Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon :: Summary and Wrap-Up


I had a great time doing Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon! I was able to stay up the entire 24 hours but I was surprised to find that when I looked at my stats that I only spent a little over half of the time actually reading, 14 hours and 43 minutes to be more precise. I read from four different books. I finished Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I also read three short stories from Sanctuary edited by Robert Lynn Asprin. I read a little bit about James Ensor and Edvard Munch in Peter Gay's Modernism: The Lure of Heresy from Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond. And finally I started reading Alex Hughe's Sharp, the second book in the Mindspace Investigations series. From those four books I read a total of 530 pages.

Which hour was most daunting for you?

I was actually surprised to find that I didn't actually feel that tired during any of the hours of the readathon. Perhaps the last hour was the hardest, but even that wasn't particularly difficult.

Which book did you enjoy most?

I enjoyed all the books I read but Alex Hughe's Sharp was probably my favorite.

Which did you enjoy least?

Crime and Punishment seemed to take a while to really engage me. It wasn't until the last third of the book that I was really gripped by the story. In the end I'll say I enjoyed the book overall, but for a while I wasn't sure I'd be able to say that.

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

I would love to participate in the next readathon. Unfortunately I work most Saturdays so it all depends on whether I am working or not.

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon :: Hours 22 - 24

I spent the remainder of the readathon reading Sharp. I'm a little over a third of the way through the book and I'm already hooked. I'm a little sorry that I won't be able to continue reading because I desperately need to get some sleep!

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon :: Hours 19 - 21

I managed to finish Crime and Punishment during hour 19. I started the day less than half-way through the book so I'm pretty happy to have finished it.

After finishing such a heavy book, I decided to read something a little more fun — Sharp by Alex Hughes — a police procedural with a psychic sci-fi twist. This is Hughes second book starring recovering addict and psychic consultant to the Dekalb police department of the near future, Alex Ward. I loved Clean, the first book in the series so I'm looking forward to this one.

With three hours to go I am feeling remarkably alert. My eyes are a little tired, but I don't feel like my eyes are so heavy that I'm about to fall asleep. I think this bodes well as it is 5:15 a.m. here in the Charlotte, NC area; a time that I am normally up. I think I am through the "wall" of the wee hours of the morning. So, here's to the finish!

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon :: Hours 16 - 18

For the last three hours I have been reading Crime and Punishment. I have only 36 pages left. I'm looking forward to finishing it in the next couple of hours. I'm really psyched because I hadn't really planned on finishing any books during the readathon. I wasn't sure I'd be able to continue reading a book like Crime and Punishment this late. I am getting a little tired, but I think I can push on to finish it.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon :: Hours 13 - 15

During hour 13 I finished "The Gate of Flying Knives" in Sanctuary. I then switched to reading Crime and Punishment again and finished Part V1. I now have a little over 100 pages to go. At my present (slow) rate of speed it'll take me four hours of reading to reach the end of Crime and Punishment. I want to go for it, but I'm getting tired and find that Crime and Punishment might not be the thing to read as the night wears on.

And now, for the My Name In Books Mini-Challenge:

J - Journey Through Genius by William Dunham.

O - Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene.

S - Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon.

E - Edward II by Christopher Marlowe.

P - Paradise Lost by John Milton.

H - How Shall We Live by Robert Krznaric.

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon :: Hours 10 - 12

I decided for a little bit of a change of pace and read some of Peter Gay's Modernism: The Lure of Heresy from Baudelaire to Beckett and Beyond before going back to Sanctuary. I didn't quite finish "The Gate of Flying Knives" but will get back to it presently.

I also took a break to have dinner with my family and finish watching the latest episode of Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge. I have to say that my family disagreed with the sending home of Lex. Even though it was her failure to get the movement on the creature right, we felt that she wasn't supported by her partner, Jake. He spent too much time sculpting the creature's head and feet, which was completely unnecessary since the challenge was about movement and not about detail.

Here is my Shelfie:

And my Mid-Event Survey:

What are you reading right now?

I'm mostly switching back and forth between Crime and Punishment and Sanctuary.

How many books have you read so far?

I have read from three books so far, but haven't finished any. I don't anticipate that I will finish any though.

