All posts by andi

Hour 20 – BoooOOOooooOOOOk!

 

FYI (16)

While I realize it’s not autumn everywhere in the world, and while I realize not everyone celebrates Halloween, I would be remiss if I didn’t take this October opportunity to celebrate one of the greatest books in film. In short, Book, from Hocus Pocus! Because let’s face it…there should be more books-as-characters.

Can you think of any bookish characters you love? Second only to the Hocus Pocus book is the Monster Book of Monsters from Harry Potter!

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Mini-Challenges

All You Can Eat Buffet

Readathon Recommendation Engine

Rainbow Tower Challenge

Prize Winners

Wicked_Bookworm

Whitney Werling

CLAIM YOUR PRIZE HERE!

Now you can celebrate the Readathon year-round with Dewey’s swag! We use the earnings to cover charges associated with prize shipping, customs charges, and domain costs. 

Enter your finished books into the DATABASE!

Hour 19 – You are a Reading Warrior!

FYI (15)

You know what? ONLY FIVE MORE HOURS!!!! You are really and truly on the downhill slide, and if you’ve made it this far, you are a reading warrior!

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So let’s get real. What’s your secret, eh? How have you lasted this long? If I’m being honest, I had a fantastic nap, a cup of coffee in Hour 16, and off we go!

Keep it up, readers!

Mini-Challenges

Readathon Recommendation Engine

Rainbow Tower Challenge

Beverage and a Book

Prize Winners

Pastry and Primer

Rachael Torres

CLAIM YOUR PRIZE HERE!

Now you can celebrate the Readathon year-round with Dewey’s swag! We use the earnings to cover charges associated with prize shipping, customs charges, and domain costs. 

Enter your finished books into the DATABASE!

Hour 18 – Audio to the Rescue!

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Hey hey! Andi from Estella’s Revenge back again. I tell ya, the last few readathons audiobooks have really saved my life. It seems like I can never really focus on Readathon day whether there are administrative things to do or family events to attend.  In April, my audiobook of choice was Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, and now it’s Yesternight by Cat Winters.

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Are you an audiobook listener? Did you listen to one this time around? What would you recommend to an audio newbie?

Mini-Challenges

Beverage and a Book

Frightful Reads

Prize Winners

Cat Litterary

Foliofiles

CLAIM YOUR PRIZE HERE!

Now you can celebrate the Readathon year-round with Dewey’s swag! We use the earnings to cover charges associated with prize shipping, customs charges, and domain costs. 

Enter your finished books into the DATABASE!

Hour 6 – Out in the Daylight!

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Hey there, friends! It’s Andi from Estella’s Revenge hosting in the daylight for once! I usually host hours 18-20 (and no exception this year), but I also had a chance to come out a little early and visit with y’all!

While it’s morning for me, I’m keenly aware that it may be the dead of night where you’re reading. How about a dance to wake you up?

Now get back to reading you crazy kids! But first, tell me your favorite song or dance scene from any movie!

Mini-Challenges

Happy Birthday Poem

A Puzzling Read

Book and Snack Challenge

Prize Winners

Loving Books

ellinorav

CLAIM YOUR PRIZE HERE!

Now you can celebrate the Readathon year-round with Dewey’s swag! We use the earnings to cover charges associated with prize shipping, customs charges, and domain costs. 

Enter your finished books into the DATABASE!

Warm Up: Try Something New This #Readathon

Hi everyone- my name is Wesley and I blog over at Library Educated. This isn’t my first readathon, but I realized that with almost all of the readathons I do kind of the same thing – lots of cheering, rereading a favorite, finding a couple graphic novels to keep myself motivated and awake, and not really getting up from the couch. This year I’m going to try and do some different things, and hopefully this will encourage you to try some new things too!

Try an audiobook

I’ve never listened to an audiobook. I’ve always said that my attention span is too short and I’m too easily distracted for one. But do I actually know that? No. Because I’ve never tried. So this year I’m going to find a (free) audiobook and broaden my horizons. If anyone has any suggestions (especially if it’s a short story, or something classic- I think I heard something about Christopher Walken reading some Poe?) please feel free to shoot them my way.

