April 2017

April 2017 Wrap-Up and Volunteer for October 2017!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for joining us for the April 2017 Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon! Let’s look at the Readathon by the numbers:

  • Over 1,700 readers
  • Approximately 30 behind-the-scenes volunteers
  • 24 mini challenges
  • Over 2,000 #IGReadathon posts
  • Gazillions of tweets! (ok, maybe not, but a lot)

We thank you so much for being with us, and we hope you’ll be back in October for our TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY! There are schemes happening as we speak.

If you’re interested in volunteering to help in October, fill out the handy dandy form down below, and we’ll contact you!

HAPPY READING!

April 2017

Hour 3 – Beautiful Day For A Book

Greetings, fellow readers! It’s Elizabeth and I’m here for the next couple of hours to act as your guide through what are my favorite hours of Read-a-Thon. Have any questions? Feel free to drop them here or on Twitter and I’ll do what I can to help!

How is the weather where you are? It is pouring down buckets of rain here in Oklahoma and I couldn’t be happier. Read-a-Thon is typically a day that I set everything else aside in favor of my books, but I have to admit that each April I find it very difficult to ignore my garden on a Saturday.

Wherever you are and however the weather may be, I’m glad you’re taking the time to be a part of this fabulous event. Every day is a beautiful day for a book!

Mini-Challenges

#CoverFromMemory

Still Going

Give the Gift of Reading

Opening Survey!

 

Give!

This season we’re putting an emphasis on spreading bookish good deeds! See our GIVE! page for more details about how you can get involved! 

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!

April 2017

Hour 2 – Just getting started!

You may or may not notice throughout the day that the blog is having some issues. We’ve been working on it for about 24 hours. Talked with support. Changed all kinds of things. And it hasn’t helped. Things move, but it is SUPER SLOW. Please know we’re doing all we can to make this as smooth as possible.

That out of the way, how are you doing? Are you knee-deep in a good book? Whatcha reading? Who is reading with you? Do you have a sweet fur baby in your lap? Do you have plenty of food and drinks to keep you sustained? We’re just getting started here! Start out right!

Mini-Challenges

Give the Gift of Reading

Still Going

Opening Survey!

Give!

This season we’re putting an emphasis on spreading bookish good deeds! See our GIVE! page for more details about how you can get involved! 

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!

April 2017

Hour 1 – It’s Time!

Girl Reading by Mary Lundquist

Gooooood morning lovely readers!! Heather here, ready to get this epic book party started! How ya feeling? I’m feeling tired, but I have my coffee, I have my books, and I have you, you lovely lovely reader. I’m not going to hold you up any; I know what you want. START READING!!!!

But first:

Mini-Challenges

Opening Survey!

Give!

This season we’re putting an emphasis on spreading bookish good deeds! See our GIVE! page for more details about how you can get involved! 

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!

April 2017

Hour 0 – Opening Survey

Good morning Readathoners!! Are you ready? Stacks set? Snacks assembled? Devices charged? Lots of liquids nearby? Because it’s almost time!

To help you get started, I’m here with the opening meme. Post this here in the comments or where ever you are sharing your reading today. Link it up here so everyone can see!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

Mini-Challenges

Opening Survey!

Give!

This season we’re putting an emphasis on spreading bookish good deeds! See our GIVE! page for more details about how you can get involved! 

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!

April 2017

The All-Event #IGreadathon Challenge!

Time for something special! Amanda from Fig and Thistle Books, and a long-time friend-of-the-thon, had a rad idea: an ALL-EVENT CHALLENGE! Here’s the scoop!

  • Each account is allowed to post 24 images using the #IGReadathon AND #FigThistleBooks hashtags.
  • At the end of the readathon, Amanda will use a random number generator to select a winner!
  • Prize: $15 book of your choice from the Book Depository.  This challenge is international.

Now get going!

April 2017

Warm Up: In Honor

There is so much to love about Dewey’s readathon. The community, the books, the challenges, and the prizes?? It’s a book nerd’s dream come true. But there’s something else that I’ve always loved about it. That it is an event carried on in memory of a book blogger named Dewey by friends who loved and respected her. And it’s an opportunity to get to know somebody that I unfortunately missed out on while they were with us in this confusing, exciting world. When you tell someone who isn’t in the book blogging community about the book blogging community, it’s hard to emphasize how much love there is. Dewey’s readathon epitomizes that love.

For this reason, I’d like you to meet, or remember, a woman named Heather Croxon. She was a great friend to me and many other readers. She blogged at Bits & Books. A few months ago Heather was in a random, tragic accident and she passed away at only 31 years old.

