Sunday, April 11, 2010

Final Tally

This is the end of my third readathon and here are my stats
READ - Silent Scream by Lynda La Plante  515 pages
              Waking up in Eden by Lucinda Fleeson 308 pages
               TOTAL 2 Books 823 pages - I think I need to set a goal of 1000 pages next time
               both books were from the pile that I won in last Fall's readathon

CONSUMED:  5 cups of tea
                         1 CapriSun Orange Mango drink
                         1 bowl homemade rice pudding
                      *  2 bowls of homemade chili
                          1 bowl of Korean Special K cereal with milk
                          3 large sugar cookies
                      *  1 package Lemon Plank cookies
                          1 small container of strawberry yogurt
                       * 1 package of sour jelly beans
                          1 container of pizza flavored Pringles chips

                        * from Mallie's care package

celebrating with a fresh strawberry shake - yum  - cheers and happy reading folks

Hour 24

Lots of questions to answer for the final hour
1. Which hour was most daunting for you?  that would have been around Hour 7 when I apparently fell asleep
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I'm reading "Waking Up In Eden" which is non-fiction with fairly short chapters - I think books with small chunks of information are good for the readathon
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I think it's great with the cheerleaders and the challenges
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?  the mini-challeneges were really fun and quite do-able
5. How many books did you read? 2
6. What were the names of the books you read? "Silent Scream" and "Waking Up In Eden"
7. Which book did you enjoy most? one was a novel and the other a memoir - really too hard to compare them
8. Which did you enjoy least?  see number 7
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? As long as it works in my schedule, I will be there

Hour 23

Lucinda Fleeson has included a fitting quote from Isabella Bird  in her book "Waking Up in Eden"
I still vote civilization a nuisance, society a humbug and all conventionality a crime

guess I'm in good company

only one a half hours to go - should be able to finish this book

Hour 22

I'm up to Part 4 of  "Waking Up In Eden" and just love it - Fleeson is a wonderful writer and I can so identify with her stage in life.  If only I were somewhere a little more exotic than South Korea

Oh well on to Part 4 which is entitled "Living Well Is The Best Revenge".....hmmmmm...I can't wait

Hour 21

I reached part three of "Waking Up in Eden" which seemed like a good point to take a break.  I was streaming old episodes of Bob Edwards Weekend and I got engrossed in his interview with singer/songwriter Joe Pug.  I was enthralled.  How often do you hear of young people who truly have an epiphany and follow their heart?  Visit his website, listen to his tunes, think a little harder about life.......

back to the book......

Hour 20

this hour the mini-challenge is to talk about the food that gets us through the readathon - well here is my gallery - thanks goodness that a care package from my friend Mallie arrived at the last minute - everyone needs a friend like that!

Pringles are considered somewhat exotic here and I don't really like them but I knew I would need a yummy salty snack to get me through
homemade chili that used up the last of my sour cream
lots of tea to drink

Special K for breakfast - Korea-style!

yummy cookies from the local bakery

and Easter candy from my care package

Hour 19

Well I have read another 7 chapters of  "Waking Up in Eden" and just love it.  A whole chapter devoted to Isabella Bird (is she following me everywhere?) and a delightful account of renovating an old plantation cottage while uncovering the delights of Hawaiian botany.  Having worked for while at the Missouri Botanical Garden I am fascinated with her accounts of attempts to save native species of plants, particularly the Brighamia. All in all, quite a satisfying read especially if you are interested in middle-aged single women spreading their wings just a little.

must be time for tea

Hour 18

Well I just started "Waking Up In Eden" which is one of the books that I won in the last readathon.  So far it is a story close to my heart.  It is the non-fiction account of a middle-aged reporter from Philadelphia who leaves behind her tidy little life to become the chief fundraiser for a botanical garden in Hawaii.  Gee, I wonder why I am drawn to a book like this?  Here is a great passage about her preparations to leave Philadelphia
It may be good for the soul to disposses every few years, but it takes fortitude to dismantle a house and confront your unfilled hopes and intentions, assigning them destinations: Put into storage on the East Coast; pack for Hawaii; discard
just finished chapter 5 and the first 56 pages while consuming the last of the Pringles and some really yummy Orange-Mango Capri-Sun

Hour 17

One mini-challenge for this hour asks us to tell about the first book that we really loved.  That's an easy one for me - Alice in Wonderland.  I received a copy when I was about 8 and as I recall it was a Penguin paperback edition.  I recall reading it in one sitting and being absolutely fascinated with the awkward girl in the strange land dealing with the strange logic of an crazy group of characters.  Somehow or another I think this awkward girl identified with Alice in oh so many ways.

the second mini-challenege asks us to answer the following questions
  1. What steps did you take to ensure you’d be able to read as much as possible today? that was too easy -I got the laundry done on Friday and  I didn't have to work on Sunday - I don't have anyone at home to bother me - the only difficulty was trying to be rested enough to start as our start time was 9pm on Saturday and I had to work that day
  2. Of those steps,  which proved to be the most beneficial to your day? Getting in a two hour nap after work helped but I still fell asleep around 3am
  3. Is there anything you might do differently next time? make sure I don't have to work on the day that the readathon starts because I really needed more sleep.
 Chili is cooking on the stove now!