Get out of the house

As I mentioned before, my readathon battle station is primarily my couch. But this year, I think I will try to get off of my comfort zone. Maybe go to a local coffee place, or to the library, or if the weather is decent (in Wisconsin, I’m not going to hold my breath) a park bench somewhere. A new location from where to read might be inspiring, even if it involves putting on a bra and a pair of shoes.

Participate somewhere other than Twitter

I love me some Twitter, well, most of the time. Twitter during readathon is my favorite, due in no small part to my love of ridiculous GIFs and feeling like I’m chatting in real time to readathoners all around the world.  However, that’s basically the only place I haunt during readathon. This year, I’m going to make a point to get to some of the other place around the interwebs where readathon is represented. I’m going to guess it will be Goodreads, because that’s where I log all of the great reading suggestions I get during readathon!

Be better about following the fun new blogs that I find

I get introduced to so many new folks and their blogs during readathon and I feel like I never follow up with continuing to read their blogs or talk to them. Maybe I need to make a list on Twitter, or revamp my Bloglovin’ feed but this year I’m going to try to make some bonds during readathon and expand my horizons. Now who wants to be my friend?!

Don’t just eat junk food

Just kidding. I’m going to continue to only eat junk food during readathon. But maybe I’ll drink more water? Yeah, that I can do.

Best wishes for a wonderful readathon for all of you, I will see you there!Try something new this readathon!

Warm Up: Tips for When You’re Down and Out

I love to read.  And I love to take a large amount of time and really focus on my reading.  Nothing makes me happier than a day spent curled up with a book (apart from one where it’s warm and I can be sat outside reading). So it follows that I love the readathon.

It’s true, I do.  I sit there and I start reading and I enjoy it. Then a moment hits when I lose the love. I think I’ve hit that point in every single readathon. It’s like I’m going along and this is good, I’m loving it and it’s everything I want in the day. And then all of a sudden this readathon idea is the stupidest one in the world and I never should have done it and really why do people do this to themselves?!  Now I’ve been doing the readathon for several years that self-loathing voice can add in “you’re stupid. You decided last time not to do this again and look what you’ve done.” It’s not pretty but it’s real.

I know that a big part of that is probably to do with my mental health and the pressure I put on myself to achieve and be perfect.   But that doesn’t make it easy. I almost expect that every time now and I try to put some strategies in place to manage it.   Sometimes it’s because I’m seeing updates on Twitter of people who have read way more than I have. Or I’m not loving my books. A lot of the time it doesn’t seem to be for any real reason which means my strategies don’t always work. However I wanted to share those in case they are useful for anyone else.

My number 1 thing is to carve out a specific time to read in the day that’s non-negotiable.  It’s sort of my own personal readathon tradition. I have a favourite dinner that goes in the oven, takes a while to cook and needs no attention during that time.  That’s my nonstop reading time, I turn off the Wi-Fi, pick up my book and lose myself.  If that’s the only time I read without being distracted I try to be pleased with that.

And that’s what the readathon is about really isn’t it? I’ve learned that for me just taking the time to read is more important than the massive number of books and pages I could have got through had I forced myself.  I’ve not been reading as much this year as before.  I really miss it but I just haven’t had the motivation to read I’ve had before.  In fact in the last few months most of my reading has been in those non-negotiable reading times – on the train or waiting for appointments. If I’ve been reading at home it’s mostly been finishing something I started elsewhere.

Secondly I listen to audiobooks as well.  I find I can switch between books and audiobooks with no break in a way I can’t when I finish an actual book. I can craft or rest or sort my messy kitchen and listen and feel like I’m making progress on more than just my reading if that’s something I need.

I no longer make a plan for what I read because I rarely stick to it. It can feel like pressure if I’ve planned four books and get stuck on two.  It’s not a failure but it’s how I’ve felt (damn you depression).  Sometimes the book I’ve been saving for the readathon isn’t what grabs my attention on the day.  And even if I do start reading it that doesn’t mean I won’t put it aside for something else.