Her positivity was infectious. The sweet Aussie was always down to help with any project. Like many of us, she was funny and a little bit snarky. What I loved best about Heather was how welcoming she was to everybody. And she had that magical gift of being able to make perfect recommendations. It was very clear that she really listened, was interested in learning about a person’s interests, and would think of you when she read or saw something that would totally be your jam. Thank you, Heather, for The Kettering Incident, the most me TV show there ever was.

It’s strange mourning in the age of the internet. Especially when the person you are mourning had such an internet presence. All of Heather’s social media accounts are still there. Her blog is still there. Instead of over the years slowly forgetting the specifics of a person we loved, we can revisit their thoughts as if they were speaking to you right then and there. And her blog is a wealth of bookish delight that everyone should check out.

This readathon, I want to ask you to do two things. The first thing is to remember Heather Croxon and any other bloggers and readers we may have lost this year. Please share your memories of them in the comments below, so we can learn a little bit more about our community. The second thing is to check out this list of some of Heather’s favorite books this readathon. Let’s keep the memory of our friends alive through the things they loved most!

The Night Manager by John le Carre (or most anything by him)

The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose

Messages from a Lost World: Europe on the Brink by Stefan Zweig

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

Inside the Head of Bruno Shulz by Maxim Biller

The True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey

The Wonder Lover by Malcolm Knox

Airmail by Marieke Hardy

Watchmen by Alan Moore

The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

Dear Reader by Paul Journal

Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt

Thank you so very much to Julianne for this remembrance and for getting to the heart of what we hope to do here, twice a year, to honor Dewey and our book community. You can find Julianne on Twitter at @outlandishlit or her blog.

April 2017

Warm Up: 21 Short Books in 7 Genres!

*Andi says: “Just in time for a last minute library run or download!”

One of my favorite things about the days leading up to readathon is seeing everyone’s towering TBR piles. All those gorgeous books!

My TBR tends to be … less tower and more cottage. This is because I’m a slow reader. I read every word, often twice (or three times). I sound out unfamiliar names. It can take me a while to get through a book, especially a long book.

Since one of my other favorite things about readathon is the satisfaction of ticking titles off my TBR list, I like to have at least a few shorter books on hand.

If you’re like me and looking for recommendations of shorter books, here is a starter list of quick reads. Some are newer. Some are older. Some are even older than that. Most are between 100-200 pages (give or take). For children’s, YA, and poetry, I’ve included a few in the 200-350 range since they tend to have larger font and less text per page.

I’m still working on my readathon TBR, so please let me know your suggestions in the comments!

Literary Fiction

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, translated by Gregory Rabassa. This novella was my introduction to Marquez’s work and the book that made me fall in love with his writing. The Vicaro twins announce their intention to murder Santiago Nasar, but somehow, no one passes that message to Nasar. Heartrending, gorgeously written, and utterly riveting.

Paperback page count: 128

Sula by Toni Morrison. This short novel packs a wallop. Nel Wright and Sula Peace were close growing up until an accident drove them apart. Ten years after leaving town, Sula returns. Fireworks ensue in this emotionally complex and challenging (in the good way) story.

Paperback page count: 192

The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka. The fates of Japanese picture brides, sent to the U.S. to marry men they knew only from photos, are explored in this mesmerizing novel told in the third person plural. Let me say that again: third person plural. It’s brilliant.

Paperback page count: 144

Classics

Daphnis and Chloe by Longus, translated by Paul Turner. This 2-4th century Ancient Greek novella packs more action, adventure, and romance into 100+ pages than I ever thought possible—pirates, abductions, attempted abductions, and insight into Ancient Greece values, traditions, and ways of life. Also, it’s funny!

Paperback page count: 128

Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. During a bleak New England winter, Ethan Frome falls in love with his sickly wife’s vibrant young cousin. It’s Edith Wharton, so stunning prose plays counterpoint to ironic tragedy. Yet it still manages to be tense and suspenseful while waiting for the inevitable hammer to come crashing down.

Paperback page count: 77

Passing by Nella Larsen. In 1920s Harlem, childhood friends Irene and Clare—who is passing as a white woman, including to her racist husband—reconnect. Irene is wary of Clare’s increasingly insistent overtures, which lead to a tragic climax in this difficult and important novel that confronts the anguish and rage racism causes.

Paperback page count: 160

 Children’s/Middle Grade Fiction

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. Amidst the chaos and deprivation of the Depression, 10-year-old Bud Caldwell searches for his father after his mother’s death. A spirited and beautiful story that kept me fervently reading to the very last word.

Paperback page count: 272

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. Inspired by her father’s folktales, Minli sets off on a journey to improve her family’s fortune. This warm-hearted story about the power of storytelling goes by much too fast.