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

I plan on continuing with the books I am reading, but I may have to throw in something a little easier to read as the night wears on.

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

I didn't have a special arrangement per se, but my family has been very understanding of my laying around the house all day with my nose in a book.

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

Interruptions will happen. I don't have the intention of reading for the entire 24 hours and that makes it easier to take time away from reading to deal with interruptions like ... say ... dinner.

Are you getting tired yet?

I'm am definitely getting tired. I had a wisdom tooth removed earlier this week and the medication I am required to take makes me dizzy. But, I'm just going to keep going the best that I can and hope that I can make it the full 24 hours.

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon :: Hours 7 - 9

For hours 7 through 9 I continued to read the same two books: Crime and Punishment and Sanctuary. In Crime and Punishment I've managed into Part V of the book. I must say that the book has really started to pick up: the intensity between Sonia and Raskolnikov; the drama of Porfiry Petrovich's pursuit of Raskolnikov as the murderer; as well as the breakup of the marriage between Pyotr Petrovich and Raskolnikov's sister. In Sanctuary I read the short story "The Face of Chaos" by Lynn Abbey. It was a story about the gods and fate that I didn't find as engaging as John Brunner's "Sentences of Death." Next up in Sanctuary is Poul Anderson's "The Gate of Flying Knives." That sounds exciting doesn't it?

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon :: Hours 4 - 6

I spent hours four through six reading Crime and Punishment. I also took a little break to eat lunch and chat with my 12 year old son.

Lisa, of Lisa's World of Books, is hosting the hour six mini challenge. In essence, Lisa asks what are your favorite books of the year so far? I haven't read as many books as I usually do by this time of year. Last year I moved from running marathons to running ultra-marathons. Ultra-marathons require so much more training that it has reduced the amount of time that I read. That being said, I do have two favorites for the year, so far. My favorite fiction novel of the year so far is The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu, a sci-fi comedy action book, I found it to be a real fun read. My favorite non-fiction book I read this year is Jane McGonigal's Reality Is Broken. It is a fascinating read. I'm only sorry that it took me so long to read it because most of the games she talks about have already vanished from the internet. It is still a good book though.

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon :: Hour 3

So for hour three I decided to switch to something a little easier to read. I picked up Sanctuary edited by Robert Lynn Asprin from a book sale at my local library. It is a omnibus of Thieve's World from 1979, Tales from the Vulgar Unicorn from 1980, and Shadows of Sanctuary from 1981. It collects short stories set in the town of Sanctuary, a backwater of the Rankin Empire. There are stories by Philip José Farmer, A. E. van Vogt, C. J. Cherryh, and Vonda McIntrye among others.

I bought the book, a steal at $1, for the nostalgia value. I'm glad I did. The first story, "Sentences of Death," by John Brunner, was very entertaining. I'm looking forward to reading more, although I'm probably going to return to Crime and Punishment for hour four.

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon :: Hour 2

I continued to read Crime and Punishment. I only managed 26 pages, but I did reach the end of part III. Unfortunately, I'm already feeling a little drowsy. That does not bode well for my making it the full 24 hours.

Anyway, onward we go ...

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon :: Hour 1

So, the first hour is done. I read Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. This is a book that I was already reading. I only managed 28 pages, but I find that I have been reading the book quite slowly. I find the text a little hard to follow at times. Perhaps it is the translation I'm reading, Constance Garnett's translation, but it seems somehow archaic in how it is written.

Well, back to it then. I'll probably continue reading Crime and Punishment in the next hour.

Hour Zero Kick Off Post

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

I am reading from just outside Charlotte, North Carolina, in the United States.

Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I don't really have a stack. I have a pretty big library of my own to choose from. I'm going to start with what I am currently reading: Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky. After that who knows. I'd like to get a little bit of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century read, but that is a pretty dense book.

Which snack are you most looking forward to?

I don't really snack that much. But I do drink a lot of tea, so I suppose I'm looking forward to that.

Tell us a little something about yourself.

I had a wisdom tooth removed earlier this week and the antibiotic I'm taking makes me dizzy.

If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?

I have participated in readathons before, but not for a couple of years. The thing that is different this time is that I'm not as confident that I'll make it the full 24 hours.