I try to start with a short book so I can feel accomplished.  And that’s often kidlit.  This year I’m wondering about rereading Matilda by Roald Dahl as I’m going to see the musical soon.

Finally when I’ve really wanted to keep reading but not had the motivation reaching out on social media can help find encouragement and likely another reader feeling the same to sympathise with.

I’m pleased to say that now I have strategies in place (and in part am in a better place with my mental health) I usually end up taking a break and then getting back into my reading and finding the love once again.

How do you keep motivated during the readathon and deal with those down moments?

funkyfairy22Thank you SOOOO very much to Emma for this important post! Find her on Twitter or her blog.

Warm Up: How to Make the Most of your Readathon

I have been participating in Dewey’s Readathon for years and every time I sign up, I know each one will be different. While I was hoping to have a ton of time for this one, I now have made time with my husband, so I won’t be able to spend the whole day reading like I have (sometimes) in the past.

When you’re thinking about your Saturday, realize that any time spent reading is AWESOME. I know that my husband tends to stay up late and sleep in, so I’ll be getting up early to slam in some reading and challenges while I can.

Here are some ways that you can sneak in reading if you are super busy:

  • Hide in the bathroom for 10 (or more) minutes with your book.
  • Listen to audiobooks when driving, cleaning, etc.
  • Read with your kids (if you have them).
  • Read before bed after everyone is asleep (or otherwise preoccupied).
  • Keep a book with you at all times (you never know when there’s a long line or wait time).
  • Put your phone down, your computer away and read instead.
  • Read on your lunch break.
  • Arrive early/stay late at work for 30 minutes and read in your car.

If you aren’t super busy, here are some other tips to feel like you are getting the most out of your readathon:

  • Pick short books (whether graphic novels or novellas or just shorter books)
  • Choose books you are very interested in reading or have a lot of what keeps you reading (action, kissing, etc.)
  • Prepare snacks the night before (and drinks!)
  • Minimize errands – do you NEED milk or can you wait til tomorrow?
  • Order in instead of making dinner (or listen to an audiobook while cooking!)
  • Set a timer of 5 minutes to check the challenges/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram so you can get back to reading – when you are done, move your phone to another room or at least out of sight.
  • Take breaks from reading in a comfy spot. I find as the later hours come on, if I’m too comfy, I get sleepy. Sit in a firm chair in those moments or read while standing up.

Hope these tips help and always remember to HAVE FUN!

Thanks so much to Kristen from The Book Monsters

the-book-monsters

 

Warm Up: Spruce Up Your TBR with Diverse Recs!

Hello readathoners!

Are you guys gearing up for 24 hours of epicness, glory, bookternet, and books? Perusing the bookish web for reading options, making trips to the library and your favorite book-buying outlets, gearing up for mini-challenges, stocking up on food, adding the #readathon column to your tweetdeck, and every other fun pre-readathon ritual? Sweet!

First off, I’d like to give a shout out to Andi and Heather, who are the champions behind this biannual event. This readathon grows with every round, and as great as it is to have more and more people join each time, these two tirelessly spend so much time organizing, promoting, putting together challenges, prizes, and cheerleaders–all to honour their dear friend and give us a wonderful 24 hours of being wrapped up in a blanket of bookish fun. So thank you, Andi and Heather, for putting your heart and soul into keeping this event up and running. You are amazing.

Diversity and inclusion in publishing have been talked about a lot recently. If you’re in any part of the bookish internet stratosphere, you’ve at least picked up rumblings of groups such as We Need Diverse Books, Diversity in YA, DiverseBookBloggers, etc.- that focus on promoting own voices and authors of color, LGBTQIA+, differently abled, etc. Or as I like to call them, the non-cishet/white/able dudebro authors. There are plenty of people more eloquent than I am that are constantly educating people on the importance of being able to find yourself in a story, so I’ll leave that part to them. Meanwhile, I know so many dear friends and fellow readathon participants who would like to diversify their reading, so I thought I’d share some short and/or fast paced, unputdown-able (yes that’s a word) books that expose us to a wide variety of experiences and boost authors belonging to one or more marginalized groups. I haven’t read them all but they are definitely on my TBR.

