Mid Event Meme

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?  The Funny Thing is…by Ellen Degeneres

2. How many books have you read so far? I’ve finished 3

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?  I have not thought past the books I’m reading now 🙂

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?  Just warned my husband that he would only see me during our 2 football games, reading of course! 

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?  Small ones, took a nice long bath, kids at the door, fixing snacks, football games…I guess there have been a few.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?  I like the challenges, but wonder what’s going on with everyone else. 

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?  Nope.  It’s been great so far.

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

9. Are you getting tired yet?  My eyes are a little tired.  After the book I’m reading, I’ll listen to an audio book.

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 felt a little tired of reading after finishing Godmother, especially since I didn’t love it, but choosing a humor book that is making me laugh out loud has reenergized me.

Just spent 4 hours with Godmother

dreamstime_readathongI just finished Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon.  I wanted to love it, lots of bloggers did, but it wasn’t quite for me.  More on that another time.    My husband did read to me from the book we are reading to together How Successful People Think, but I don’t think we’ll finish it during the read-a-thon since the Michigan State football game just started.

Next up The Funny Thing is…by Ellen Degeneres.

Books Finished- 3

Pages Read – 653

Fun Quote from Godmother

I couldn’t believe that it was all right there, for anyone to see.  In the old days, no one spoke what they felt, and what we tapped into was buried deep.  Now here was a modern girl, with all the secret desires right up there on the screen.  It was the modern way.

page 92

7 Hours and 2 1/2 Books Later…

dreamstime_readathongOkay, my reading has been hampered by trying to read and watch the Ohio State football game, but I have managed to accomplish a few things.  I spent an hour on Ambrose Bierce’s Write it Right by Jan Freeman that I received to review for Library Thing.  It will not be a good review.  I can’t even count it as a book since I only managed to read 50 pages and skim 25. 

But I did finish The Housekeeper and the Professor by Ogawa and LOVED IT!!!  Can’t wait to tell you why when I write the review.

Books Finished – 2

Pages read – 360

Next up Godmother by Turgeon.  When I finish this one I will have completed the A-Z Challenge 🙂

It’s 8 and I’ve Got a Date!

dreamstime_readathongI’m up (barely) and ready to read.  First up is Murder on Nob Hill by Tallman.  I’m halfway through this one and really enjoying it.  Next update when I’ve finished it.

Books finished – 0

Pages Read – 0

Coffee consumed – 1

Food eaten- Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese

Hour One Challenge

Where are you reading from today? near Cleveland, Ohio

3 facts about me … I love cream cheese and everything bagels, I’d rather stay up til 8am than get up by 8 am, I woke up many times during the night because I was excited about a whole aday of reading 🙂

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? Lots

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)? My only goal is to read for the whole 24 hours.

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time? first-timer

9 in ’09 with Hallie Ephron

A few weeks  ago I reviewed 1001 Books for Every Mood by Hallie Ephron and really enjoyed it.  Hallie took the time to email me after seeing the review and offered to send me a copy of her newest book The Bibliophiles Devotional: 365 Days of Literary Classics.  I mean how can a list lover like me resist a book from a great list maker?  I couldn’t resist and I’ve been reading about a new book every day and loving it.  Thanks, Hallie! 

Anyway, Hallie is the author of 4 books and you can visit her website here

And now the nine questions…

1. My first question has to be about growing up in a house full of writers.  What was your childhood like with parents who were writers and three other sisters (Nora, Delia,Amy) who are writers too? It must have been wonderful to grow up in such a creative home.

Our house overflowed with books – wall to wall bookcases, bedside tables stacked with books to be read and re-read (cookbooks and children’s books on my mother’s; history and economics on my father’s), and as kids we were read to early and often (the Oz books, Little Women, The Little Princess…).  My mother recited poetry after dinner, and we grew up cherishing words.

2. I loved your book 1001 Books For Every Mood, probably because I love books and lists.  How long did it take for you to decide what books to include and did you have to cut any favorites?

Thank you!  I love books and lists, too.  It took me months to decide which books to include.  I started, of course, with my favorites, and then talked to booksellers and librarians and readers and anyone who had the temerity to cross my path holding a book.  I also cherry-picked from many great lists out there, like Sports Illustrated list of best sports books, Business Week’s list of best business books, TIME’s list of great books, and of course the ones that Oprah has recommended.  If someone mentioned a book I hadn’t heard of I found it to decide if I thought it was gem worthy including.

3. Your new book The Bibliophile’s Devotional is 365 Days of Literary Classics.  Can you tell us what defines a classic for you?

Hmmm…I’d say one that’s stood the test of time.  One that influenced the way we think, like books that were the first of their kind (did you know Oliver Twist was the first book in English with a child protagonist?).

4. You write book reviews for the Boston Globe.  Do you think  blogs and websites devoted to books have changed newspaper reviews or do you think they serve two different purposes?

I think blogs and web sites can give books visibility that is so very hard to garner right now since there are so many books out there and so little is spent on advertising.  They can build buzz and community.  Book reviews serve more of a critical purpose, I thin, to select and highlight quality (good and bad).

