Saturday, 12 October 2013

Liveblogging Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

Hour 1 - 2

Intoduction Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?UK

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Okay, I am kinda hooked up on Saga. Can't believe I am saying this.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
O'Gradys Classic Country Cream

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I read stuff. :)

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? 
Instead of books, I will be diving into my TBR mag mountain stack.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Dewey's Read-a-Thon: Take 2

This autumn I have decided to go for a somewhat less conventional Read-a-thon goal: I've got a boxful of magazines, sitting around since forever . Some of them have moved with me twice already. It is time I tackle them.

Secret shame: a box stuffed with unread magazines.

When I get tired of magazines, I will be continuing to read Cryptonomicon, one of my TBR Pile 2013 Challenge titles, and I also have Saga, vol. 2 all prepped for when I crave a palate cleanser. Both ebooks.

On top of that, I still have some of the April Read-a-thon titles sitting around unread. Top goal: get to one of them at least.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-thon, Meme and Stats

End of Event Meme

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
I got very sleepy around hour 11, which was 23:00 local time, but I managed to push through it and kept awake for another 4 hours.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

Here are some pageturners I’ve read this year:
Joe Scalzi, Old Man’s War
Ben Aaronovitch, Moon Over Soho
S J Watson, Before I Go to Sleep
Rachel Hartman, Seraphina
W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
As this was my first Read-a-thon, I do not have enough perspective to answer these questions. At least not yet.

5. How many books did you read?
2 finished, 4 tackled.

6. What were the names of the books you read?
Shannon Hale, The Goose Girl
Dava Sobel, Longitude
Lynn Fllewelling, The Bone Doll's Twin
Ahmed Khaled Towfik, Utopia

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
The Goose Girl.

8. Which did you enjoy least?
The Bone Doll’s Twin

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?
Will definitely participate as a reader. 

Read-a-thon in Numbers

Book read at some point during the Read-a-thon: 4
Out of those, completed: 2
Pages read: 704

Time Breakdown:

Pure reading time: just over 12 hours
Sleep: 5 hours
Blogging/internet: 3-4  hours
Errands: 2 hours
Food/hygene/misc: 1-2 hours

Average reading speed: 60 pages/hour

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Liveblogging Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-thon, Part II

Part I is here.

Mid-Event Survey

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?
I was getting very sleepy around midnight, but I read through it and doing okay so far! I might catch a quick nap in a couple of hours though.

2) What have you finished reading?
Books completed: 1 (The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, 383 pages, read in 5hrs 50 min)
Sections Completed: part of The Bone Doll's Twin by Lynn Flewelling, 85 pages

3) What is your favorite read so far?
I have only finishes 1 book so far, but it was very good.

4) What about your favorite snacks?
Does Advoccat count?

5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!
I was so busy reading I have not done much exploring as yet, I am saving this for later stages!

Hour #14

My current reading location: home, nested on a comfy beanbag.
My current read: Longitude by Dava Sobel. First non-fiction of the stack! This will count towards my Mount TBR Challenge.

Here's what my reading station looks like atm:

Hour #22

So, um, I fell asleep barely 20 pages into Longitude. I opened my eyes at 8.30 am and have been reading ever since without moving off the couch or even emptying my bladder. I am exactly 100 pages in with 75 to go. Now for a spot of breakfast and a bubble bath! (Both activities are perfectly compatible with uninterrupted reading.)

Can't believe there are only 3 hours to go.

Must. Keep. Reading.

Hour #24

So, the Read-a-thon is done! Since the last update, I have managed to finish Longitude and started on Ahmed Khaled Towfik's Utopia

Utopia by Ahmed Khaled Towfik

At 1 pm I was on page 61. (I did carry on reading though, and finished it by about 3pm.)

I have absolutely enjoyed the experience, but now I need to have some downtime before writing a round-up post. 

Liveblogging Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-thon

11:39am GMT

Read-a-thon starts 1pm local time, so it is less than 90 minutes to go. All systems at the ready!

I am about to leave for my first cafe. Nothing fancy, just a local Costa.