Doing the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon after a Two Year Absence

I'm so excited to do the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon again after missing it for two years. I've been looking forward to it ever since I found out that it would fall on a weekend that I didn't have to work. But I had an impacted wisdom tooth removed earlier this week. I thought that it would give me the perfect excuse to sit around and read all weekend. I underestimated how serious the recovery would be. My face is swollen. The antibiotic I have to take makes me dizzy. It's hard for me to eat. My hopes were dashed; I thought I wouldn't be able to do the Readathon. But I've missed it the last two years and it's a lot of fun. So, I'm going to at least try to do the this thing!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Summary

I almost fell asleep during hour 23, but I made it! I spent about 17 of the last 24 hours reading. In that time I finished seven books:

  1. The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
  2. The Yellow Arrow by Victor Pelevin
  3. Swerve by Stephen Greenblat
  4. Snakes and Earrings by Hitomi Kanehara
  5. The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
  6. Doubt by John Patrick Shanley
  7. Lucifer at the Starlite by Kim Addonizio

In addition, I also read but did not finish Witches Incorporated by K. E. Mills.

In total, I read 1,159 pages.

The Lover's Dictionary was my favorite read during the readathon, but The Leftovers and Swerve were close behind. The Yellow Arrow was the most disappointing of the books I read.

Congratulations to all the readers. Thank you to the cheerleaders and the organizers.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 24

I finished the last 11 pages of Kim Addonizio's Lucifer at the Starlite this hour before returning to K. E. Mills' Witches Incorporated to read 16 more pages.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 23

I read 49 pages of poetry from Kim Addonizio's Lucifer at the Starlite. To stay awake I read while pacing around my kitchen. I will pace again in the next, an final, hour to finish reading Lucifer at the Starline.

Shel at Hungry Readers offers us a mad lib to complete. Here is mine:

This axis is red! Joseph has never disguised so much. The genius I'm currently killing is long and dirty. When this is over, I will run for the whole summer.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 22

In hour 22 I continued to struggle to stay awake. Even though I swear I must have read more, I managed only 18 pages of Witches Incorporated this hour. I am going to switch books and read poetry from Kim Addonizio's Lucifer at the Starlite in hopes that reading poetry requires less sustained attention than reading a novel because the poems are discontinuous.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 21

I read 26 pages from K. E. Mills Witches Incorporated during this hour, the twenty-first. I am struggling to stay awake. Walking around keeps my eyes open, but it slows my reading pace. With only three hours left to go, I think I am going to make it.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 20

I read the last 33 pages of John Patrick Shanley's Doubt. It was a short play that left me, well, in doubt about what really happened.

I nodded off several times while reading Doubt. I have become very sleepy but I am willing myself to continue with only four hours to go.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 19

I finished Tom Perrotta's The Leftovers during this hour. It wasn't the poor ending that I thought was coming, but I wouldn't really call it a satisfying ending either. The ending left the plot unresolved. I would have preferred a neater ending.

I started Doubt a play by John Patrick Shanley. My total pages read for hour 19 was 66

About three quarters of the way through the hour I suddenly became sleepy. My eyes are heavy and I find myself rereading sentences because my attention has wandered. With five hours to go, I am starting to waver a bit. Hopefully my second wind will come along soon.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 18

58 more pages of The Leftovers. I should finish it in the next hour, hour 19. A very well written book, but I don't think I am going to like the ending.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 17

47 more pages from The Leftovers in this hour. I am starting to get a little tired now. I've made it much farther than I thought I would. I expected to start getting sleepy around 10:00 p.m. Only seven more hours to go!

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 16

59 more pages of The Leftovers. It is still an intriguing read, but I am starting to wonder where the author is going with the story.

