour 14 – UPDATE #4

I’ve just finished up my second book of the ‘thon. I’ve got chocolate chip cookies in the oven and I’m just about to start Toni Morrison’s Home.

But first the mid-event survey (even though I’m a touch late):

  1. How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired? I’m actually feeling really great. Not sleepy at all, but I do think I’m going to have to move to a different spot soon. My reading chair is getting cramped.
  2. What have you finished reading? Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? and The Masque of the Red Death
  3. What is your favorite read so far? I really couldn’t choose. Both books are fantastic and so incredibly different from each other, there’s no way to compare.
  4. What about your favorite snacks? Earlier this afternoon, I had garlic hummus with pita and orange peppers, but I’ve got cookies fresh from the oven and those just might win.
  5. Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love! Sadly, not a lot of blog hopping this time around. Maybe as the crowd thins a bit, I’ll poke around some new ones.

Total Pages: 519 + 45 minutes of audio, listened to Angela’s Ashes while running errands.


Hour 11 – UPDATE #3

Wow, I’m just speeding along. This stopping-every-three-hours thing seems to be working well for me, but as we move into the evening we’ll see how well that keeps up.

Since I last checked in, I’ve read 240 pages in Masque of the Red Death and I’ve got about 70 pages left to go. But first a quick errand before dinner! I hope everyone is having a great read-a-thon and I’ll be checking in soon.

Book: The Masque of the Red Death
Pages: 440
Update: I’m so happy I decided to switch to YA before tackling Toni Morrison. Home is a short book, but I needed an easy read between that and Winterson’s memoir. No mini-challenges, but I’m really feeling like I’m on a roll, and I’m not missing them that much. Let’s up this errand doesn’t mess that momentum up.


Hour 8 – UPDATE #2

I did it! Finished my first book, and right on schedule. And what a great read!

I’m taking a short break to do some cheering and then I think I’m moving on to Masque of the Red Death. How great is this cover, btw?

I need something quick and dirty before I jump into another heavy read, like Gold by Chris Cleave or Home by Toni Morrison.

Book: About to start The Masque of the Red Death
Pages: 200ish
Updates: My mom has officially joined the Read-a-thon party. She’s curled up on the couch with Divergent and, while I normally listen to quiet music while I read, sometimes the best kind of soundtrack is the whisper of mutually turning pages :). I’m definitely going to be feeling the sleepys soon though, so perhaps a change of scenery to the porch is in order.


Hour 6 – UPDATE #1

Well I haven’t updated as frequently as I’d like, but I did take a break at the 3-hour mark to shower, clean my bathroom, and throw my sheets in the wash, though I did the last two with a book in my hand (multitasking FTW!).

I’m also being really selective about the mini-challenges and have so far only entered one, aside from the intro post.

Here’s how I’m doing so far:

Book: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
Pages: Since I started, I’ve read about 120 pages. But clearly I’ve done a lot of other stuff too. I’m expecting to finish before I check in next time.
Updates: I’ve moved venues, from my apartment to my parent’s, and even stopped for some lunch (all while reading, of course – I wasn’t driving!) I’m going to try to put in a solid 90 minutes of reading and be back at 3pm EDT.


I’m actually starting Read-a-thon right on time this morning! I even set an alarm and everything – I’m so dedicated :).

This is the fourth or fifth read-a-thon I’ve done, I can’t even keep track anymore, but I’m looking forward to getting a lot of reading done.

I’ve got my first book ready, and I’ll be making my way downstairs for some coffee soon (as soon as my allergy meds kick in). I’m starting with Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson, since I’m already knee-deep in it.

To kick off read-a-thon, I thought I’d post a quote from that book:

So when people say that poetry is a luxury, or an option, or for the educated middle classes, or that it shouldn’t be read at school because it is irrelevant, or any of the strange and stupid things that are said about poetry and its place in our lives, I suspect that the people doing the saying have had things pretty easy. A tough life needs a tough language — and that is what poetry is. That is what literature offers — a language powerful enough to say how it is.

It isn’t a hiding place. It is a finding place.

With that as my inspiration for the day, let’s start with the Hour 1 intro:

  1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today? I’m reading from Washington, DC, within spitting distance of the Capitol.
  2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I’m most looking forward to Home by Toni Morrison. I’ve got an egalley that is calling my name.
  3. Which snack are you most looking forward to? I love taking a break and making cookies during read-a-thon, but I stick to the premade dough so I can do it one-handed with a book in the other. I’ve got Tollhouse mini’s ready to go!
  4. Tell us a little something about yourself! I’m getting my Master’s in Publishing, and I’m about to start my third semester. It’s a ton of work but for a publishing/book nerd, I couldn’t be happier that I decided to go back to school.
  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? As I said before, I’ve done several read-a-thons now, and one thing I always struggle with is balancing the mini-challenges, tweeting, updating my blog, cheering and then somehow an hour’s passed and I haven’t read a single page. This year, I’m going to check in online once every three hours, for 15-30 minutes, and that way it’s on the schedule and I don’t feel overwhelmed or like I’m neglecting my fellow read-a-thoners or my blog.

