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Everyone, Clear Your Calendars… (w/ a couple bookpile pics thrown in!)

June 4, 2008

The Read-a-thon Returns!…because it’s offical: Dewey is slightly insane. Not only is she now doing the Weekly Geeks thing, but she’s hosting another Read-a-Thon. Fortunately, the rest of us get to benefit from her insanity! I highly, highly, highly encourage everyone who can to get out of their obligations for twenty-four hours, beginning at 9 AM Pacific time on June 28th (yay! that’s 10 AM my time! last read-a-thon began at 7 AM my time, which was friggin’ brutal).

I was a reader in last year’s read-a-thon, and I stayed up all twenty-four hours. You can see all of my posts by selecting the ‘ReadathonI’ category from that drop-down menu on the right. But I’m going to quote from my wrap-up post in an effort to convince y’all to sign up. Keep in mind this is a very sleep-deprived Eva talking, which justifies the corniness:

Mugs of Hot Tea: 4
Mugs of Hot Chocolate: 2
Glasses of Iced Tea: 3
Cans of Diet Pepsi: 1

Reading over 2,000 pages in 24 hours: Priceless!

Pages Read (cum.): 2014
Books Completed: 7 (Tithe by Holly Black, The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander, The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie, Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson, Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast, The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith, The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston)
Books Partially Completed: 1 (Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett)
Stories Read: 2 (”The Death of a Government Clerk” and “The Sly Little Boy” by Anton Chekhov)
Mini-Challenges Participated In: 15

That works out to about 84 pages an hour, which certainly isn’t bad. Especially since I also managed to visit every active reader at least once every other hour. I had a ton of fun with this whole experience, and I feel very indebted to Dewey for running the whole thing and to the cheerleaders who came out and supported me (both official and unofficial). On twenty-three posts, I’ve had 77 comments not made by me! That’s a whole lot of comments for one day.

SO, not only will you get to catch up on your reading, but you get to make new friends! And get a ton of comments! That was my favourite part of the whole thing; the way that the bloggers became closer and closer.

In case you can’t tell, I’m totally going to sign up as a Reader again. And, since I enjoyed visiting the other blogs so much, I’m going to make it official and sign up as a Cheerleader too! And if you don’t have a very important event that day, you should to. Don’t give me any guff about not being able to stay up twenty-four hours; most of the participants took at least a nap, and quite a few got a full night’s rest: Dewey doesn’t have secret police that come arrest you if you fall asleep. If you can’t participate that day, but you still want to be involved, Dewey’s looking for helpers. And hopefully she’ll host one again in the fall, so don’t be too bummed about missing it this time around.

And now, I need your help! I need a nice big list of books that will keep me turning pages. I’m not looking for books that will change my life, or amazing literature; last year, YA books were definitely my friends. I’m open to any genre of fiction or non-fiction. I only have one criterion: books that made you stay up at night. Maybe not literally, but you know what I mean! Books that you meant to only read a few pages of and suddenly looked up to realise hours had gone by. After everyone gives me their suggestions (and seriously, I’m expecting a lot), I’ll combine them with books I’ve researched into a big annotated reading list post. :)

These usually sit on my nightstand.  I'm waiting for a nightmare!My new best friend...the "holds" button....
Now, for the book pictures of the day. The one to your left is delicious: I just went to pick up about half my library holds. Yay! The poppets are very impressed. The other, sitting on the right, well, I was going to explain why I wasn’t participating in Weekly Geeks this time around (catch up on all your reviews), but a picture is worth a thousand, thousand words. The poppets think they’ve found a way to talk to that Grand Poppet In the Sky, but really it’s just my “to be reviewed” pile. And that’s not counting the library books I’ve read and returned and still haven’t reviewed! Or reviews I’ve written but are still hanging out in the drafts, because I don’t think it’s nice to make y’all read a review every single day of the week. Both of them you can click to make bigger, where you should be able to read all the titles.

Confession time: how many books to you have waiting for reviews?

