Monday, October 31, 2011

My Thoughts On: Legend by Marie Lu

Legend by Marie Lu
Published by Putnam Juvenile
Publish Date:  November 29, 2011

336 Pages
My Source:  Borrowed
Legend by Marie Lu
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.  -(summary from Goodreads.com)
My Thoughts:  Legend is an upcoming young adult dystopian novel that is set in a futuristic California. Compared to other dystopian stories, the government in Legend is doing some really awful things (in my opinion) and the story stands out in that way. Marie Lu created a sombering and believable world with really great characters, and this is a book that I can stand behind. 


Let's talk about Legend in terms of the protagonists, because they are awesome.


1.  Day. Day is a great and lovable protagonist - one that I was drawn to and sympathized with from the start. He is the nation's top criminal, but is ever-elusive. The government can't seem to catch him. In fact, they don't even know what he looks like...they only have fingerprints. Day is intensely loyal and loving to his family and friends. Because of his rob-from-the-rich-to-give-to-the-poor tendencies, Day has become a reluctant hero to the outlying masses. He even steals medication from hospitals in the city to give to the poor infected in the slums. Day became a criminal when he mysteriously failed the Trials and ran away, which was odd because he really thought he was smarter than that...
2.  June. June is one smart cookie! She is young and athletic and grew up in a world opposite from Day. June is the only one in the Republic to earn a perfect score on her Trials. Because of her serious smarts, June started University before she was even a teenager, at the tender age of twelve. Because of her age, June gets herself into trouble frequently by being mischievous and pulling tons of pranks. June's story turns serious when her brother, Metias, is murdered.  Metias holds a high position in the government. (Metias raised June after the mysterious death of her parents, who also worked for the government.) When Metias is killed, June is promoted to help find his killer. Her skills are second to none, so she seems the best choice to locate Day, as he is the top suspect for the murder. When June finds Day, she realizes that the government may be mistaken...this guy can't be a criminal, can he? He seems so genuine and so caring...Soon sparks fly and there are feelings. The more June learns about Day and the Republic, the more she begins to question her loyalties. 

After Day and June find each other, the story is quite fast-paced and very exciting. I found myself turning the pages faster and faster to find out what would happen, particularly to Day. There are some scenes that are really intense and almost hard to stomach -- not in an entirely gruesome way, but in a "shocking/I-thought-the-government-was-FOR-the-people" kind of way. In this book, we get to see what it looks like when the government lies to their people, and it is very uncomfortable. BUT that is what makes this book so spectacular. 


These characters are wonderful, well-developed, and so much fun to read. There are also some supporting characters that are truly great (in particular, a friend/sidekick of Day's named Tess). The villains are wonderfully horrible -- I mean, I just loathed them, and with good reason. There is also a budding romance, but don't roll your eyes! It is sweet and it adds to the story, but it never overpowers and leaves plenty of room for development in later installments. Also, the story is told in alternating points-of-view, which I think only serve to add to this story rather than detract from it. The POV's complement each other very well and are seamless in structure. Ultimately, I cannot foresee any confusion from these alternating POV's, even for readers who tend not to favor this type of storytelling. 


I would like to also mention -- for those of us who love the look of a book -- that the borrowed ARC that I was reading used gold print inside of the book. Little touches like that really set a book apart, in my opinion. I have not seen a finished copy at this time, but the finished copies will be just as stunning, I'm sure. Certainly worth checking out, at any rate. 


I recommend Legend for any fans of YA dystopian. 


*I borrowed this book as part of Around The World Book Tours in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions. I received no compensation for my review. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

book snobbery

I read an interesting article in yesterday's Huffington Post that reminded me there are people in the world that are different than me. I had totally forgotten about this (apparently large) group of people. 


The writer of this article finds himself surprised -- shocked, even -- at the fascination with comic books in today's culture. He is also amazed at the group of people that read about vampires and zombies. The author 
1) questions whether we might be regressing as a culture and 
2) literally uses the phrase "dumbing-down of American culture."


I was shocked and appalled by this. Perhaps it is because I hang with the bookish-types all the time, but who on earth would consider us to be REGRESSING as a culture because of what we choose to read? I prefer not to think of us as dumbing ourselves down. I'm just happy that we're all READING. Am I alone in my thinking?


I do feel it important to mention that the writer of the article does not want to insult anyone and has "no quarrel with folks who love and enjoy these categories." After all, he read them when he was younger. He just doesn't understand why ADULTS are falling so hard for these genres. (You can find Warren Adler's article here. I recommend reading it.) 