Jessica at the Blue Stocking Society asks about rereading books. I don't often reread books but when I do reread books, they are the canonical classics. The Iliad, The Odyssey, the plays of Sophocles, and Shakespeare's plays, especially Much Ado About Nothing (my favorite), spring to mind.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 15

62 more pages of The Leftovers this hour. My eyes are starting to sting a little, but I'm not really sleepy yet. I hope this isn't my "second wind" because there is still a long way to go.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 14

This hour I read 65 more pages of The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta. It is quite good.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 13

This hour, hour 13, I started The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta. I read the first 32 pages.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 12

I didn't do any reading this hour. Instead I had a nice dinner with my wife, son, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law. Even so, I am feeling a little tired already. I'm not quite sleepy yet, but I feel that I might become so soon. I'll try to press on though.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 11

During hour 11 I read the last 91 pages of the book Snakes and Earrings by Hitomi Kanehara. A very strange tale of a woman's relationship with two men, both killers. It was one of those books that is so disturbing that you can't be sure if you like it or not.

I will also do my first mini-challenge during this hour. fakesteph asks: who is your favorite anti-hero? This week I finished a book, The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt, that has a wonderful anti-hero: Eli Sister. A stone cold killer that happens to be a decent and likable fellow. I highly recommend giving this quirky but wonderful western a read.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 10

I finished my third book of the readathon during this tenth hour: Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt. It was pretty good, but not what I expected. I expected that it would be more about the content and philosophy in Lucretius' De Rerum Natura, but instead it was about how the book was rediscovered by the "book hunter" Poggio Bracciolini during the Renaissance.

After finishing Swerve I started Snakes and Earrings by Hitomi Kanehara, a book picked on a whim from my public library's shelves. It promises to be a strange book.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 9

Another 39 pages in Swerve. I hope to finish the book in the next hour, I only have 21 pages to go. But, my family has returned from the Scottish games, so my time spent reading may diminish.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 8

I read 39 pages from Swerve this hour. I am almost done with it, so I am going to continue reading Swerve in the next hour, hour nine. I hope to finish it sometime during hour ten.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 7

During hour seven I finished Boris Pelevin's The Yellow Arrow and continued reading Stephen Greenblat's Swerve for a total of 62 pages. In hour eight I will be reading Swerve, which has proved to be a very fine and interesting read so far.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 6

My family went out to attend the Scottish Games, so the house is quiet. I did better this hour, reading 35 pages of Swerve. I will go back to The Yellow Arrow during the next hour, hour seven. I hope to finish it during the hour.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 5

I only read three pages of Swerve this hour. My in-laws showed up so I did some socializing and ate my lunch. But, I'm ready to get back into it for hour six.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 4

I finished my first book this hour, The Lover's Dictionary. It was a very clever and interesting novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. I then started The Yellow Arrow by Victor Pelevin for a total of 111 pages this hour. This is the second book by Pelevin that I have read. It is, so far, a very strange book.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 3

Took a small break early in the hour so I only read 36 pages of Swerve this hour. In hour 4 I will be back to reading The Lover's Dictionary, which I hope to finish within that hour.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 2

During the second hour of the readathon I read 138 pages from David Levithan's The Lover's Dictionary, a surprisingly interesting novel. I intend to switch back and forth between fiction and non-fiction, so in the next hour I will be back to reading Stephen Greenblat's Swerve.

This will be my fourth readathon, my first from Charlotte, NC. My stack of books for this readathon is quite small. (There is, however, a large bookshelf full of unread books in my home office.) The books I am most interested in reading, which I have started with, are Swerve and The Lover's Dictionary. As I finish those I will move on to The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta, The Yellow Arrow by Boris Pelevin, and Doubt by John Patrick Shanley.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012 — Hour 1

Hour 1 is now "in the books." (Please forgive the bad pun.). I read 47 pages of Stephen Greenblatt's Swerve in this hour. Now to go get some breakfast.

Dewey's Readathon April 2012

I am going to do Dewey's Readathon today. I have been going back and forth over whether to participate or not. A couple of weeks ago I committed to doing it and told my wife I would. However, she invited her sister's family to visit over for the weekend to attend a Scottish Games festival in our area.

I want to do the Readathon. But, I don't want to be antisocial with my in-laws. What to do?

Now, a mere half hour before the Readathon starts, I have decided to go ahead and do it. My wife knew that I was going to read all day and night this weekend. Besides, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law already know that I'm a tad antisocial and prone to doing odd things like trying to read for 24 hours.