37 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2008 3:06 pm

    I really, really, really want to do this. I’m trying to convince myself it isn’t a totally terrible idea (I get back from an 8 day work thing the night before and the Readathon is exactly 2 weeks before my wedding).

    If you can get your hands on an ARC of Andrew Davidson’s “The Gargoyle” I would definitely recommend it.

    I actually have NO books waiting for reviews! In fact, I have one review written and just waiting to be posted (I had to hold it back because of my contest).

  2. June 4, 2008 3:25 pm

    It’s funny…your unbelievably impressive reading stats are one of the things that sticks out most clearly in my mind from the last read-a-thon. I swear my mouth dropped open every time I popped over and saw how many more pages you’d read.

    You’re right, it really was such fun! I’m soooo excited for this one…need to start putting together my book lists for it (though I’ll probably only get two or three read, I need to have lots of options, right?) and, of course, my snack lists. :)

    As far as what to read, I’m not much help. I know you used to read thrillers…have you read James Patterson? His are super fast to get through (and coming from a pathetically slow read like me, that’s saying something). Probably those trademark super short chapters of his. The early ones in his Cross series were really good. And I’m reading The Quickie right now…had me reading a good hour and half past my normal bedtime last night. You did say you weren’t looking for amazing literature, remember?

  3. June 4, 2008 4:11 pm

    Oy. I’m not sure I’m up for that kind of thing.

    But I will recommend some of my favourites.

    Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay
    Madman by Tracy Groot
    Homicide My Own by Anne Argula
    A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller
    My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
    Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

    Will that do for now? ;o)

  4. June 4, 2008 4:11 pm

    I’ve only got one book waiting for review – soon to be two unless I get one reviewed tonight. I’d like to say I’m that caught up because I’m just that good, but it’s more likely that I just don’t read as much as I wish I did (and I read sooo slow).

    I wanna be a cheerleader for the read-a-thon, but I’m waiting until the last minute to officially commit lest some unexpected informal vacationing opportunity comes my way. (I know, I know – that’s weird.)

    Having combed my Library Thing catalogue for books I’ve read recently, I’ve got a few page turners to recommend. Well, if you haven’t read A Great and Terrible Beauty – that’s a good one. I nearly welcomed being dreadfully ill because I had a good excuse to stay in bed with this book. Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger was one of my favorites last year. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly, too. In not YA – Shout Down the Moon by Lisa Tucker was a good page turner – nothing earth shattering, but great entertainment, same with Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Oh and Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz – not the best writing, but the story is very entertaining and suspenseful in a totally ridiculous kind of way if you’re into that kind of thing. All books that I read fast (yes, me the slow one) and that I’d get really bent out of shape because I had to abandon them (however briefly) to do stuff like, you know, work for a living.

    There, I’ve done my part – hope they’re helpful!

  5. June 4, 2008 4:15 pm

    I have just four books waiting for reviews, two of which I finished today. I wish I could do the read-a-thon. I seriously doubt my husband could handle our two kids for 24 hours straight. I’d have to do something super special to convince him that he’s up for it.

  6. June 4, 2008 5:25 pm

    The most recent book that managed to keep me reading way past my bedtime was Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I second A Great and Terrible Beauty (and sequels).

    Right now, I’ve got 5 books to review (2 being picture books), and I really need to get on that!

  7. June 4, 2008 5:26 pm

    I don’t think my household could handle the read-a-thon – anyhow I’ll be on a dream vacation to the Wisconsin Dells with the in-laws (insert sarcasm here). Sadly, I have only one book to review.

  8. June 4, 2008 6:41 pm

    I have too many books waiting for review :-|. And they definitely won’t all get done! I’m trying to get rid of some in reading round-up since i haven’t done one in a while.

    Stay up all night books list!

    Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
    Kingdoms of Elfin by Sylvia Townsend Warner
    The Translation of Dr. Apelles: a Love Story – David Treuer
    Kafka on the Shore – Murakami
    Any volume in the Flight graphic novel series – ed. by Kazu Kibuishi
    Pigtopia – Kitty Fitzgerald
    Winter Rose – Patricia A. McKillip
    The Haunted Hillbilly – Derek McCormack
    Daughters of the North – Sarah Hall
    The Spiral Staircase – Karen Armstrong
    The Post-Office Girl – Stefan Zweig
    Trading in Memories – Barbara Hodgson (the only reason I didn’t finish it all in one day is because it was a Sunday Salon read and I wanted to linger)

  9. June 4, 2008 7:25 pm

    Hmm try Bram Stokers The Jewel of Seven Stars. Anything by Madeline L’Engle, Stephanie Barrons Jane Austen mysteries.

    I have over 60 books to review. I review a book a week so with all the books I currently own it would take me at least 5 years to finish everything. That is assuming I dont buy more books.

  10. June 4, 2008 8:19 pm

    I think I have 4 or 5 reviews to be written up. But I have to be in the right mindset to do it. As for up-all-night books, lately I’ve been kept up by Susannah Kearsley’s “The Winter Sea” (one of my upcoming reviews) and by the latest “Odd Thomas” book by Dean Koontz.

  11. June 4, 2008 9:51 pm

    I’m looking forward to the readathon as well…in fact, I’ll do a post about it today.

    My plan is to read a couple of graphic novels that I haven’t gotten to yet and maybe The Witch Of Blackbird Pond.

  12. Myrthe permalink
    June 5, 2008 3:28 am

    I couldn’t participate last year, but this year I am definitely in! Getting normal internet at home suddenly has become even more urgent than it was before. So far, I am usually writing blogposts at home, save them and then post them at work, where I have a very good connection.

    I am still thinking about signing up for cheerleadering as well (yep, I know that is not an official verb). Your post has made me edge even more towards that!

    I don’t have a physical pile of books yet, but I have begun mentally making a list of what I want to read.

  13. June 5, 2008 4:41 am

    Devourer, you can always decide you want to sleep anyway. :) And congrats on having no review backlog! I didn’t have internet access for half of March and most of April, hence the pile.

    Debi, lol-thanks! Oh, snack lists. I’l have to start planning mine too. Isn’t planning half the fun of something? Thanks for suggesting Patterson! That’s exactly what I’m looking for, so you are a ton of help! One of these days I’m going to convince you not to be so self-effacing. :D

    Janet, thanks for the recs! And fyi, your blog link isn’t working.

    Megan, I understand fear of committment, lol. Thanks for all your recs!

    Natasha, I’m sure you can bribe him with something. A poker night? Fishing? His favourite meals? And good for you with only two books waiting for reviews.

    Somer, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan was good, wasn’t it? Five books in the backlog makes me feel a tiny bit better, lol. Looking forward to your picture book reviews-my niece is so into reading now!

    Tara, awww. Maybe you can go hide in the Wisconsin hills for twenty four hours? Or just let your in-laws think you’re crazy! ;)

    Imani, yay for another person with ridiculous review backlogs. I was beginning to think I was alone, lol. And thanks for the super-long list!

    Bluestocking, wow-you’re reviewing all the books you own and have already read?! That is some impressive commitment!

    Melanie, I have to be in the right mindset too. And usually I end up reviewing 5-10 at once and getting my draft post section nice and full. I’m listening to the first Odd Thomas book now, and it’s definitely interesting! I’ll look for your review of The Winter Sea. :)

    Bybee, yay for other readathoners! Pyongyang is on my list of books to get from the library from the readathon! I’m so excited that they have it. :D

    Myrthe, yay! Good luck w/ that internet. My laptop’s power cord actually died during last year’s read-a-thon, so I’m thinking postive thoughts this go round. I don’t have a physical pile yet either, but my mental list is as long as my arm. Must weed down, so the librarians don’t think I’m insane! And you should totally join me in cheerleading. :D

  14. June 5, 2008 4:59 am

    Good luck with your read-a-thon. I’d reccoment Stephanie Meyer’s books for staying up all night. They are sooooo addicting. I’m reading her new book THE HOST right now. I want to skip out on work so I can read it!