Hour #1

Introductory Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
London, UK

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Richard III manga. Because. I also find Towik's Utopia fascinating: near future SF by an Egyptian author. What's not to like?

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
As I am cafe-hopping through the Read-a-thon, I do not have a designated snack stack, but I am looking forward to visiting Camden Coffee House tomorrow.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I read therefore I am. 

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?
I am a newbie, but I look forward to testing my reading limits.

Hour #2

Ahh, some actual reading.

I am starting with Lynn Flewelling’s The Bone Doll’s Twin, book 1 of the Tamir Triad, which I happened to be reading over the last few days. I am on page 134 and I plan to make it to the halfway point before pausing and switching to another book.

Hour #4

Read-a-thon Essentials

- book
- another book
- sticky notes
- notebook
- coffee
- coziness
- connected laptop
- camera

Hours #5-13

Did not do much blogging or tweeting in this time - too busy reading!

Here’s my progress update:

Read the planned section of The Bone Doll’s Twin and put it aside. Will complete it after the readathon.
Pages read: 85

Started and finished The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. Blame this book for my lack of posting! Literally could not put it down. Treat, an absolute treat. And s-o-o-o satisfying.

Pages read: 383
Read in 5 hours 50 minutes.

Total pages read: 468

Now it is middle of the night in my timezone, I am at home and I am trying to decide what to read next. Find out what I went for in Part II here.

My Read-a-thon Stack

To find out more about Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-thon you can check out my master post or go to the Read-a-thon website.

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon

It is the 24-Hour Read-a-thon weekend!

I have been looking forward to it ever since I've found out about this event last autumn. This will be my first time participating, and I am so phyched about it! Can't wait to dig into my Read-a-thon book stack (lovingly picked months ago) and engage in some social reading.


Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon is a twice yearly event, created in 2007 by Dewey. The premise is irresistible:
For 24 hours, we read books, post to our blogs about our reading, and visit other readers’ blogs. We also participate in mini-challenges throughout the day. It happens twice a year, in April and in October.

My Read-a-thon Goals

1. Physical books trump ebooks
2. Select the reads that are likely to contribute to my 2013 reading challenges, in particular Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Reading Strategies

I plan to do most of my reading while cafe-hopping, so I did not prep any special food. I did, however, save this week's Graze box for emergency... well, grazing.

My Read-a-thon Stack

1. Lynn Flewelling, The Bone Doll's Twin
2. A. S. Byatt, The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye
3. Grimm's Fairy Tales
4. Shannon Hale, The Goose Girl
5. Manga Shakespeare, Richard III
6. Ahmed Khaled Towfik, Utopia
7. Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain
8. Simon Garfield, Just My Type
9. Dava Sobel, Longitude

I have selected more books than I expect to finish to give myself variety and circumvent reading fatigue at the later stages of the Read-a-thon. I reckon I'll have completed at least 4 by the end of 24 hours. We shall see is this prediction holds!

My Read-a-thon Progress

Here the link to my Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-thon liveblog post, I will also be tweeting as @mae_ost.

Happy reading!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2013

Hosted by: My Reader’s Block

Aim: reduce your TBR pile by committing to read a certain number of books in a year.

My Goal: Mt. Ararat or 48 books (Kilimanjaro feels a bit too high, and I find Mt. Vancouver boring. Sorry, Canada...)

Comments: since I have been planning to read primarily from my own books anyway, this is right up my alley! I am not pre-selecting any particular books for this challenge, because I plan to rely on crossovers and count books I will read for my other challenges toward this one. Birds, stones, etc.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Tea & Books Reading Challenge 2013

Hosted by: The Book Garden

Aim: to read books with more than 650 pages. Fiction & non-fiction counts, as well as re-reads.  

My Goal: no goal! I simply read what I want and at the end of the year I’ll tally up how many of the books were over 650 pages long.

Friday, 25 January 2013

The 2013 Middle East Reading Challenge

Hosted by: Maphead

Aim: “Read as many books as you'd like. Eligible books include those which are written by Middle Eastern writers, or take place in the Greater Middle East, or are concerned with the Greater Middle East and with historical and contemporary Middle Eastern issues.”