So, I'm off to gather my pile of books and brew some more tea in preparation for immersing myself in the written word!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

March Reading Summary

I read a whopping 12 books in March. This put me back on track to read 100+ books this year. I wanted to read more poetry, which I did, reading three books of poetry in March. I also added a new challenge: The Amazon Best Books of 2011 Challenge hosted by Cassandra.

My March favorites:

Delirium by Nancy Cohen, a timely book about the recent history of the politics of sexuality.

Incognito by David Eagleman, a book that taught me that brain science indicates that there really isn't a single me, but instead a bunch of mes that run amok. I highly recommend reading it if you have any interest in the brain or psychology.

The March disappointments:

King Henry V by Wm. Shakespeare, not my favorite play by the Bard, but then again, it is Shakespeare so, while disappointing as a whole, there are some really bright spots.

The Reactionary Mind by Corey Robin, not really a single thesis, but instead an uneven collection of essays that only partially illuminated the conservative mind.

The 12 books I read in March:

  1. Norton Critical Edition of Macbeth by Wm. Shakespeare (Shakespeare Challenge)
  2. The Brightened Mind: A Simple Guide to Buddhist Meditation by Ajahn Sumano Bhikkhu
  3. Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg
  4. Suffering Is Optional: Three Keys to Freedom and Joy by Cheri Huber
  5. Delirium: How the Sexual Counterrevolution Is Polarizing America by Nancy L. Cohen
  6. Questions About Angels by Billy Collins (Seconds Challenge)
  7. Lord of the Flies by Wm. Golding (What's In A Name Challenge, 1001 Books Challenge)
  8. The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin by Corey Robin
  9. A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary by Alain de Botton (What's In A Name Challenge, Seconds Challenge)
  10. King Henry V (Arden Third Series) by Wm. Shakespeare (Shakespeare Challenge)
  11. Habibi by Craig Thompson (Seconds Challenge, Amazon Challenge)
  12. Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman (Amazon Challenge)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

February Reading Summary

I finished eight books in February. One more than in January, but not enough if I want to reach my goal of 100 books read in 2012. My favorite read of February was The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. It was a mind blowing book about how incarceration due to the "War on Drugs" constitutes a modern era Jim Crow discrimination against men of color. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in justice.

Other good reads for the month were Macbeth by Shakespeare, the Arden Second Series edition, and Ragnarok by A. S. Byatt.

The eight books I read in February 2012 are:

  • The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (Seconds, 1001 Books You Must Read, and What's In A Name Challenges)
  • Joy of Living by Yongey Mingyur
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (What's In A Name Challenge)
  • Arden Second Series Edition of Macbeth by William Shakespeare (Shakespeare Challenge)
  • Ragnarok by A. S. Byatt (Seconds Challenge)
  • Poetry for Beginners by M. Chapman and K. Welton
  • Genuine Happiness by B. Alan Wallace
  • Witches and Jesuits by Gary Wills

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

January Reading Summary

I finished seven books in January. This is below my target of nine or more books a month. Reading less than nine books a month will leave me reading less than my goal of 100 books in 2012. I will have to focus on reading more next month.

Of the books I read in January, Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood was by far my favorite. It was a compelling read in which Atwood did a fantastic job of really nailing the voice of Grace Marks.

I also thoroughly enjoyed Project: The Happily Ever After by Alisa Bowman. I have been reading her blog for quite sometime, but just got around to reading her book. Bowman succeeded in taking a rather serious subject, for her personally as well as in general, and writing a book that was in turns hilarious and heartbreaking. I really enjoyed it and it made me think even more about the ways in which I can improve my own marriage.

I added a few challenges: 1001 Books Challenge, Shakespeare Challenge, and the Seconds Challenge.

The seven books I read this month were:

  • Alias Grace by M. Atwood (1001 Books Challenge) 5/5
  • White Castle by O. Pamuk (What's In A Name Challenge) 2/5
  • Midsummer Night's Dream by Wm. Shakespeare (Shakespeare Challenge) 3/5
  • Pity the Billionaire by T. Frank 2/5
  • Treasure Island by R. L. Stevenson (What's In A Name Challenge, 1001 Books Challenge) 3/5
  • Monoculture by F. S. Michaels 3/5
  • Project: The Happily Ever After by A. Bowman 4/5