I’ll be updating this one post all day, so CHEERLEADERS, please leave comments here; I appreciate the support!!

Oh Hey, Read-a-thon!

20 Apr

Somehow, the spring 24 Hour Read-a-thon completely crept up on me this time around. But I’m super excited that it’s falling in the scant two weeks between my Spring semester and Summer semester at school. (Yes, my summer semester starts on April 30th.) I am absolutely participating – in fact I had plans for tomorrow and canceled. That is dedication, people.

Because I’ve had so little time to prepare myself, things are going to be a little less formal around here. I’m not going to be able to read for charity this time around (though I may change my mind), and I’m not really setting out with a list of books set aside for read-a-thoning.

Oh who am I kidding? I’m definitely starting with a list of some kind. This is what I’ve got on the docket as options.

This time around, it’s going to be all about the pleasure of the read. I’ve got a good selection from across genres, with some faster reads throw into the mix of the more hefty books. I really wish I could read all of these in the next day, but I don’t think anyone is that fast!

I’ve got some chores to do in the a.m. but that’s what audiobooks are for right? And then its going to be breezy for the rest of the day. My mom is even going to participate, though she’s not doing the full 24-hours. I’m going to escape my buzzy group house and take full advantage of her air-conditioning and full fridge.

I’ll be updating throughout the day, with a sticky post up top, so come say hi!

UPDATE: Read-a-thon: End of Event Meme

23 Oct

UPDATE: HOKAY, so, apparently my nook miscounted pages in The Monstrumologist. Because Goodreads and is saying the ebook is actually 448 pages. (Those pages did seem to take a long time to turn.) So I’m going with that total instead of 288. That puts me at a total of 844 pages. MUCH BETTER! I think the reason I was feeling so discouraged by my page count was that I thought it was taking me forever to get through a 288-page book. When it was actually 160 pages longer than that! Makes sense now…

My total money raised is now $168.80.


Well, not as successful as I’d hoped, but Not A Bad Showing.

I’d planning on updating more on Twitter and Tumblr but I was focused on my books and then I was asleep. Whoops!

Final count:

2 1/3 books read:

Total page count:

684 pages. Not even close to the 1000 I wanted but it turns out sleep is more powerful than monsters.

Money raised:


Not bad at all. I can be pretty happy with that number. Now for the traditional End-of-Event Meme:

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
    • Hour 7 actually. I’d just had some lunch and got really super sleepy. I took about an hour long nap before I could keep going.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
    • The Monstrumologist was fantastic for keeping me awake and engaged. Plus it was spooky and totally appropriate for Halloween time.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
    • Nope, everyone did a great job. I didn’t get many cheerleaders but I suspect that was because I wasn’t posting frequently.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
    • The mini-challenges were great and I think trading off hosting duties more frequently (if that’s true, maybe I just haven’t been paying attention) worked well.
  5. How many books did you read?
    • 2 1/3
  6. What were the names of the books you read?
    • Last 92 pages of Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
    • The Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner
    • The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?
    • Toss up between Girls in White Dresses and The Monstrumologist. They’re so different it’s hard to pick.
  8. Which did you enjoy least?
    • Obviously The Forest for the Trees. It was for school though, so that probably explains why.
  9. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
    • Very likely. Even though I feel asleep around Hour 16, and managed to wake up half an hour before the read-a-thon was over to finish my last book, this felt like a less successful attempt than in years past. Probably because of the low book count. I’d like to be more of a cheerleader, but I don’t know that I have the stamina for it, at least not until I finish with school.

Thanks for everyone who came by last night and cheered me on!

Read-a-thon Check-in: Hour 11

22 Oct

Well I’d hoped to be updating more frequently than this, but alas.

I’m doing well, but after that initial burst where I finished Girls in White Dresses, my productivity has been slightly down. I did manage to make a lovely pumpkin apple coffee cake thing. So at least my house smells good.

I’m reading The Monstrumologist right now by Rick Yancey, and I’m pretty convinced I’m not going to be able to sleep at all because I’m going to be terrified of things under the bed. Which is handy since I’ll be trying to stay awake anyway!