  15. June 5, 2008 6:20 am

    Eva! I love your post, but could you take out the part where I need helpers? I have way more than enough helpers now. I should post about not needing helpers any more. What we need is READERS! And CHEERLEADERS!

    Also: only slightly?

    The last book I read that kept me awake and reading until the suspense was over was Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. It’s a YA novel, too. I have a review on my blog somewhere.

  16. June 5, 2008 7:00 am

    2 Things:
    1. I am coordinating the Cheerleaders this Read-a-thon. I have created a blog at :) Also can you send me your email address to DarcieBrand at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

    2. Books I couldn’t put down:
    One Thousand White Women – James Furgus
    Life as I Knew It – Susan Beth Pfeffer (YA too)
    The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory
    Monsters of Templeton – Lauren Groff

    I am interested to see what everyone else is saying to add to my book list for the Read-a-thon.

  17. June 5, 2008 8:17 am

    I keep up with my reviews and it is no picnic at times! I saw you had The Lake of Dead Languages in your pile. I liked that book a lot. I also had a hard time putting Storm Front (The Dresden Files) down. Great book in a great series! Fingersmith by Sarah Waters was also a very exciting story with lots of twists and turns. I gave that one five stars and it will most likely be in my top ten for the year.

  18. June 5, 2008 9:42 am

    Wish I could do this, but already have other plans for June 28th. (Besides, for those of us who have Sunday-morning) church duties, it’s not a good idea to spend a sleepless Saturday night. Ahh, for the good old days when such things were possible…) Anyway, may I recommend Margery Allingham’s _Sweet Danger_ yet again? If you haven’t read any of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City books, they’d be good, too (extremely quick reads, even for someone like me). And if you want to give the graphic genre a try, Alison Bechdel’s _Fun House_ is a winner.

  19. June 5, 2008 10:07 am

    I don’t know if I’ll be able to join in or not because I may have to work that day which would really suck!! I wanted to do it so bad this year. I had so much fun watching y’all last year. Regardless of whether I participate or not, I’ll be following your progress.

    Two books I’d definitely recommend are Life as we Knew it and it’s companion book The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer. They’re YA books and recent reads and I just could not put them down! Both are about the moon being hit by an asteroid and crashing closer to earth therefore shifting the gravitational pull and causing all kinds of events. Each book is the story of how one family tries to survive it. The first book is written in the form of a journal.

    Another is The Book of Flying by Keith Miller which is absolutely amazing and I think you’d love it. It’s pretty short, amazing story with some of the most incredible use of language I’ve read, and just a great book all around. I have a review on my site. It’s out of print now, but you can find copies on for super cheap! Hope those three help!

  20. Nadine permalink
    June 5, 2008 10:35 am

    Wow. Maybe this is what I need to get myself out a prolonged reading slump…

  21. June 5, 2008 11:49 am

    I just finished my last review! It’ll be awhile for my next due to the 800 pages of my in-process book. (I’m only on page 37?!) I’m off to go read what it means to be a cheerleader…

  22. June 5, 2008 12:22 pm

    I have tagged you for a read-a-thon meme – although you have answered some of the quesitons in this post. The meme is at Can’t wait to see your responses!

  23. June 5, 2008 2:22 pm

    Um. This sounds dangerously close to something like my idea of book-geek heaven. I may need to do this. I’ll have to read further but 24-hours of reading? I can handle that.

  24. June 5, 2008 3:08 pm

    Crap, I’m going to be out of town! Oh well, I can give you a few suggestions , at least.

    The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle
    The Ha-Ha by Dave King

    I’ll try to think of more later.

  25. June 5, 2008 6:41 pm

    It usually takes me a month to read 2000 pages!!! Wow!

    I think I’ll be in town. Chartroose just reminded me that being away is a possibility, but I hope to give the read-a-thon a try, this year. I won’t stay up 24 hours, though. I’m too old for that!

