Sunday, October 11, 2009

TSS - Preparing for the Read-a-thon

We are having a near-record cold snap here in the midwest which would normally lend itself to cozying up next to the fire with a cup of tea and a good book. Unfortunately I have yet to have the opportunity to do that this weekend. Perhaps later today........

Earlier this week I posted my (crazy) consideration of joining the 100 Mile Fitness Challenge and asked for some audio book recommendations. Many of you suggested some GREAT titles and I did request two from my local library: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I need to transfer the CDs to my iTunes library and download them to my iPod in the hopes that I will start on the treadmill this week. I think I will start with The Historian, as that was already on my list of possible books to read for the RIP IV Challenge, and I have heard such wonderful reviews of her newest book, The Swan Thieves, due to be released in January.

Many of us in the blogosphere are anxiously counting down the days until the fall 24-hour Read-a-thon the weekend of October 24-25. Several bloggers have already published their list of books that they plan to read over the course of the weekend. I participated in my first read-a-thon last April, and while I did not read 24 hours (or even the 12 hours that I had initially pledged), I did read for several hours and learned a number of details about myself.
  • First, I should plan what I think I might like to read over the weekend, but I need to allow myself to read whatever I "feel" like reading at the moment.

  • Second, I have plenty of books on the TBR shelves that I will be able to find something to fit whatever mood I may find myself. There is no need for a special trip to the library or bookstore (although I may feel the need to visit both places for other "addictive" reasons).

  • Third, I should have a number of fairly short books (under 300 pages) in the queue, as well as a number of books that are fairly easy reads -- meaning, they are quick to draw the reader in and full of suspense to keep the reader motivated to continue.

  • Fourth, I need a game plan that allows me plenty of uninterrupted reading time, but also allows me time to visit other blogs and socialize in the community. Last time there were so many wonderful cheerleaders who kept everyone energized and motivated, and I want to be a part of that crowd.

While I will not commit to reading the following books over the weekend, these are ones that are viable possibilities:

  • The Boy in Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • Victorian Ghost Stories by Eminent Women Writers by Richard Dalby
  • Willow by Julia Hoban
  • Still Life by Louise Penny
  • The Wednesday Sisters by Meg White Clayton
  • The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  • Just after Sunset (collection of short stories) by Steven King
  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  • A Big Little Little Life by Dean Koontz
As you can tell, this is quite an eclectic group of books --- some YA titles, some mysteries, some contemporary fiction, some short stories, and a couple of memoirs.

Hopefully I will be in the routine of walking on the treadmill, so I plan to take exercise breaks and continue "reading" The Historian via my iPod.

I am VERY much looking forward to this special weekend. I have totally cleared my personal calendar (and hopefully it will stay that way) and I have scheduled all student papers due AFTER the challenge (so that I won't feel guilty that I "should" be grading rather than pleasure reading). How about you? Will you be able to join the rest of us bibliophiles for an insanely fun weekend of reading pleasure?


  1. The Glass Castle is a must. I also really liked The Time Travelers Wife.

  2. Great pics for the Read A Thon. The Boy In The Striped Pajamas is a quick (but heart-wrenching) read. I love Louise Penny but I haven't read the one you have on your list yet. Good luck with the Read A Thon!!

  3. Looks like you've got some great books lined up. Wish I could participate in the read-a-thon!

  4. While other people have been squirreling away books for the readathon, I've been hoarding advice, so thanks for the tips! Part of my plan is to read while on the elliptical for at least ten minutes every hour, so books with larger print are next on my list of things to do!

  5. I can only imagine The Historian on audio! I loved that book. And of course you know I loved The Shadow of the Wind on audio as well! FYI, The Glass Castle was an excellent audio too! I think you will find that you won't want to get off the treadmill with these books! Walking has become my guilty pleasure!

    Did I tell you this already? I can't do the 24 hour read-a-thon, as I will be on a cruise! I had planned on joining, with my daughter, but that's what I get for making plans. Maybe in the spring. It is a dream to think about having 24 hours to read to my heart's content!