I appreciate articles like this one, because it reminds me that there are people out there that are not like me. I had forgotten the ones that read the stuff that I might consider boring all the time. People who always read for enlightenment or education or some higher purpose. This is all well and good, but I am not one of those people


I enjoy a good piece of classical literature every now and then. I also enjoy literary fiction and adult fiction and non-fiction and memoirs. I really do love these types of books and would consider reading titles in these genres in a heartbeat if they interest me. Enlightenment and education is good, y'all. However, I don't read them all of the time, exclusively. That would make me a BOOK SNOB. 


I also love science-fiction and fantasy books, like WHOA. I read to escape -- like some of you know -- so this is my go-to genre. But I don't read exclusively science-fiction and fantasy. If I did, I would be a BOOK SNOB. 


I am a Christian and read Christian non-fiction and the occasional Christian fiction. I don't read exclusively in this genre, because I am not a BOOK SNOB. 


Lately, the biggest chunk of what I'm reading (if you'll hang with me, I'm gonna tie this all together, I promise) is paranormal and dystopian mixed with science-fiction and fantasy. This is my favorite, but not my one and only. I read adult and young adult titles in these genres. Let me explain why: 


There is NOTHING like reading a book that is so gripping, so exciting that you can barely stand it. Then talking about it with the world -- whether your real life friends or your blogger friends or your Twitter friends -- with quick words or quick typing fingers. The "OMG!" and "WHAT?!?" conversations about books are the BEST, and these conversations (at least, in my experience) are happening with the paranormal, the dystopian, the post-apocalyptic, the sci-fi, the fantasy books! Zombies and Vampires, Mr. Article Writer. Zombies and Vampires... 

From my experience, these books are so popular because of their WOW factor. And the WOW factor extends from the young adult ages into the adult ages, so even suggesting that we're dumbing-down our culture is stupid. Even the not-so-great zombie and vampire books breeds bookish conversation, which breeds more reading. 


If the confusion and opinions of the writer of that article mirror those of the world, then I think the world needs to get a grip and move on to some real issues.  

There's a little something for everyone out there. It's the same as everyone having their own way of making their coffee or tea, and everyone enjoying their own styles of music. There's room enough for everyone and their individual reading preferences in this world. Why don't we spend more time being EXCITED that people are READING then worrying about WHAT people are reading and if it is regressing our culture? I'd happily interact with a reader who is super-duper excited about zombies, vampires, and comics ANY DAY over a stuffy ole' judgmental reader who only reads classical literature for enlightenment and questions me because I enjoy the paranormal stuff. 


What about you guys? 
Are you BOOK SNOBS? 
Do you stick to one or two genres, 
or do you read just about anything?

Do you think Zombies & Vampires are 
dumbing our culture down? 

I want to know! 

**for the purposes of this blog post, I consider a BOOK SNOB to be someone who stays within  a comfortable genre or two and won't leave it. they read it for a purpose and usually "don't read" other types of books. for example:  "i don't read biographies, non-fiction, or memoirs." 
**also, being a BOOK SNOB isn't necessarily a bad thing. it's actually kinda funny. so don't be upset with me, okay?! i'm just having fun with this blog post. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday {6}


Hosted by Breaking the Spine
in which we can highlight upcoming releases
we're having a fit over.


My choice for this week is:
Pure by Julianna Baggott


Pure by Julianna Baggott
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Expected Publication:  February 8, 2012
We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.
Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.
When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.     -(summary from Goodreads.com)
*************************************** 
Why am I so impatient for this book? 

I'm a die-hard fan of the dystopian and post-apocalyptic stuff. I just cannot get enough of it! It doesn't matter to me if there is a ton of it out there...if the story is written well with great world-building and brings something new to the table, then BRING IT ON...

This, friends, is exactly that type of book. The goodreads summary had me at "ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies..." I've snuck a peak at this one and....just trust me. If you only take one dystopian recommendation from me this year, then add this one to your to-be-read list!

"A boiling and roiling glorious mosh-pit of a book, full of wonderful weirdness, tenderness, and wild suspense. If Katniss could jump out of her own book and pick a great friend, I think she'd find an excellent candidate in Pressia." -Aimee Bender, New York Times Bestselling author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

This one makes me squeal and dance...