  26. June 5, 2008 9:49 pm

    Nik, thanks!

    Dewey, sounds good-I said that in today’s post. And I figured it was more polite to say ‘slightly insane’ than ‘full-blown, Yellow Wallpaper, crazy.’ hehe

    Darcie, great! I’ll e-mail you.

    Jaimie, thanks for the suggestions! I enjoyed The Lake of Dead Languages too. :D

    Emily, I suppose it’s kind of hard to skip church when you’re married to the preacher. ;) Thanks for the recs!

    Chris, I have my fingers crossed. My toes too. :D And thanks for the recs! My library has The Book of Flying, so I’ll get on that right away.

    Nadine, I bet it’ll snap you out of your slump! Your blog’s not linking, fyi.

    Care, good for you! And I hope you sign up to be a cheerleader: basically, you just go visit participants and leave encouraging comments on their posts. :D

    Daphne, hehe-I hope you sign up!

    Chartroose, I hope it’s a vacation then! Thanks for the recs!

    Nancy, I read pretty simple books (several children/YA category). It was fun though! Glad to see you’re going to be a reader. :)

  27. June 6, 2008 7:11 pm

    Has it been a year already? 24-hr read-a-thon wow! I remembered last year’s event which I couldn’t participate. This year I’m definitely in. It falls on the day of SF Gay Pride, so I’ll go away from the city and find a cozy place to read!

    As for page-turners I recommend:
    Slammerkin, Emma Donoghue
    Gweilo: Memoirs of a Hong Kong Childhood, Martin Booth
    Out Stealing Horses, Per Petterson
    Letter from Point Clear, Dennis McFarland
    The Future of Love, Shirley Abbott

  28. June 6, 2008 9:41 pm

    Matthew, last yea’rs was in October. Do it hasn’t quite been a year. ;) Thanks for the suggestions! And I can imagine the city would be very noisy that day-I’m so excited you’ll be reading.

  29. June 7, 2008 1:57 am

    Those are amazing stats, Eva! I’m so impressed by Dewey hosting the read-a-thon again – isn’t she wonderful? As for page turners, hmmm. I’d suggest:

    Michael Crichton – Disclosure
    Meg Rosoff – How I Live Now
    Clare Francis – A Dark Devotion
    Alexandra Soiseth – Choosing You
    Relentless – Simon Kernick

    If I think of any more I’ll return!

  30. June 7, 2008 4:02 pm

    I didn’t participate last year, but I’m DEFINITELY in this year! Books that kept me up? Hmmmm….

    The Cider House Rules, by John Irving
    Beasts, by Joyce Carol Oates
    On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan
    The End of America, by Naomi Wolf
    Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill
    The Stolen Child, by Keith Donohue
    The Bloody Chamber, by Angela Carter

    …and there are a bazillion more, but I won’t torture you with any more suggestions. Good luck!

  31. June 7, 2008 6:19 pm

    Oh was it October, no wonder it felt like it wasn’t too long ago! ;) The city expects a least half a million for the parade. I’m so out of here! Now I have to get the game plan going and make sure I pack away with enough books at least for the day!

  32. June 8, 2008 9:03 pm

    That’s … amazing … . If I read for 24 hours I’d get through about 300 pages. Maybe I should practice more :P

  33. June 9, 2008 12:54 pm

    Hmmm…two books that I just could not put down this year and read straight through in basically one sitting were We by Yevgeny Zamyatin ( ) and The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester ( )

    I think Travels in the Scriptorium by Paul Auster could also fit in this category as I mostly read it in one day and would have read it in one sitting if I didn’t have other anniversary distractions on that same day. ;)

  34. June 14, 2008 8:26 am

    Litlove, she’s definitely wonderfu.. :) And thanks for the suggestions!

    Andi, yay! Thanks for all the books. :D

    Matthew, awesome. :)

    Mustie, thanks for stopping by! ANd I was reading light books, which helps. :)

    Carl, thanks for the suggestions! I read We in one sitting as well, on the night train from St. Petersburg to Moscow.


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