Hour 16

just finished "Silent Scream" - quite satisfying in the end

think I'll fix some lunch before diving into "Waking Up in Eden"

read : finished 1 book 515 pages
consumed: last of the jelly beans

14th hour

The mini-challenge this hour is to come up with a favorite book that has never been filmed and cast it.   An another outstanding challenge has to do with blogging about a book where a boy and girl are friends and end up realizing they are in love.  Well my book meets both challenges.

One of my favorite tales is an old one, "Parnassus on Wheels" by Christopher Morley.  It is the quaint tale of a book peddlar who roams the New England countryside and a tough-minded independent middle-aged woman who wants to buy his business.  Needless to say love ensues. So who would I pick to play these two middle-aged book-loving compatriots?  Johnny Depp is finally old enough to play Roger Mifflin and he already has on-camera experience as the book scout Dean Corso in "The Ninth Gate" which is very loosely based on a portion of another great read, "The Club Dumas".  I think Renee Zellweger might be right to be cast as Helen McGill.  Of course this was once dramatized for the Philco tv series but it has never received big screen treatment.

SUMMARY: read 45 pages
consumed: homemade rice pudding, 1 cup of tea and another large cookie

13th hour

just finished another 80 pages of LaPlante's "Silent Scream" - it's getting better but I'm not sure I can keep up with all of the little twists

time fore tea!

Hour 12 Challenge

1. What are you reading right now?  LyndaaPlante's "Silent Scream"
2. How many books have you read so far? just this one - almost done
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? "Waking Up In Eden"
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? nope - it is my only free day this week
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Oh yeah - I fell asleep for a couple of hours - the start time for me was 9pm and I had a really long day at work
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?  How diverse the challenges are
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? No - you guys continue to delight me
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?  I would definitely arrange to not work on the day that the readathon starts so I could get a could chunk of sleep in before it starts
9. Are you getting tired yet? no now (see #5 above)
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 need more ideas to get me up and moving - it seems to help between the long stretches of reading

read 125 pages (just finished Chapter 16)
consumed: one cup of tea and a large cookie

Book Cover Challenge

For this challenge we have to show book covers that embody certain adjectives such as





Reading Is Fundamental Reading Challenge

for this challenge we needed to post pictures of children reading and add a link to the Reading Is Fundamental site.  I have a bunch of photos that I took at my school's book festival and finally have the time to find them and get them posted here.

oh..... I managed to consume a big bowl of Special K but didn't read a thing this hour


I was a lot more tired than I thought - looks I fell asleep for a couple of hours just like last year.  It doesn't really matter because the whole idea is to just have some fun.  Looks like I need tog et reading and make up for lost time.  Apparently I read 17 pages since my last checkin and I ate a small thing of strawberry yogurt -  Time to get some breakfast (it's 6am here) and get going on the day

Hour 7

Well I managed to drift off to sleep after finishing anther chapter (it is after 3am here right now)  so I didn't get much done last hour
Read: 18 pages (through Chapter 12)
Consumed: nothing but some sweet dreams

Hour 6

Starting the sixth hour of the readathon and not too much to report - ready to start Chapter Twelve of "Silent Scream" and feeling a little sluggish.  I will need a pick-me-up sometime soon.  I like the idea of one of the mini-challenges which requires creating a slideshow from pictures of you reading - I'll see if I can muster up the energy for that one.
Read: 44 pages (through Chapter 11)
Consumed: half a bag of sour neon jelly beans (thanks for the care package Mallie!)

Hour 5

Wowo - where did the time go?  One of the mini-challeneges was to try and make a sentence from the book titles in your stack.  Here is the result

"In a perfect world, the Puzzle King, waking up in Eden, silent scream"

so much for that here are my stats
Read: 56 pages (through Chapter 8 f Silent Scream)
Consumed: finished my second cup of tea

Hour 4

I was busy doing mini-challenges last hour so I didn't get too much reading  done.  Think I will get serious this hour so I can feel like I have accomplished something
Read: 20 pages (finished Chapter 5 of "Silent Scream"
Consumed: started second cup of tea
Background: Streaming NPR - might need to switch to music

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hour 3????