What are you all waiting for?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Thoughts On: Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry

Dead of Night: A Zombie Novel by Jonathan Maberry
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Publish Date:  October 25, 2011

368 Pages
My Source:  NetGalley
Dead of Night:  A Zombie Novel 
by Jonathan Maberry
A prison doctor injects a condemned serial killer with a formula designed to keep his consciousness awake while his body rots in the grave.  But all drugs have unforeseen side-effects.  Before he could be buried, the killer wakes up.  Hungry.  Infected.  Contagious.  This is the way the world ends.  Not with a bang…but a bite.  -(summary from Goodreads.com)
My Thoughts:  This was my first Jonathan Maberry experience and all I can say is WOW! I read this book with no idea what to expect and a love for all things zombie. Really, that was all I needed because Mr. Maberry took care of the rest.


There are five main characters sharing narration:  


1.  Desdemona Fox (Dez), a sexy-with-an-attitude police officer with a drinking problem and a tons of baggage. Dez previously worked in the military and spent time in Afghanistan in active duty, so she kicks butt and is as brave as they come. She thinks carefully and clearly, and is a wonderful female main character! Dez has problems--real problems--and the blending of her real-life problems with the zombie apocalypse is written masterfully and brilliant. I love this character and find her so incredibly believable. I held my breath for her so many times and she was triumphant in most of these times. Dez is awesome and I think anyone who reads this book will have no choice but to feel the same way about her. 
2.  JT Hammond, Dez's partner, who she sees as sometimes-a-father-figure-but-sometimes-a-friend. Having lost both of her parents when she was younger, Dez depends on JT both as her co-worker and outside of work. JT has always done small-town police work and has pretty much no experience firing guns on criminals before, let alone shooting zombies in the head. Needless to say, JT freaks out a bit when all hell breaks loose in Stebbins, PA and it is Dez that is able to keep him in check. 
3.  Billy Trout, the awesome news reporter who is always on the lookout for the next big news story. He is the first to stumble upon THIS goldmine/trainwreck of a story and soon discovers that the government wants to keep the world outside of Stebbins, PA from finding out exactly what is going on. Billy is also Dez's ex-boyfriend, and their relationship ended in a pretty volatile way. His efforts throughout the story include trying to find out the truth and break it to the world and to protect Dez while reminding her/making her realize that she still loves him. He has a tough job ahead of him! Billy is another awesome character and a great complement to Dez - they play off of each other very well, even bickering back-and-forth literally while fighting off zombies. 
4.  Homer Gibbons, the awful, despicable, vile already-executed serial killer who just happens to be back from the dead and responsible for the disastrous outbreak that will most likely end the world. Homer is written in a very interesting way, meaning he is a little bit different than the other zombies. He seems to be the only zombie that does not have the shuffling gait, the moan, and the hollow stare. (Don't worry, this is addressed in the story.) I was intrigued by his character but also repulsed by him. Brilliantly written!  
5.  Doc Hartnup, who opens the story...the doctor who is responsible for performing the autopsy on Homer's body and instead becomes Homer's first victim. Doc is well-liked by the community. At first living are deeply saddened when they hear the news that he has been murdered, then they are confused and horrified to realize that Doc has become a zombie. It is Doc's perspective that is the most unique and wonderful - Doc narrates his point-of-view by way of thoughts as a person trapped in his own body, which he can no longer control....so while the zombie walks around, terrorizing the town and infecting people (including his own family), Doc is helpless. I loved being privy to Doc's thoughts and emotions throughout the story, while he is helpless inside of his body -- I was emotionally connected to him, I pulled for him, and he pulled at my heartstrings. (This sympathy for a zombie is relatively new to me and I absolutely love it.) 


I could sing choruses of great things about this book for days, but I need to make a few points. Another list, if you will: 


1.   Each of the characters that I mention above--while so, so great--have their issues and make some bad decisions. They also have humanity and goodness in them, including Homer--as terrible as he is--who reveals a few gentle glimpses in conversations with his aunt. The fact that they all have both good and bad characteristics means that they're wonderfully believable. Even the supporting characters-the loads and loads of them-are all believable. Excellent use of characterization by Mr. Maberry. 
2.  Fans of both a character-driven story AND an action-driven story will be happy with Dead of Night! I really could not pick which type of story this was when I was thinking about it and came to the realization that it is an excellent blend of the two. I cannot tell you how exciting this is to me.
3.  This story is one to make people ponder a few things and think about what could possibly happen if a scenario similar to this happened in our real existence. How would the government respond to an outbreak like this? How far would the government go to protect the world from an outbreak such as this one? Are they already hiding anything similar to this from us and the rest of the world? I am certainly not suggesting we get anywhere near being stressed out over this topic, but it can make for some great thought-provoking conversation. 
4.  There are alternating points-of-view as a story structure, and they are done very well. While it does take a good few of the 100+ short chapters to lay the wide foundation of the story, it is constructed seamlessly and it takes off running from there. 