Paperback page count: 320

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. Or any of DiCamillo’s novels. They might leave you sobbing, but it’ll be cathartic sobbing. She’s genius at distilling complicated, overwhelming emotions into lean, raw, powerful stories, for any age.

Paperback page count: 272

 Young Adult Fiction

A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley. To recover her health, sickly Penelope is sent from London to the English country estate where her ancestors worked for centuries. While there, she discovers she can slip through a gap in time back to the 1560s, where she discovers a plot to rescue Mary, Queen of Scots. Penelope knows the plot will fail but can’t change the outcome. It’s a powerful, gripping story about the value of witnessing.

Paperback page count: 336

The Wee Free Men (Tiffany Aching #1) by Terry Pratchett. If you haven’t yet dipped into Pratchett’s Discworld series, this is a great place (and time!) to start. Nine-year-old Tiffany discovers she’s a witch in this charming, moving, and hilarious story.

Paperback page count: 352

 Long Division by Kiese Laymon. In 2013, 14-year-old City Coldson delivers a blistering diatribe at a patronizing spelling bee and becomes an overnight YouTube star. His mom packs him off to his grandma’s rural town with a book called Long Division. Which is about a boy called City Coldson set in 1985. The 1985 City travels back to 1964, and things get twisty from there. I didn’t always follow the thread, but I couldn’t put it down.

Paperback page count: 276

Middle Grade/YA Poetry

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. I read this memoir in verse while in a major reading slump, and the gorgeous sensory poems kept my eyes glued to the pages. When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about reading it. Her poems read like memories feel—snapshots of moments woven together to create a larger narrative.

Paperback page count: 368

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai. Lai’s autobiographical story follows Hà’s childhood in Saigon, her family’s flight from the city by ship, and her struggle to adapt to being a refugee in the U.S. Emotional intensity is expressed through sense images, which keeps readers grounded in Hà’s experience. I started reading it on my phone and then couldn’t stop until I got to the end.

Paperback page count: 288

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings by Margarita Engle. Set in the 1950s and 60s, Engle’s story takes readers from her parents’ first meeting to her 14th year. Her poems often revolve around place – her mother’s birthplace of Cuba before and during the revolution, California where Engle grew up, and Europe during a summer trip after she can’t return to Cuba. It’s an evocative combination of travel writing, poetry, and coming-of-age, with incisive insight into the experience of being a second generation American.

Paperback page count: 224

Memoir

Mom and Me and Mom by Maya Angelou. If you’ve been following Emma Watson’s book club, you might have seen her hiding copies on the subway for lucky travelers to discover. Angelou’s moving, inspiring memoir focuses on her relationship with her mother and reads like prose poetry. I read it straight through a few years ago (but and it wasn’t even during a readathon).

Paperback page count: 224

84, Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff. A charming, heartening collection of letters sent between Hanff, a straight-talking New York City writer, and an antiquarian London bookshop. From the first letter Hanff sent in 1949 seeking a rare book, we follow her and the booksellers’ relationship spanning more than 20 years.

Paperback page count: 112

Ill Met By Moonlight by W. Stanley Moss. This is a fascinating read for fans of nonfiction about WWII. It’s Moss’ diary of his mission to kidnap a German general from occupied Crete, aided by Patrick Leigh Fermor and the Greek resistance.

Paperback page count: 212

Speculative Fiction

The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells. Chaos ensues after a scientist figures out how to make himself invisible but can’t make himself visible again. Suspenseful, philosophical, and creepy, it raises timeless questions about the relationship between humans and technology/science.

Paperback page count:192

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Arthur Dent discovers his best friend Ford Prefect is an alien as he rescues Arthur from Earth seconds before it’s demolished. Cue a hilarious romp through the universe.

Paperback page count: 208

 The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami. In this mesmerizing story, a young boy is imprisoned underneath a library. From there, things get weird, compelling, and spooky, with a heaping dose of melancholy.

Paperback page count: 96

Thanks SO much to Sally Allen from @BookishinCT and Classic Books, Modern Wisdom! We’re hoarding all these recs!

April 2017, Uncategorized

Warm Up: Music While We Read

I grew up being one of those choir freaks. I feel deeply connected to music, so naturally when I read I also like to listen to music. However, I get distracted easily, so all the music I listen to while I read is instrumental. Now, some of you might think that sounds boring. However, I will tell you there is instrumental music that can move anyone’s soul. If your looking for something to listen to while you read here are my suggestions.