The Ballad Of Black Tom by Victor LaValle is a take on H. P. Lovecraft’s uber racist The Horror At Red Hook. If you haven’t read the original and don’t want to, Tor.com did us all a favor and gave us a detailed commentary on all of its problems, which allows us to skip ahead to LaValle’s elegant response of a novella. The book follows Charles Thomas Tester, a young black man in 1920’s New York City, living with his father and hustling to make ends meet. He’s a mediocre guitar player, a terrible singer, and uses his guitar case to make his “deliveries.” One of these jobs results in his introduction to Suydam, who has a serious case of white savior complex. He exposes Tom to an occult experience where he is exposed to several hidden realities and possibilities. In the second half of the book, the perspective shifts to Malone (Lovecraft’s original protagonist), who is an NYPD detective that has been keeping tabs on Tester and Suydam and the horrors that ensue.

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor is the winner of The Hugo Award for Best Novella this year, and rightfully so. It tells the story of Binti, whose natural aptitude for technology gives her an opportunity to attend a prestigious university on the planet Oomza where she will be the sole human representative of the Himba people. However, it also means she will lose her place in her family as they are rooted to land and do not travel. She embarks upon her journey to another planet and on her way her ship is attacked by the Meduse, a species that terrorizes space and has long been fighting against Oomza University. Will she make it there alive? Read and find out.

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli is another one-sitting read. It revolves around 16-year old Simon who is gay but not yet out, has a dorky family and a great group of friends, and a humongous crush on his anonymous penpal. Shit hits the fan for Simon when a fellow schoolmate screenshots one of his emails and uses it to blackmail Simon; in order for his sexual identity to remain a secret, Simon must talk his blackmailer up to one of his best friends. Simon is now struggling with his growing feelings for his email pal, without ditching his family and friends, and controlling the narrative of his coming out. Don’t dismiss this as a painful closeted gay boy story, it’s actually got a ton of fluff, email flirtations, dorky-parents-who-think-they’re-cool, loving siblings, extremely loyal and supportive friends and teachers, and several moments that will melt even the most crotchety of hearts.

Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time: An Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi Anthology by Hope Nicholson is a collection of science fiction short stories written by and about LGBTQIA+ and two-spirit Native people. There’s a wide variety of identities and stories in here, and the overarching theme is love; different kinds of love- romantic, familial, self. A lot of stories leave you feeling hopeful. It also comes with some excellent introductions and background for people who are not very familiar with the cultural ins-and-outs of Native people.

The Mothers by Brit Bennett the most hyped and most anticipated novel of October 2016, and it absolutely lives up to the hype. I finished reading it a few days ago and I’m so tempted to go back and read it again because it is just. so. GOOD. Set in a black church community in Southern California, it revolves around three people: Nadia, who’s recently lost her mother and is grieving; Luke, a former football star; and Aubrey, a god-fearing girl living with her sister. At seventeen, Nadia gets pregnant. It’s Luke’s baby, and she decides to get an abortion. She keeps the secret from everyone, including her Aubrey, her best friend. She and Luke break up and she moves to Michigan for school. The years go by, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey, now adults, are still haunted by their individual choices made all those years ago, and caught in a complicated love triangle, with each of them constantly wondering if they should have made a different choicer back then. It is a story of possibilities, and the author gives it to us with lyrical writing and fleshed-out characters. This is a stunning debut that you won’t be able to put down.

George by Alex Gino is a middle grade novel that is perfect for your kids to understand the meaning of transgender. This book is so important. George has a secret. A secret so big she can’t even share it with her best friend Kelly. She also really wants to audition for Charlotte in their class production of Charlotte’s Web, but her teacher says only girls can audition for the part, and everybody thinks George is a boy. It is a beautiful coming out story for a little trans girl, and one of the best examples of why children need such books. Very sweet and affirming.