Guys and gals, what we have here is a zombie book like none other. I read this book in one sitting. I laughed, I made "Eww!" faces, I nearly vomited. I held my breath, I whispered "run run run run." I couldn't sit still while I was reading this book.  Sometimes I paced and sometimes I was on the edge of my seat. All of these things are the makings of a perfectly executed zombie novel. 


For those who have never read a zombie book before, and I'm finding out lately that there are quite a few out there, this one could possibly be compared to a George A. Romero movie or AMC's The Walking Dead. However, I want to stress to you that Mr. Maberry has crafted a work of genius that stands on its own. 


This book was well-written and fast-paced with a good dose of humanity. If you've read and loved any of Jonathan Maberry's previous books, you might want to give Dead of Night a try. If you are a fan of thrillers or horror stories, pick this one up. If you're looking for something creepy enough for Halloween, look no further. If you love zombies, then GET ON IT IMMEDIATELY! 


Friends, when you are looking for zombie books, you may find others out there, but I don't think you'll find others like this. 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions. I received no compensation for my review. Thank you St. Martin's Griffin!

Monday, October 24, 2011

My Thoughts On: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly, Departed by  Lia Habel
Published by Random House Publishing Group
Publish Date:  October 18, 2011

480 Pages
My Source:  Borrowed/NetGalley
Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?
The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.
But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.
In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.  -(summary from Goodreads.com)
My Thoughts:  I'm a sucker for all things zombie and dystopian/post-apocalyptic, so it seemed an absolutely certainty that I would be reading this book as soon as I could get my hands on it. Not only that, but it appealed to my "loves pretty covers" side in a major way. I was not disappointed; in fact, I was delighted. 

Let's talk about what I liked about Dearly, Departed

1. Nora Dearly. Nora is our sweet-n-sassy main female character. She is alive, meaning not-a-zombie, although she finds herself thrust head-first into a world she can barely believe exists. Mourning the death of her father only one year previously, Nora finds that the circumstances surrounding his 'death' aren't what she has been allowed to believe, and she is not happy about that! Nora is an independent teenager with a strong voice (which I loved) who is well-mannered and an aristocratic member of New Victorian society -- however, she isn't afraid of carrying a gun and fighting with her zombie friends for what is right! I adore this contrast. 
2. Bram Griswold. What a charming zombie! Undoubtedly handsome when he was alive, Bram is now one of the walking dead. He is witty, charming, and an excellent fighter. Bram is part of a group of special forces that work to prevent the spread of the zombie virus. He knows he isn't alive and that Nora is an aristocrat -- which is everything against what he believes -- but Bram can't help kinda-sorta falling for her. Also, Bram is funny in a very witty way, which earns him extra points as far as I am concerned. 
3. Characters. I love all of the other characters in this book -- the ones you are supposed to like and the ones you aren't. There are a ton of them and they are all well-written. (The other zombies could totally be people that I know in my real life -- well, that is, if they weren't dead.) 
4. Setting. Wow! for a great setting! Dearly, Departed is set in the future after a violent series of natural disasters has obliterated much of the world, causing widespread destruction, death, famine, and war. The United States is no longer in existence, the refugees having migrated south into the Central and South American regions. New Territories were formed and new societies were established; technologies were once again developed and there was peace. As a new government was established in the region, the people decided to revert back to the ways of the Victorian-era in terms of decor, dress, etiquette, and civility. This is where they got the name "New Victoria." Before too long, however, there rose a group that decided to revolt against this aristocracy, and the "Punks" came into existence. -- The author blended the future with the past and did it awesomely. I love it. 
5. Comedy. Who doesn't love a little bit of humor interjected every now and then? This book doesn't take itself too seriously, and that is one of the best things about it. Among all of the bazillion other obvious great reasons to read it, there are some outright funny lines in there. It's great. 
6. Genre. I am aware that there are some out there that think that the post-apocalyptic/dystopian genre might be a bit overdone, especially in YA literature. I am not one of these people. I love this genre, and if I find out about it, I will read it. In this case, we have a crossover or a mash-up (if you will) -- a blend of post-apocalyptic, paranormal, steampunk, and some romance. Yes, please. Mash it up and hand it over. 
7. Cover. Beautiful! In fact, I just included it on a list of some of my favorite pretty covers. 