Wow Hour three is just starting which I really can't believe.  I finished another couple of chapters and am thoroughly enjoying the read.  Our challenge for hour 2 was to post about how we settle in and those things that make us comfortable for the readathon. I'm basically reading on my bed because I have so little furniture.  My life in South Korea is a little Spartan but if I get bored with the bed I will move to my floor mat or later on when the sun comes up I will sit out on my porch.  One of my most important companions is the mug from which I drink my tea and it happens to be sitting on the bookcase next to my bed in this picture.  I just noticed that my Nancy Pearl Librarian Action Figure is carefully posed with her shushing finger to her lips
Pages read 48
CONSUMED: 1 cup of tea and a package of  Lemon Planks courtesy of my newly arrived care package from Mallie

Hour 2

Just finished the first hour of the readathon.  For my first selection I'm reading Lynda LaPlante's "Silent Scream".  I have to confess this is the first book of hers that I have read and I'm hooked.  I managed to finish the first two chapters of this thriller which is set against the backdrop of a movie set. This is one of the books that I won in the last readathon.
Read 48 pages
Consumed: too many pizza-flavored Pringles and a glass of apple juice

back to the book....

Hour 1

Well the readathon has started.  My stack is full of the books that I won in the last readathon so I'm guessing by now if you are a new reader that I have done this before.  In fact this is my third readathon.  It's 9pm on Saturday (I'm in South Korea) and I have just woken up from a nap so I feel somewhat refreshed and ready to go.  My advice to newbies is to pace yourself.  Alternate very easy reads with something as little more challenging.  Get up and walk around every hour.  Keep track of your liquid refreshment because it is easy to become dehydrated.  Three quick facts about me and then I am off to read
1) I'm a former librarian turned English teacher in South Korea
2) I used to own a bookstore
3) I'm hoping to finally get that novel written this year

cheers and happy reading


Well the readathon is starting in a few hours and I just got home from work. I managed to stop by the store on my way home and stocked up on milk and junk food and as I arrived home the third and final box from my good friend Mallie arrived so now I have enough food to take care of the Korean army.  I have my stack of books ready to go and think I will start with a short nap. Reading starts at 9pm here

Friday, April 09, 2010

Is it really April?

Where did the time go?  I've been so busy with the new school year and making a quick trip back to the States at the end of January that I have totally neglected my book blog.  Since I last posted anything, Apple introduced their new I-Pad which may well do for books what the Ipod did for music - kill the sales of physical media.  But what do I know?  I bought a Sony reader for my son who is in the Peace Corps in Africa but I haven't settled on what e-reader will be the best for me.  The Ipod is quite expensive and would cost what a decent new laptop would cost.  Besides that it places too many restrictions on its users in terms of ownership of purchased texts.  I don't like the Kindle either for the same reasons.  If I only want to read a text and not own it, I can easily download them from my public library.  But if I spend money on my books, I expect to be able to keep them, trade them, sell them or lend them to a friend.

So here is a quick roundup on articles that caught my eye recently:

Craigmod has an interesting perspective on the transition in the book world that is taking place right now.  As a book designer he lauds the passing of the disposable book

We’re losing the dregs of the publishing world: disposable books. The book printed without consideration of form or sustainability or longevity. The book produced to be consumed once and then tossed. The book you bin when you’re moving and you need to clean out the closet.
What I appreciate is that he thinks that this is the time to start talking about what books really should be
I want to look at where printed books stand in respect to digital publishing, why we historically haven't read long-form text on screens and how the iPad is wedging itself in the middle of everything. In doing so I think we can find the line in the sand to define when content should be printed or digitized.
Speaking of the Ipad, I have seen a brilliant idea for an Ipad stand that doubles as a bookend - now why didn't I think of that!

If you want to calculate the relative "greenness" of an Ipad over a printed book, check out this piece in the New York Times. After some fancy ciphering it turns out that
 the impact of one e-reader payback equals roughly 40 to 50 books. When it comes to global warming, though, it’s 100 books; with human health consequences, it’s somewhere in between.
And last but not least, how about this great story about President Obama stopping by his favorite bookstore - been a while since we could talk about the President and bookstore in the same sentence!

Time to get my reading stack ready because tomorrow night (9pm for me) Dewey's 24 hour Readathon starts and I want to be ready! Perhaps I can finally start on the big pile that I won during the last readathon!