Tag Archives: Read-a-Thon

currently … in a funk

That’s a photo from a Pirates game we were at in 2013 — a lifetime ago, really. I’m kind of bummed this weekend because The Husband and I had an actual, honest-to-God date planned down at PNC Park where the Pirates are, as I type this, playing the Yankees in a rare series. We like the Pirates just fine; however, The Husband is a Yankees fan and it’s not often he gets to see them. This weekend’s games here in the ‘Burgh would have been the perfect opportunity and I encouraged him to get tickets as a belated birthday gift for himself. Unfortunately, The Husband hurt his foot on Friday — we suspect a sprained ankle (he’s getting it checked out on Tuesday) — so he sold the tickets on StubHub and here we are, watching from the living room on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon.

I was looking forward to the game, so not being able to go has added to my general bummed out mood lately. We’re dealing with a family situation that’s incredibly sad and difficult, one that falls in the “not entirely my story to tell” category of blogging, so that’s weighing heavily on our minds. We were in Philly last weekend for Easter because of this. It’s a hard time and being so far away from everyone right now makes us feel even more helpless. My attention span is nonexistent.

Reading … I’m in a bit of a reading funk. I brought Anne Lamott’s new book, Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy with me to Philly last weekend, thinking it might provide some comfort. I really wanted to like it but found it kind of rambling and scattered. That’s been the case for me with a few of her books lately. I’ve also abandoned two potential review books. I can’t seem to get into anything new.

This week wasn’t a complete loss in the books department. I finished The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes, a novel that draws heavily on the true story of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. In 1936, Stalin attended a performance of his opera and … well, he didn’t like it. Which does not bode well for Shostakovich, whose life is placed in danger. It’s a compelling story, one that feels especially relevant in these times. At times I felt a bit lost (I think the narrative assumes the reader has more knowledge of music and Russian history than I do) but I found it fascinating and disconcerting at the same time.

I also read Jennifer Jackson Berry’s new poetry collection, The Feeder, which is … emotionally intense. These are raw, personal, soul-bearing poems dealing with infertility and loss and sex and pleasure. I’m a fan of Berry’s work and this collection is one that stays with you.

Watching … Still in the middle of the first season of “Grace and Frankie.” Such a stellar cast in this show, which I am enjoying. I really want to see “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” Maybe we’ll watch that tonight.

Loving … My new laptop. My hard drive died a few weeks ago and while it can be replaced (and we were able to save all my data), the laptop is four years old. The Girl really needs a laptop for homework so I decided to get a new one and repair my old one for her. Also, I’m loving this weather. It’s finally nice enough to sit outside at lunch with a book and on the deck after work.

Running … Slowly but surely, I’m starting to get back into some semblance of a running routine. There’s a great little walking path at my mom’s so I was able to get in a 1.25 mile-long walk on Sunday, with a little running tacked onto the end. We also did a walk on Friday evening too.

AnticipatingDewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is next weekend (April 29). I love this event, which happens every spring and fall, and I try to participate as much as I can.  I’m really hoping my reading rut will have ended by then.

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Read-a-thon 2016: Update Post

Readathon - Day and Night

Hour 15 update: Still going strong. Mind you, I started the Readathon at Hour 7 and have had several interruptions (grocery shopping, making dinner) along the way but I’m pleased with how this is going. Almost halfway through Love Warrior, which is a great Readathon book — it’s a fast read.

Currently Reading:


Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Books Read: 1


You’re The Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, by Arisa White. It’s a poetry collection that I’ll be reviewing on the blog this Monday.

Short Stories: 2
“To the Moon and Back” by Etgar Keret
“Two Men Arrive in a Village” by Zadie Smith

Both of these were from The New Yorker podcast “The Author’s Voice” which features authors reading their short stories from that week’s issue.

Pages Read183

Time Spent Reading: 4.5 hours

Social Media: Twitter. That’s where most of my cheerleading seems to be happening. As usual, I’m going to need several days to go back and discover the new-to-me blogs and add them to my Feedly.

Food Consumption:
Breakfast – Toast, Strawberry/Banana Yogurt
Lunch – Hummus, tortilla chips and cheese stick
Dinner – Tomato Lentil Soup
Snacks – Dark Chocolate Square; Trail Mix
Beverages – Water, Coffee

Are you participating in the Readathon? How’s it going for you?