Be My Fantasy and Stay My Fantasy (The Fantasy Series) by Alisha Rai. Seriously, if you’ve heard me recommend this only a thousand times so far, I’m not even sorry. I love naughty romance stories, and Alisha Rai checks all the boxes with this one. Elizabeth Harding is the polished daughter of a politician by day, and patron of a pleasure club by night. Luca Santos is an ambitious fellow with a wicked imagination who yearns for Elizabeth but doesn’t think she can handle anything that’s not demure. What happens when he finds out her secret? Can Elizabeth stay away from this irresistible man who is always ready to fulfill her fantasies? Only one way to find out.

Lez Talk: A Collection of Black Lesbian Short Fiction by S. Andrea Allen and L. Cherelle that I’d only just heard of, but c’mon, lesbian short fiction? No way I’m not reading this. According to Goodreads, it is a “collection of short stories that embraces the fullness of Black lesbian experiences. The contributors operate under the assumption that “lesbian” is not a dirty word, and have written stories that amplify the diversity of Black lesbian lives.” Halle-friggin-lujah, sign me up. Intersectionality is my favourite aspect of the conversations surrounding diversity and inclusion, especially because my own identity falls in that bracket. This is true for a lot of us, we don’t identify one-dimensionally, and therefore would like to be represented in more than one way. The reviews sound promising, and if any of you have already read it, let me know!

These are just a few of the plethora of own voices books out there. I urge you to seek more of them out and talk about them to your friends, your kids, your families, and your fellow booknerds. If you’ve had the privilege to see yourself represented in a book or many, then you know how vital that experience is, and know that there’s so many people out there who have to dig deep to find them. Meanwhile, if you have any other diverse readathon recommendations, share them using the official hashtag #readathon, or drop them in the comments below.

I can’t wait to see everyone’s diverse picks! Have a happy, cozy, and book-filled Readathon!

Thanks SO much to Janani from The Shrinkette! Go visit her blog!

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Warm Up: Making Readathon Work Around the World

You might associate Readathon with getting up in the middle of the night or setting your alarm super early to start reading but for those of us joining from Europe, we’re starting in the afternoon. That means completing the full Readathon really means being awake for more than 24 hours, unless your superpower is being able to sleep and wake at precise and convenient times!

Whilst a huge part of the fun is the fact we all start at the same time (I am never more aware of time zones than Readathon weekends) I do know a few Europeans who bend the rules a little. Some start as soon as they wake up, fitting in a few hours before the official start. I personally start at 1pm UK time with everyone else but I do always have a sleep when reading becomes impossible. I know I can always carry on reading after the official end if I really want to get that 24 hours in.

A lot of the advice you’ll read is good practice for all, but there are some things you may want to do differently with a PM start.

  1. Don’t have an “early night”. I mean, don’t go out partying the night before (been there, done that, bad idea) but try and stay up a little past your normal bedtime. This will help with tip 2.
  1. Have a lie in. Easier said than done, I know. Readathon is exciting and I am usually awake at 8am (T minus 5 hours).
  1. Have a nutritious lunch. You’ll have time to eat something before you start reading. If you’re not used to big lunches, don’t overdo it as you might fall into a food coma, but it’s good to start off feeling fueled. If all you eat is snacks the rest of the day, at least you’ve had some nutrients!
  1. Use the morning for preparation. It’s a great way to get into the Readathon mood. Take some photos, get your update post format ready, make nice TBR piles for you to ignore later. Check out other participants and chat on Twitter using the hashtag; the pre-event buzz is something I think the US participants miss out on a bit what with being asleep. Wish people good luck!
  1. Set an alarm for Sunday morning. Yes, Sunday not Saturday. With the best will in the world, most of us will fall asleep on our books and plenty of people schedule in a planned sleep. I usually set an alarm for 6am (which is hour 18 in the UK) so I can carry on reading up until the end. This is your secret weapon. We get congratulated for being there at the end but we’ve all had a nice little snooze in the middle.
  1. Cheer those final hours! If you’ve given up reading by Sunday PM, it’s really nice to spend some time leaving words of encouragement to those who have been slogging it out the whole time. It *will* be appreciated.