Movie sound tracks have wonderful music. Here are some of my current favorites to listen to:

Finding Nemo
Passengers
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Monster, Inc.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Boss Baby
Game of Thrones
Night at the Museum
Forrest Gump
Schindler’s List
P.S. I Love You
How To Train Your Dragon 2
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Sherlock
Downton Abbey
Edward Scissorhands
Avatar
And of course any of the Harry Potter Movie Sound Tracks!

If you are into to popular songs that are on the radio, there are several artists that recreate them instrumentally. Here are my recommendations for some awesome artists:

The Piano Guys
2Cellos
Simply Three
Vitamin String Quartet
Brooklyn Duo
Midnite String Quartet
Dallas String Quartet
Piano Tribute Players

For those of you who like classical music I recommend some more contemporary composers:

Philip Wesley
Break of Reality
Brain Crain
Michele McLaughlin
Joe Bongiorno

A non-music suggestion is some ambient sounds. I have been loving ASMR Rooms on YouTube.  The creator is brilliant, and who doesn’t want to feel like you’re in your favorite Hogwarts house common room?

Currently I’m loving 221 B Baker Street.


Also, the website coffitivity.com gives you the feeling of being inside a coffee shop from wherever you happen to be

For those of you who have Spotify, as an added bonus I created a playlist that contains 24 hours worth of music to listen to with no repeats. The playlist is entitled “24 hour Readathon Playlist” The playlist is also free to listen to on random shuffle for those that aren’t premium members. Here’s the direct link!

Whatever you choose to listen to I wish you happy listening and happy reading.

Find Elizabeth on Instagram at @lizzardreads!

April 2017

Warm Up: Twenty-four or One, There’s No Wrong Way to Readathon

This April will be my 16th Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon.

Wow, that actually makes me feel really old.

The first Readathon meme I ever made.

Out of the past 15 Readathons, I managed to last the full 24 hours just once or twice (and I totally napped). I had a lot of fun participating all day and all night those times, even though I was pretty much comatose come Sunday.

And I’ll admit, back in the early days of my blog, I felt compelled to do the whole 24 hours, because wasn’t that the whole point of a 24 Hour Readathon?

My first Readathon Pile O’ Books, my insanity on full display.

So I tried, hard, to stay awake. I made sure that I wasn’t working either the Saturday of Readathon or the Sunday after. I skipped events and birthday parties, because I was serious about Readathon. To be honest, I was probably a little too serious. Because when I would inevitably fall asleep (and once or twice it was in the early hours of Readathon because my pre-Readathon night’s sleep was horrible due to all the excitement), I would wake up feeling panicked, like I had failed.

Then a few years ago, my friend (and now blog partner, Kim) and I signed up to go to a book event in April. It was out of town, so it meant a long day away from my computer. When I found out that Readathon was scheduled for that same day, I was genuinely upset. I don’t think Kim knows how close I was to canceling our plans (sorry, Kim). But I stuck with my plans (which had been a long time in the making) and instead I woke up early, posted a little about Readathon, and then went to the book event and had a great time. We got home that evening, and I participated several hours online.

All the goodies I came home with from that book event. 🙂

And the world didn’t end because I had to step away from my computer for most of Readathon. I had tons of fun because I wasn’t under self-imposed pressure.

Over the years, I’ve noticed a lot of people say they can’t do Readathon because they have other plans- work, weddings, parties, cleaning the grout in their bathrooms.
But, readers, I’ll let you in on a little secret- You don’t have to Readathon all 24 hours. You can do it for just one hour, or two, or twenty minutes now, and three hours later. You can read five books, or none. You can tweet the entire time and only do the challenges. Seriously, you don’t have to read AT ALL. You can sleep in, and start Readathon late. You can go in without any kind of plan at all, or you can have a whole schedule of posts and tweets and spreadsheets filled out in anticipation.

Nerd it up your own way!

Part of the reason I so adore Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon is because it plugs me into our community of readers. I love the excitement, the snacks, the book piles, the posts, the cheers, I love it all! And even spending a few minutes on April 29th will be worth it.

Come Saturday the 29th, I’ll be working the morning shift at Fountain Bookstore and then heading over to Kim’s house because our book club is meeting to discuss our current read. I’ll wake up early and post about Readathon, I’ll be checking in as often as possible on Litsy and Instagram and Twitter. When I get home from book club, I’ll spend a few more hours online and maybe reading (definitely Twitter cheering).

It’s great when I can spend the whole 24 hours to focus on Readathon, but it’s also great to know I can drop in and out anytime during the event. And so can you!

So, join us. Leave your fields to flower… or just join us for an hour!

~Kate @ MidnightBookGirl

Thank you so much, Kate! You’ve done so much for us over the years. This is EXCELLENT advice! Follow Kate on Twitter at @Midnghtbookgirl or her blog (where you’ll find all her social links!).