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Ready for the Readathon! (Kick Off Post)

Readathon - Day and Night

Today is one of my favorite days of the year — Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon, an online community celebration of reading and connecting with others who love books. To quote the event description, “for 24 hours, we read books, post to our blogs, Twitters, Tumblrs, Goodreads and MORE about our reading, and visit other readers’ homes online. We also participate in mini-challenges throughout the day. It happens twice a year, in April and in October.”

Needless to say, I love everything about the Read-a-thon. I love discovering new-to-me blogs, seeing what other people are reading (and adding those books to my Goodreads), sharing bookish conversation on Twitter and (new for me this year) Instagram and Litsy, and cheering on others who are among the hundreds (thousands?) of readers engaged in the love of all things literary.

Most of all, I love that it honors Dewey, a beloved book blogger who passed away in fall of 2008.  She was passionate about books and connecting people.  She  was (and still is) very special to many of us in the book blogging community. It’s a gift to be able to carry her legacy on and celebrate her life through things like the Read-a-thon, which she started and which was one of the ways I was first introduced to the book blogging world back when I started blogging eight years ago in August 2008, shortly before Dewey passed away.

Read-a-Thon, Fall 2016 Edition
I’m getting a late start on participating today; as I write this, the Read-a-thon is heading into Hour 6 and besides this post, I’ve done nothing but sleep in a bit (storing up energy for the later hours), eat breakfast and read the newspaper (that counts as Read-a-thon reading, right?) and check in with Read-a-thon happenings online.

Weather-wise, it’s cloudy and cooler than usual here in Pittsburgh, a perfect day to be curled up inside reading. At some point today I’ll need to take a break to do this week’s meal planning and grocery shopping.  (There are much more organized Read-a-thoners who get that sort of nonsense out of the way days before Read-a-thon.  I’m not one of those people and most likely never will be.)

So, without further ado, here’s my smallish pile of books that I plan to read from during today’s festivities:



You’re The Most Beautiful Thing That Happened, by Arisa White (not pictured, as this is an online poetry collection I’m reviewing)

American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers, by Nancy Jo Sales (I’m on page 187 of this; I’d like to finish it today)

A Want of Kindness, by Joanne Limburg (may not get to this as this is a book I’m reviewing and I typically don’t read review books during Read-a-thons, but this one has a looming deadline so it might be a necessity ….)

Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton

Springtime, by Michelle De Kretser

Shut Up and Run, by Robin Arzon

I’ll do another post later today that will serve as a one-stop for updates, etc.

Happy Read-a-thoning to all who are participating!


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Sunday Salon/Currently … September Recap

Sunday Salon banner

October started with a busy weekend — a work event on Friday night, spending Saturday taking The Girl to two of her activities. While she was there, I hung out at the library and finished two of the three freelance book reviews that I have due. Today was rather low-key with not much of anything going on.  I slept in a little, went for a run, did the usual grocery shopping and now it’s 11:00 p.m. and the weekend is over.

I’m really tired tonight, so this will be a quick Salon post.

In September, I finally hit 30 books read for the year. I’ve revised my Goodreads 2016 Challenge Goal down to 50 (from my original 55). Because I’m listening to a lot more music and podcasts in the car, my audiobook count is next to nothing (two for the year so far) which is bringing down my total number of books read. So, that 50 is going to be a huge stretch, but I tend to read more in the fall and winter months, especially around the holidays. Plus, there’s also Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon coming up on October 22!  (Have you signed up yet? I love, love, love the Readathon and so far, the day looks clear for me to participate.)

I read four books in September:

Three of those are review books so I can’t say too much about them yet.

born-to-runI’m starting October off with Bruce Springsteen’s memoir Born to Run. I’ve been very excited about this one, and debated holding off for the audiobook in hopes that Bruce will be the as-yet-to-be-announced narrator. The audio isn’t out until December 6, though, and given my track record with audiobooks as previously discussed, I’m probably better off reading this one.

And with that, I’m off to bed.


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Read-a-thon Mid Event Survey

Readathon - Day and Night

We’re into Hour 12 of the Read-a-thon, which means it’s time for the Mid-Event Survey.

1. What are you reading right now?

The Edible WomanThe Edible Woman, by Margaret Atwood. Really enjoying this one.  I cannot believe this was Margaret Atwood’s first book AND that it was written in 1969. Aside from some cultural and societal references (mimeo machines, the absence of discrimination laws in the workplace), this easily could be set in the current day. There are some similar themes as The Handmaid’s Tale.

