Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dewey's Read-a-thon: Summary

Another successful Dewey's Read-a-thon event is over! Kate read some of Cassandra Clare's City of Ashes late last night and early this morning, and I managed to finish Jan Costin Wagner's Ice Moon.

Here are Kate's final totals:
Hours of reading: 7
Total pages read: 565
Books finished: 1
Other books started: 1

My totals:
Hours of reading: 7
Total pages read: 593
Books finished: 2
Other books started: 0
Mini-challenges done: 1
Cheerleading hours: 3

Kate and I spent 17 hours participating (reading and cheerleading) in the read-a-thon, so as promised, we've donated $34 to Free the Children.

Now for the end-of-event meme:
  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
    I started feeling very sleepy around Hour 16. Kate was eager to read more, though.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
    I love mysteries, and Kate had a hard time putting City of Bones down.
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
    It would be great to encourage more people to do cheerleading, as there are so many participants and so few cheerleaders. Maybe if it were advertised that cheerleaders get special prizes too, more people would sign up.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
    Everything went smoothly, as usual.
  5. How many books did you read?
    I finished two. Kate finished one and started a second.
  6. What were the names of the books you read?
    For me: Redshirts by John Scalzi and Ice Moon by Jan Costin Wagner. For Kate: City of Bones and City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare.
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?
    We liked them all!
  8. Which did you enjoy least?
    We liked them all!
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
    Cheerleading doesn't have to happen just on the day of the event. You can visit the blogs and provide encouragement (including encouragement to participate in the next event) before and after the actual read-a-thon date.
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
    Kate and I will both participate again, and I hope to do even more cheerleading then.
Many thanks to the organizers for another excellent event!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dewey's Read-a-thon: Update #2

Kate finished City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and then had to turn to her homework. She was so engrossed in the book that there was no way I could get her to do her homework before she finished it. She is hoping to read a little bit of the next book, City of Ashes, before it's time to turn the lights out.

I'm partway through Ice Moon by Jan Costin Wagner and hope to finish it before I fall asleep. I'm not getting as much reading done as I did in the last read-a-thon, but that's partly because I'm spending more time visiting other participants' blogs, which is just as enjoyable as reading!

Paulina's progress:
Books finished: 1
Pages read: 455
Hours of reading: 5.5

Kate's progress:
Books finished: 1
Pages read: 485
Hours of reading: 6

Dewey's Read-a-thon: Update #1

We're entering Hour 8 of Dewey's Read-a-thon, and I've finished my first book, John Scalzi's Redshirts. This is an interesting take on the Star Trek concept, with some unexpected twists. I greatly enjoyed Scalzi's Old Man's War trilogy and found this did not quite live up to my expectations but it was definitely an entertaining read.

Kate is more than halfway through City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. She had violin and voice lessons this morning so couldn't manage too many hours of reading, but apart from an hour or two of homework, she has the rest of the day free. Yes, I'm being a mean Mom and making her do her homework, even though I've been neglecting housework shamefully myself.

I've also been spending some time visiting the blogs of other participants. It's great that there are so many readers from different parts of the world.

Paulina's progress:
Books finished: 1
Pages read: 317
Hours of reading: 3.5

Kate's progress:
Books finished: 0
Pages read: 260
Hours of reading: 3

Dewey's Read-a-thon: The Starting Line

Kate and I have our stack of books in front of us and we're ready to go! Here are our answers to the Hour 1 Introductory Questionnaire.

  1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
    We're in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, and it's a lovely sunny but chilly day here today!
  2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
    Kate has been dying to read Cassandra Clare's City of Bones for ages. I'm looking forward to Jan Costin Wagner's Ice Moon, but I might leave it for later in the day, when energy is getting lower.
  3. Which snack are you most looking forward to?
    We have the traditional read-a-thon snack (Kate's favourite): salt-and-vinegar chips. I also have tortilla chips with a new burn-your-mouth-off green salsa I'd discovered, perfect for waking me up when I start getting drowsy late in the day.
  4. Tell us a little something about yourself!
    Kate reads the daily comics in the newspaper every morning and plays lots of different musical instruments. I'm a software developer, and if I'm not reading in my spare time, I'm probably knitting.
  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?
    Kate and I are read-a-thon veterans, but I'm not sure we'll do anything different today. We'll just read ... and read ... and read. Actually, I'll also be visiting other blogs and doing the cheerleading thing. That's one of my favourite parts of this event. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dewey's Read-a-thon

Kate and I will be participating once again in Dewey's Read-a-thon on Saturday, October 13. We'll attempt to read for as many hours as we can in the 24-hour period starting 8am EDT, and we'll donate a toonie to Free the Children for every hour that either of us reads.

In our last attempt, Kate managed only 5 hours as she was busy with rehearsals for part of the day, but she has managed to keep most of this Saturday free and has a stack of books waiting to be read, with Cassandra Clare's City of Bones at the very top of the pile.

I don't think I'll be able to match my 9 hours this time around, but I'll do my best. After a couple of hectic weeks, I'm looking forward to spending the day reading. I'm not sure what I'll be reading yet. It'll depend on my mood on Saturday morning, but I've got some candidates on the to-be-read list, including Redshirts by John Scalzi, Becoming Holmes by Shane Peacock, Ice Moon by Jan Costin Wagner and The Far Side of the Sky by Daniel Kalla.

Please consider joining us! You can sign up as a reader and/or as a cheerleader. Cheerleading involves visiting other readers' blogs and leaving encouraging comments. It's a great way to discover new book blogs and get book recommendations.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Natural Order by Brian Francis

I'm continuing to read from the 2012 Evergreen list and hope to finish at least another book from the list before the voting period ends on October 30.

Natural Order is the second novel by Brian Francis, whose first novel Fruit was a Canada Reads runner-up. In this novel, an elderly woman Joyce looks back on episodes from her life. She sees how her homophobia and that of others had devastated people she had loved. The narrator is unreliable and the story jumps among several time periods, but somehow it all works and makes for a very readable and moving story.

This novel provides a thoughtful examination of both the process of aging and the changing views of homosexuality over the past half-century in Canada. It features vividly drawn characters and a good amount of small-town-Ontario humour. When Fern says, in reply to Joyce's question about an upcoming potluck lunch, "I'm a woman of the United Church of Canada. I can make a salmon loaf standing on my head in thirty seconds," I could immediately picture a few women of my own acquaintance!

Natural Order is my favourite of the six Evergreen books I've read so far, and I look forward to reading more from this very skilled writer.