My Goal: Diplomat level: 5 to 10 books

Comments: As with other challenges, I have picked some books that I already own to read as part of this challenge. While there are no imposed categories, the challenge host gives ideas and suggestions about what to read as part of the challenge. I have included their suggested categories in brackets.

My tentative book list:

Ahmed Khaled Towfik, Utopia (translated fiction)
Anne-Marie Drosso, Cairo Stories (short story collection)
Rafik Schama, The Dark Side of Love (written by the MENA author, set in the MENA countries)
Olivia Manning, The Levant Trilogy (set in the MENA countries)
Robin Wright, Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East (explores historical and contemporary MENA issues)
Lord Edward Cecil, The Leisure of an Egyptian Official (a memoir)

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Back to the Classics Challenge 2013

Hosted by: Sarah Reads Too Much

Aim: Complete at least one book in each of the 6 required categories by the end of 2013. For bonus points: complete at least 3 out of 5 bonus categories. The hosts do not subscribe to any particular definition of classic. Challenge crossovers are allowed.

My Goal: I want them all! So I am going for 11 books altogether! 

Comments: As the host points out, it IS more fun to pick the books before starting the challenge, even if the list is not binding in the end.

So here are my picks:

(Unless otherwise noted, all of these are the books I own/have in my TBR pile)

A 19th Century Classic - Charlotte Bronte, Villette (* ebook)
A 20th Century Classic - W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil 
A Pre-18th or 18th Century Classic - William Shakespeare, Richard III
A Classic that relates to the African-American Experience - Toni Morrison, Beloved
A Classic Adventure - H. Rider Haggard, She
A Classic that prominently features an Animal - no idea, drawing a blank!

Re-read a Classic - either Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (* ebook) or Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
A Russian Classic - Varlam Shalamov, Kolyma Tales (* ebook)
A Classic Non-Fiction title - either Johann Burchard, At the Court of the Borgia or Walter Pater, The Renaissance (* ebook)
A Classic Children's/Young Adult title - Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Classic Short Stories - Ray Bradbury, The Stories of Ray Bradbury (* ebook) 
in progress

Monday, 7 January 2013

2013 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Hosted by: Historical Tapestry

Aim: Read any kind of Historical Fiction, including Fantasy, Young Adult, etc. As simple as that! Challenge crossovers are allowed.

My Goal: Renaissance Reader - 10 books

Comments: I have settled on this reading level in part because I like the way it sounds, in part because this gives my a comfortable and strain-less reading goal, and in part because I actually have a some Renaissance-based fiction to get through.

My Alterations: to make this more interesting for myself, I was inspired by the 2013 TBR Pile Challenge to pre-select the books I will attempt to read as part of Historical Fiction Reading Challenge! Now, unlike with the TBR Pile challenge, I do not consider these selections obligatory. In other words, failure to complete them all will not automatically mean failure to complete the challenge, as long as I will have read other books to make up the number I have committed to. Still, I think it will be quite interesting to compare my actual read books tally at the end of 2013 with what I had in mind at the start of the year!

Books I plan to read as part of this challenge:

(All of them are from my TBR pile, unless otherwise marked.)
  1. Karen Essex, Leonardo’s Swans - completed
  2. James Cowan, A Mapmaker’s Dream
  3. Sarah Dunant, In the Company of the Courtesan
  4. Sarah Dunant, The Birth of Venus (*a reread)
  5. Marina Fiorato, The Botticelli Secret
  6. - completed
  7. Andrew Miller, Pure
  8. - completed
  9. Michelle Moran, The Heretic Queen (* ebook)
  10. - completed
  11. Michelle Moran, Cleopatra’s Daughter (* ebook)
  12. - completed
  13. Robert Graves, I, Claudius (* ebook)
  14. - completed
  15. Philippa Gregory, Wideacre
  16. James Clavell, Shogun
  17. Leonid Solovyov, The Tale of Hodja Nasreddin, Disturber of the Peace (* a reread)
  18. Kate Williams, The Pleasures of Men (* ebook arc)
  19. - completed
  20. Toni Morrison, Beloved