I could go on listing a few more things, but in the interest of keeping this a blog post and not a novel, I should probably stop. Basically, what you should take from this little write-up is that I enjoyed this book tremendously, and for several reasons. I thought it was done well, and with humor, and this is sort of a rarity. 

One thing that I wish was a little different was the story structure. Dearly, Departed is written in alternating points-of-view and while I do not have a problem with this structure, I realize that some do. It is not a problem for me if it flows well. In this case I found myself flipping back a few times to remind myself who was speaking. This NEVER lessened how much I loved the book or the characters. It did not take away from my reading experience at all. However, I did feel it worth mentioning, as it is not only Nora and Bram doing the narrating -- there are a few other characters who offer their alternating POV's as well. Were I to change anything, I would probably make it only Nora and Bram narrating (in order to keep with the story structure, which I like) but to lessen the confusion of having so many characters telling the story. Does this make sense? 

Lia Habel has done well with this book. I am so excited and thrilled to have read it and will not hesitate to read the second installment in this series as soon as I can get my little paws on it. I adore her use of contrast to tell a story set in the future but with the charm of the past. I thought it was brilliantly written with humor and wit. The author's use of dialogue was outstanding. And the story/romance between Nora and Bram was wonderful. It appealed to me on so many different levels and I had a great time reading it. 

If you're a fan of zombies and you like YA books, give Dearly, Departed a try! If you like the post-apocalyptic/dystopian genre, this might be one for your to-be-read list! If you like a little bit of zombie romance, you definitely want to read this book. I'm ready and waiting for the next book in the series!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions. I received no compensation for my review. Thank you Random House!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The End!


Oh my word, you guys. I barely made it. I'm not even joking. But I did! I didn't read a zillion books like some of you guys did, but who cares??? My books weren't itty bitty and I was goal-free to prevent feeling bad about myself. And you know what?? IT WORKED! 

1.  Which hour was most daunting for you?
It was hardest for me from 3:30 am til 6:00 am. At that point, I stopped visiting other blogs and cheerleading (sorry guys!), turned off my computer, and left Twitter alone. It was just me and the book. I dozed off a time or two. But I made it. 

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

Well, everyone has different tastes, so I'm not sure that my recommendations would really mean a hill of beans to anyone else. I WILL SAY that it was a REMARKABLE decision to save Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me for the middle of the night. That was a book that I really wanted to stay awake for. It was DELICIOUS. 

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

More cheerleading, maybe? I'm sure some of the blogs got tons of cheerleading, but my experience in my own blog and interacting with some of the other blogs is that not all of them did. Readers shouldn't feel like they're reading alone -- that's the point of this event, right?

What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

I really loved the collective list of everyone's blog on the cheerleader's page. I didn't sign up to cheer, but cheered about 1/3 of my time. I used this list for the full 24 hours. It was a GREAT thing!

How many books did you read?

2.5 -- I'm totally happy with that! 

What were the names of the books you read?

Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi 
We The Animals by Justin Torres -- still not finished, this book deserves more than a quick readathon breeze-thru. It's amazing. 

Which book did you enjoy most?

It's a toss-up between Dead of Night and Shatter Me -- two very different books, and very awesome. 

Which did you enjoy least?

None, I made great choices for the readathon! I don't think it is fair to remark about We The Animals since I'm not finished with it yet. So far, it is amazing.   :)

If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

I wasn't an official cheerleader, so...
But I cheered my butt off anyway. 

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

I'll really have to think about it.... 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mid-Event Readathon Survey & an Update

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now?



I'm very nearly finished with Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry and We The Animals by Justin Torres. Haven't finished a book yet today, but since I'm almost finished with these -- when I do I'll have TWO under my belt. Holla. 

2. How many books have you read so far?



--see above answer

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?



I'm considering reading Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. I've seen everyone completely freak out about that one for a long time now. I won't know for sure until I finish the first books because I CAN'T PLAN AHEAD!! 

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?



Kind of. My husband agreed to cook today and take the kids (3 of them!) for me. So he made pancakes for breakfast, took the kids on a nice long bike ride for several hours this afternoon, then came home and grilled out for dinner. Normally he would never have had to do all of this by himself. I totally appreciate it! 

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?