5. Have you discovered a favorite new author in the last year or two?

Oh, gosh yes.  Where to begin?  Leonie Swan (“Three Bags Full”); Carolyn Wall (“Sweeping Up Galss”); Josh Bazell (“Beat the Reaper”); Alan Bradley (“The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie”); Spencer Quinn (“Dog On It”)…I could go on.

6. I love quotes.  Do you have a favorite?

Not so much a quote as a paragraph…I LOVE Carl Sandburg’s “Rootabaga Stories” – read it to revel in the words and images.  It’s pure joy.  One of my favorite stories in it is “Three Boys with Jugs of Molasses and Secret Ambitions.”  SO FULL of wonderful lines!  Here’s just a sample: “Eeta Peeca Pie grew up with wishes and wishes working inside him.  And for every wish inside him he had a freckle outside on his face.  Whenever he smiled the smile ran way back into the far side of his face and got lost in the wishing freckles.”  Don’t you love that idea of “wishing freckles?”

7. What are you currently reading?

For myself I just read Sheila Wellers’ “Girls Like Us” – it’s a meaty nonfiction about Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon, and the generation they exemplify.  Loved it.

8. If you were trapped in the life of one fictional character who would you choose?

Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables)

9. And finally, what are you working on now?

I’m finishing a novel – psychological suspense like my last one “Never Tell a Lie.”

Thanks so much for stopping by, Hallie!

The Divorce Party, by Laura Dave

The Divorce Party by Laura Dave: CD Audiobook CoverFinished audio 10-22-09, rating 4.5/5, fiction, pub. 2008

Narrated by Susan Ericksen

If you knew that your marriage would end in a divorce party 35 years later, would you still go through with it?  What’s the distance between staying and walking away?  Gwyn and Thomas are part of the Hampton elite, rich, beautiful, two kids, grandchild on the way, and they are getting divorced because Thomas has found Buddhism.  Or is this true?

Their son, Nate and his fiancee, Maggie begin the day of the divorce party at home in Brooklyn with secrets of their own that only get more complicated once they arrive in Long Island.  Maggie is about to meet Nate’s parents for the first time at a party she can’t quite come to terms with.  And Nate has kept his immense wealth from her.  Why and is there more he’s not saying?

I love books and movies about marriages.  The happy, the sad, the damaged.  There is something so complicated about this relationship and no two are ever the same.  Gwyn is facing the end of her marriage, but there is still something there, love or hope, or both.  And Maggie is faced with a future husband who is willing to keep the most basic truths about himself a secret from her.  The chapters alternated between the two women and I loved it.  It was thoughtful and thought-provoking, meaningful and sad and I could not stop listening until it was done. 

I have to be in the right mood for a book like this, but if you are I think you will really take something away.  I was totally caught up in the lives of Gwyn and Maggie for 6 hours and I wouldn’t have missed a minute of the Divorce Party. 

I checked this audio book out of the library.

Rough Country, by John Sandford

Rough Country (Virgil Flowers Series #3) by John Sandford: Book CoverFinished 10-21-09, rating 3.5/5, mystery, pub. 2009

Book #3 in the Virgil Flowers series.

Walking out to the dock, Johnson said, “The old bag kinda climbed my tree.”

“One rule when you’re dealing with people close to a murder victim,” Virgil said.  “Try not to laugh.”

Chapter 2

Virgil Flowers works with Lucas Davenport (the Prey series) in the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, investigating high profile crimes.  When Lucas sends him to solve a crime at a women’s retreat in northern Minnesota, single and always available Virgil, is happily surrounded by women.  But most of them aren’t looking twice at Virgil, they are too busy eyeing each other. 

A successful businesswoman is shot while canoeing and her love life leads him to an all-girl band with a talented singer going places.  The singer, Wendy, has an active love life and a crazy brother and dad, leading Virgil to link another murder to the one of the businesswoman. 

Virgil is a laid back, good looking man who exudes charm and cool and he is also the most successful closer in the Bureau.  The contrast between his humor and sexuality to his quoting Bible verses when the situation fits makes for an interesting character.  I like Virgil and would love to hang out at a bar listening to music with him (and my husband, of course)

This is another solid mystery by Sandford, but I did have an issue with the heavy handed way he dealt with gay women in this one.  I know people use derogatory language for many different groups and it usually doesn’t bother me if it defines the character, but in this case a few too many characters had issues.  And some of the storylines involving gay women seemed stereotypical. 

And for some reason there were numerous breaks in book, the kind that usually tell you the action has ended and you’re going somewhere else.  Except after the break you were back at the same place, with the same people, and still in the middle of conversation.  This didn’t really take enjoyment away from the story, but it did make me wonder what the point was. 

This was a library book.

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

dreamstime_readathongI don’t know who came up with this great button for Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, but I’m thinking my husband may be more supportive if he sees it 🙂

This will be my first read-a-thon and I am really looking forward to it.  I have a stack of books (you can see some of them here), mostly less than 300 pages and have even got a few audio books to rest my eyes.  I like challenges and this one is right up my alley.  And because I sometimes can’t stop myself from going too far, I am making it a goal to stay awake and read for the whole 24 hours!  This is only a goal, sometimes a body does what it wants, but I think I can do it.  Of course, sometimes I’m a delusional.

So, have you signed up and are you aiming for the whole 24 hours?