Got work or school on Monday morning? While we see hordes of readathoners heading to bed after the final hour, an afternoon nap just doesn’t work for me. I try and stay up till at least 9pm otherwise I’ll be socially “jetlagged” for a few days. If the weather’s good, it’s a great time to get some fresh air and stretch those legs. Readathon is really a whole weekend event for our time zones, but that makes it even better!

Our new puppy has had me in Readathon training mode for a few weeks now! I’m much more used to broken sleep and I’m sure she’ll be excited that for once I’m happy to hang out with her at 6am. Actually, I bet I won’t need that alarm this year…

Thank you SO much, Ellie, for your advice! Visit Curiosity Killed the Bookworm.

Warm Up: Readathon, As You Like It

I participated in my first Dewey’s Readathon because of the sheer force of goodwill I witnessed on social media in the weeks leading up to the day. Readers were so excited, so enthusiastic, so eager to spend the day reading together, they’d prepared their reading lists (and snack menus!) weeks in advance.

Oho! What have we here? I though, like Horace Slughorn laying eyes on Harry Potter for the first time. Except instead of being the collector, I wanted to be the collected.

It wasn’t just the enthusiasm that sucked me in with the force of gravity, on Jupiter. It was the warmth and generosity, the goodwill and support. Listen, I’ve seen all kinds of behavior on social media, much of it, I will confess, decidedly the opposite of appealing. Yet here were hundreds of humans spread across our spinning orb who had come together to experience and celebrate a shared love – of books. It didn’t matter what kind of books – genre, classics, graphic novels, literary fiction, comics, nonfiction. It didn’t matter what form of books – audiobooks, e-books, paperbacks, hardbacks. All were represented. The centripetal force was a mutual passion for the experience of reading.

Witnessing the pure joy radiating from this community united in a singular purpose … it felt like discovering my own golden ticket. But instead of rivers of chocolate (which, I won’t lie, also sounds pretty good), it was books, books, and more book and – best of all – fellow book lovers with whom to share them. Need reading recommendations? Want suggestions for creating a comfy reading space? Interested in snack ideas and recipes? Seeking a reading buddy for whatever book you’ve planned? You got it. Photos of book piles, furry companions, energy-boosting spreads, bookish clothing and accessories? Yes, and on whatever social media platform you favor.

And unlike the first day of summer, Dewey’s doesn’t come just once a year. We get to do it all over again on Saturday. I can’t wait!

Some of us already have our lists and menus prepared (hats off to you awesomely organized peoples of Earth!). Some of us will figure it out as we go along (picture me waving at you). Some of us will be thrilled to read or listen to one book. Some of us will polish off a tall stack. Some of us will split our time among reading, mini-challenges, and social media. Some of us will barely lift our eyes from the pages, sticking as close to the 24-hour mark as we can make it. The beauty is, we support each other to readathon however it best works for each of us.

For me, I have one (two-part) inviolate rule: Enjoy the day and spread the joy. And I have a three-step plan for doing just that.

Step one: Kick my inner perfectionist to the curb. It’s not a competition, including against myself. A successful readathon isn’t measured by how many hours I read or how many books I finish. It’s about connecting with this community of readers.

Step two: A little structure goes a long way. Any one of the activities I have planned for Saturday – reading, writing, and social media – can suck me into a black hole of rapidly vanishing time. I’m planning to set my timer to allow myself time enough to participate in everything I have planned.

Step three: Be a good citizen. I joined readathon for the community. How I can give back the joy it has given me is by nurturing that community through cheering other readers on, like good citizens do.

That’s my plan, and I plan on sticking to it! Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate your best readathon tips and suggestions. I’d love to hear them in the comments!

Wonderful post, Sally! Visit her at her blog!

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