2. How many books have you read so far?

Haven’t completed any yet. I started with The Edible Woman and am only on page 86.  Not my best Read-a-thon, but the night is still young! (It’s 8 p.m. here in my time zone.)

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

Seeing what happens in the next 224 pages of The Edible Woman. This is a little longer than my typical Read-a-thon book; I’m OK if this is the only book I finish tonight. (Of course, there is tomorrow, too.  I always unofficially extend my Read-a-thons into Sunday.)

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

Not too many.  The daughter and I ran out to do some quick errands. We went to the post office to mail some packages and to drop off six large bags of clothes to Goodwill (took me awhile but I’ve finally jumped onto the Konmari bandwagon). Twitter is proving to be a distraction this time around and I’m catching up on some blogs. Trying not to stress about any of this because all that matters is having fun. Which I certainly am.

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

The fact that we’re halfway done already.  Other than that, no surprises.

Are you participating in the Read-a-Thon? If so, how are things going for you?


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Ready for the Readathon (and Margaret)!

Readathon - Day and Night

It’s Readathon day, baby!  Whooo!  I love this event. LOVE. IT. A day spent reading and chatting online with other readers? Bring it!

If you’re not familiar with this event, all the details are here, including how to sign up.  Last I saw on Twitter this morning, there are more than 1,900 readers participating!  It is a huge, all-volunteer effort on the part of many dedicated bloggers.

I’ll occasionally participate in other readathons, but one thing to note (especially if you’re joining us for the first time or if you’re otherwise new to this event) is that this is the original. The Real Deal.  You can read the backstory of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon here and I encourage everyone to take a few moments today and do exactly that. Dewey was special to all of us in the blogging community — she is one of the reasons why I started blogging in the first place — and I’m so thrilled to see how her little event has grown.  I didn’t know her well, but I’d like to think she’s reading along with all of us while smiling with pride.

This is both my official sign-up post AND my kick off post (I’m getting a bit of a late start, as the Readathon is already approaching Hour 4).  Nonetheless, here’s the obligatory photo of my stack of Readathon books.

Readathon - October 2015

Yes, this incarnation of the Readathon is, for me, The Margaret Atwood Readathon. That’s because I have tickets to see her on Wednesday night (I know, right??!!)  She’s appearing at the library for a talk and a book signing and I want to read as much of her work as possible before then because I’ve only read The Handmaid’s Tale  – which is freakin’ amazing and one of my favorite books ever. (See, look, I’m already incoherent, which is how I will be on Wednesday evening.) Ideally, I would love a solid two weeks or more of readathoning to get through all of her oeurve, but what can you do? Bills need to be paid, kids need to eat, etc., so I’ll take the gift of this Readathon to read as much Margaret Atwood as I possibly can.

In addition to these, I have Wilderness Tips, Moral Disorder, and Alias Grace on my Kindle, checked out from the library.

(I do have a few other books waiting in the wings in case I need to mix this up but for today, it’s all Margaret, all the time.)

Any recommendations for what I should read first? I’m thinking of getting this feast of books started with The Edible Woman. 


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we now return to the 24 hour read-a-thon, currently in progress

Readathon - Day and Night

We’re in the middle of … what, Hour 11? Hour 10? … of the spring edition of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. (As stupid as it sounds, I never know how to keep track of the time for this event. I mean, is Hour 1 when we first start reading or is it after we’ve completed our first hour?)

I swear, after more than a few go-arounds with this, I should know this by now.  Whatever.

Had to work for a few hours this morning, so I joined this Read-a-thon while it was already in progress. (OK, truth be told, I started last night because it had been a stressful day.)

Here’s my Hour 11 update (at 6:15 p.m. EST)

Stash of books I started with:

Readathon - Spring 2015

TOTALS (I’ll continue to update this post throughout the rest of the Read-a-thon. Maybe.)

Pages Read:  360 (updated, Hour 13)
this total is misleading, as Acorn is 216 pages but is a very small book with sometimes only a few words per page

Time Spent Reading: 5.5 hours (updated, Hour 13)

Books Finished: 4 (updated, Hour 13)
Deep Lane, by Mark Doty
My Sunshine Away, by M.O. Walsh
Acorn, by Yoko Ono
We Should All Be Feminists, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

Now … what to read next? 

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