Thanks to all the cheerleaders who’ve come by!! And thanks to Melissa at One Librarian’s Book Reviews for hosting the mini-challenge that I won!! Woot Woot!

Hope you are all doing well out there, and I’m going to try to stop in soon!

Read-a-thon: Hour One! (It Begins…)

22 Oct

I’m up, I’m up. I swear I’m up!

Why is it that I always manage to go out way, way too late the night before a read-a-thon?? It happens every single time :-/.

Oh well. No better way to recover from a hangover than to read all day, right?

The traditional questions for hour one:

  1. Where are you reading from today?
    • Washingon, DC, USA
  2. Three random facts about me…
    • I learned how to swim before I could walk.
    • I’ve never read anything by Steinbeck.
    • I can’t whistle or snap my fingers on my left hand.
  3. How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?
    • About 15, but I find that when I start to get sleepy, I’ll pull anything off the shelf to stay awake.
  4. 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)?
    • I’m reading to support Reach Out and Read’s Military Initiative and First Book, so I’d like to read 1000 pages. At 20 cents a page that’s $100 for each organization.
  5. If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?
    • Well it’s a little late for this advice, but start with something easy, that you’ll finish fast, so you feel like you’ve accomplished something early in the game. Also if something isn’t working for you, put it down and read something else. This is read-a-thon, so the typical rules of “I must finish every book I start!” don’t really apply here.

Also, I was going to try to keep all my updates to Tumblr, but I realized that I signed up with this link, and the cheerleaders are going to get confused. So in the interest of not pissing off my cheerleaders, I’ll be posting here instead. Mini-challenges and things like that will probably be on Tumblr though.

So welcome! and good luck, fellow read-a-thoners!

Read-a-thon Reading List + Charity Update!

13 Oct

I posted a few days ago about how I’m planning on participating in the 24-hour Read-a-thon on Oct. 22nd, and ever since then, I’ve been narrowing down my book list to something approaching reasonable. And then the National Book Awards were announced yesterday, and it threw my list into upheaval.

You see, I’ve never been the type to try to read as many of the NBA finalists as I can before the awards in November. I try to keep my award fanaticism sequestered to Oscar season. But there were some great books on the finalists lists this year, and I couldn’t help but jump on my library’s catalog as soon as they were announced to reserve a few things.

I’m trying to be a little more strategic in my choices, mostly shorter books, a lot of YA and action-y books to keep my interest peaked. And as I said in my earlier post, I’ve got some school reading to do as well.

So here’s my tentative list for now:

I know what you’re thinking: Anna Karenina is not short, Rachel. I’ll be posting my plans for that book on Friday – it’s not out of left field I swear.

Now! On to much more exciting news!

I’m really pumped to announce two very exciting charity-related tidbits. First of all, I’ve decided that, in addition to First Book, I’m going to add a second charity that I’ll be turning the pages for: Read Out and Read’s Military Initiative. In case you’re not familiar, ROR provides books to children as part of their standard doctor visits. They’ve just announced that they’re expanding to 100 more military bases and as a military brat who loves to read (duh), I can’t NOT get involved with this great cause.

Also, to make that effort easier, Kerry at Entomology of a Bookworm graciously offered to match my donations, since she can’t participate in the read-a-thon herself! How amazing is that? Thanks, Kerry, for your generosity! That brings us up to 20 cents donated per page, and I’ll be splitting the donations equally between these two nonprofits.

I Read-a-thon. Do You?

10 Oct

(I’ve got a post up on Book Riot today too. Go check it out: All Hail the Library Book Sale)

Ten days from now, Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon kicks off, and once again, I’ll be ready with a stack of books, hot cocoa and my checkbook. Why my checkbook? Because as in past read-a-thons, I’ll be turning pages for charity. More about that in a minute. If you’ve never done a 24 Hour Read-a-thon, I highly recommend it. At no other time in my life do I get to legitimately clear my schedule for reading; I also feel less guilty for not making (or canceling) plans since I donate to a good cause while I’m participating. I’m already deciding on a reading list – sadly, some school reading is going to have to be on it – but I’ll post a final list next week, when I’ve narrowed down my choices.

Now, on to the charity I’m choosing this year!

I’ve decided that I’m going to donate 10 cents a page to First Book, a literacy organization that provides new books to low-income children. My former boss works for First Book now, and I know it’s a great cause and a great non-profit, and I’m happy to use my time reading to benefit children who may not otherwise own books of their own.

So will you be reading? You can sign up here to read. Or if you can’t commit to the full 24 hours, you can sign up to be a cheerleader (highly beneficial when it’s 2am and you’re struggling to keep your eyes open), sign up here. And if you plan on reading for charity, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.