  6. I love the Hunger Games and Catching Fire, I can't wait for book 3 and the movie. :D

  7. Good luck with the Read A Thon. I signed up but that weekend is turning out to be super-busy so we'll see. But I'll be cheering you on!

  8. I haven't had a chance yet to sit down with my book today, but hopefully soon. Hubby and I did make a stop at the bookstore this morning while we were out and about and three new books came home with me. I blame the gift card burning a hole in my wallet.

    You've got a great list of books lined up for the Read-A-Thon, Molly. I wish you luck!

  9. Looks like you're well prepared for the Read-A-Thon, Molly! I am going to participate too...and I agree that having a game plan is a good idea. I also made myself a spread sheet for each hour where I could record # pages read, who I visited, mini-challenges I completed, etc...It really helped later in the event when my mind was so tired I couldn't think straight!

  10. You're really ready for it this time around! The first time I tried I got sick, the second time around was more successful but I was very distracted by the beautiful weather. This time I am ready!

    It is so cute that you have scheduled papers for after the R-A-T.

    Catching Fire is excellent Read-A Thon material by the way. Good luck.

  11. I like your plan. Sounds like you are anticipating a great 24 hours. Good luck in making it happen.

  12. If any of your "short books" are novellas, you can join my November Novella Challenge! :)

  13. I read "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" last week-liked it a lot-It kept my attention very well and might be a good book for the last part of the read a thon-right after I finished the book I got the movie and enjoyed it also-the movie left out somethings and changed the end a little but it was good itself-if you read it I will be interested to see your reactions

  14. You have picked some great books, Molly. Best of luck with the Read-a-thon!

    Just to add to your list (sorry; it can wait as this seems to be a bad time), I have left an award for you on my blog. No strings, but if you want to pick it up it is here:

  15. Loved, loved, loved The Glass Castle and Shadow of the Wind.

    Was not a fan of The Historian, but several of my students just loved it.

    I have Time Traverler's Wife and Boy in the Striped Pajamas on my list.

    Seems like our tastes over lap alot. Do you read many books recommended by your students? That is where I get some of my favorites. Have a GREAT Read-A-Thon.

  16. I'm really looking forward to the read-a-thon as well. Looks like you have some great tips/ideas. And your TBR list looks good too--Catching Fire is on my read-a-thon pile too.

  17. Good luck with the readathon! I'd do it, but I'm in first draft on two projects and I can't read for pleasure right now.

  18. I'm giving it a shot, too. We'll see how it goes. Still Life is on my list of possibles, too.

  19. I think that you have a nice variety of books on your list. I checked out a few from the library so that I would have some more variety (young adult and graphic novel titles).

    This will be my first time participating, and I'm curious to see how long I last.

  20. Thanks for your advice! I'm doing the Read-A-Thon for the first time myself and I'm soooooo excited! I think I read about your experiences and got inspired to try it the next time it came around.

  21. You've got a great variety of books. I think if I do it, I'm going to get a pile ready, too, so that I can pick up whatever will keep me away!

  22. Can't wait for the readathon, either -- such a fun event.

    I'm thinking of reading the first two on your list as well.

  23. I am so looking forward to 'The Swan Thieves'. I thought 'The Historian' had some problems (most notably not selecting carefully enough from all the research she'd done) but it had real potential and I can't wait to see if that's been fulfilled.

  24. I'm eying at some of the titles you set aside for the read-a-thon. This will be my first one since I couldn't make any of the past read-a-thons. I've got (so far) The History of Love and The Historian. Totally agree with you that I need some short books to get through the possible ennui and reading block from delving in the same book! I'm thinking about the play Pygmalion, which I haven't read since 11th grade! I also plan to include at least one from each category: literary fiction, mystery, and LGBT fiction.

  25. The Richard Dalby book of ghost stories sounds very intriguing!

    If you have time, please visit my blog and leave a comment about your favorite mystery or thriller as we approach the season of long, dark evenings by the fireside. Hope to hear from you!


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