It isn't possible to have children at home without interruptions, but they understand what a readathon is and they are great at being supportive of it. I must say they've kept their interruptions at a minimum. The worst interruption for me today is the noise level. I realized while they were all gone that I read much more efficiently in a readathon if I'm home alone. 
ALSO, the interruptions are the reason I don't set concrete goals for myself. Because I know to anticipate them, I don't feel disappointment in myself that I haven't totally finished my book yet. I know that if I keep with it, I will soon.  :)

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?



Honestly, I think I had built up this particular readathon so much in my head that I thought there would be tons more cheerleading. Maybe my blog and twitter has been especially quiet and hit-or-miss, but it is a little disheartening to me. 

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?



No. 

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?



I don't really know! Ask me again in 12 more hours!

9. Are you getting tired yet?



Yes! All day long I've wanted to throw in the towel and sleep. At this point, I'm considering it...

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 would say to the other readers and cheerleaders, to spread the love with the cheerleading. It means a lot to everyone. Try and visit blogs that you don't normally visit and interact with people you don't normally interact with. I was super excited about this 12 hours ago...now I'm not feeling it and I know that the encouragement and support and "we're-in-it-togetherness" of the reading community tends to make a difference with events like this. 


Thanks to all of the organizers! 
Now back to reading for me! 


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Update:


I finally finished Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry
WOW, that ending...


If you're a fan of the TV show The Walking Dead or 
if you love zombies, you will probably love that book. 


Just wanted to share that with everyone. 
Now I'm about to finish my second book. 
Keep at it, everybody...Hang in there!!!

Readathon: Update!

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Good morning everybody! I got started at 8am this morning with Jonathan Maberry's Dead of Night and read a few chapters before breaking to make my starting post. I'm excited to be readathoning with everyone today, and I'm super excited to see that #readathon was trending worldwide on Twitter a few minutes ago. Pretty awesome stuff...


1)Where are you reading from today?
  
I'm reading from Greenville, North Carolina! More specifically, I won't be sitting still. Chances are that I'll be all over my house. I can't sit still. My kids wanted to go to the park or take a hike or do something outside while the weather is nice here, so I might tag along and find a nice place to sit and read while they have their fun. It works on lots of levels, y'all...


2)Three random facts about me…

  • I can't read just one book at a time; I read more than one book at any time. Right now, I've got three going. It makes complete and total sense to me and I can keep up with it all perfectly fine. 
  • I love audiobooks. They are incredibly soothing and calming to me. I love them to the point where I've just started checking out the actual printed copy and reading along with the voice on the audiobook. May sound pointless to some, but to me it is a HUGE stress-reliever and I love it so much. I don't listen to every audiobook this way, but I'm listening to my current read this way. (Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro)
  • I have a husband and three children, and they have all prepared for the readathon by getting some books from the library. They typically will read together with me at some point during the day, which swells my heart so big, you guys.  
3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?

I didn't make a pile for this readathon, because I know that I won't stick to it. I have tons of review books that I also really want to read. I also have tons of library books and books on my shelves that I really want to read. They are all calling out to me. I never choose my books ahead of time (unless I have a scheduling issue with a review, which is rare) so I'll just see what I'm feeling when I'm done with my first book. No lists or plans or piles = a much better readathon experience for me! 

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)? 

Nope, no reading goals for this readathon. I just want to spend the day reading with my bookish community. It'll be nice to catch up some, but the number of pages read or number of books read is not relevant to me. I do, however, want to visit as many of the participating blogs as I can and cheer everyone on. I love this part as much or maybe more than the reading. That, and seeing what everyone chooses to read...

5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?

This isn't my first readathon, but I wouldn't yet consider myself a veteran either. I'll be soaking up the advice everyone posts...


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 Starting Hour Six: My First Update

If I spend all of my time doing updates, I won't get much reading done! Well, I haven't read all THAT much so far, but I'm chugging along. I've spent the morning working on two books: 

Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry
and 
We The Animals by Justin Torres

I'm still working on them both and they're both excellent! I've also been spending a good bit of time visiting blogs and cheerleading. I love doing this! 

Here's my plan for the next few hours: 

Keep Reading these two books. 
If I finish them, start another. 
Also, keep cheerleading! 

I'll be back with another update soon! Keep reading, you guys! 

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Starting Hour Ten: My Second Update


Okay, well I'm still sitting here in my living room reading away. Almost finished with my first book. Kinda getting tired of sitting here. Could use a little cheering, ain't gonna lie. Husband is bringing home a movie to watch while I read and it is looking mighty tempting to me. Can you convince me to keep with it? 

I've got tons of great books here...

 
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